Phoenix fire
Phoenix Improving First Responders’ Access to Elderly, Special Needs Citizens’ Homes

December 20, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

A locked door will no longer be a barrier to first responders assisting the elderly or those with special needs.

Earlier this month, the Phoenix City Council launched a program to provide lock boxes for the elderly and those with special needs. Without an access point like a lock box, first responders like firemen may be forced to break into homes to provide assistance, potentially breaking doors and damaging the property in the process. 

The council members approved the program unanimously. The city will launch a pilot version of the program in District 1 prior to work out any challenges and hone in logistics. 

Councilwoman Ann O’Brien explained that the program would prevent significant property damage from occurring to those requiring firemen assistance. It comes at no cost to the city. 

Other cities such as Glendale and Scottsdale have already coordinated with private entities to roll out similar programs. 

The Phoenix Realtors donated 100 lock boxes to establish the program, called the “Residential Lock Box Access Program.” The Phoenix Fire Department will oversee the program, maintaining a database of installations, ensuring the Phoenix Fire Regional Dispatch Center codifies the data in a premise alter for responding units.

Those interested in the lock box program may contact the Phoenix Fire Department’s Community Involvement Section. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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