Columbus sees 26-percent return on businesses key box survey

Published 3:02 pm Monday, April 1, 2013

90 percent respond key boxes should be voluntary

The Town of Columbus recently conducted a survey given to businesses to get opinions on the possibility of installing key lock boxes so local law and fire officials have access to buildings in case of emergencies.

Columbus Town Council met March 21 and heard from George Alley, who conducted the survey for the town.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Alley said he sent out 120 surveys and received 31 responses or 26 percent. Some concern was voiced over who would have access to the master key, whether or not it would be mandatory and who would bare the costs.

Most businesses responded that key lock boxes should be voluntary (90-percent), while 10 percent said they should be mandatory.

Alley said overall, larger businesses seemed to be more in favor of the idea than smaller businesses, which expressed more concern about others having access to their buildings.

“There is no way access will be allowed into my business that is not controlled by me,” stated one business owner who commented on the survey. “If there is a fire, there are plenty of windows that can be broken.”

Another concern raised by a business owner was lock boxes wouldn’t be a good idea because businesses would be advertising that they have keys outside.

“If everyone starts having these boxes outside their business, it won’t be long before crooks know they are there, which would provide easy access,” commented one business owner. “As with many (government) programs, they begin with a well-meaning premise, but often end up causing more harm than good. Let’s just leave things the way they have always been.”

One business said they have the boxes at another facility and having access to a building quickly is always good especially in a fire situation.

Others, however, responded that it should not be required and that it is not necessary.