The Balzheim Volunteer Fire Brigade is a volunteer fire brigade in the Alb-Donau district in Baden-Württemberg. Currently, 34 active firefighters, 16 youth firefighters and 14 senior firefighters work every day to protect and ensure the safety of almost 2,100 residents of the municipality of Balzheim.
The Balzheim fire brigade manages its important vehicle and master keys for the municipality through an electronic key management system. Thanks to system integration, the key cabinet is completely controlled by the fire brigade’s central alarm system.
The Balzheim volunteer fire brigade took the move to a new fire station as an opportunity to introduce an electronic system for managing its keys. Equipped with the latest technologies, it was intended to complement the excellent working and operational conditions of the new fire station.
Before the move, the fire brigade‘s key management was concentrated on two points: object and master keys were kept in the driver‘s cabs of the vehicles, while master keys were handed over to the commander‘s care. In the absence of other options, the commander had to take out private key insurance to ensure the protection of the community master keys.
Accordingly, the new key management system was to ensure the central administration and security of all keys. Here, the presence of an emergency battery was crucial, so that the fire brigade‘s operational readiness would not be jeopardised even in the event of power failures.
An electronic key cabinet from ecos was able to meet the fire brigade‘s requirements with its emergency mode and built-in emergency battery. Vehicle keys, master keys and building keys are now monitored in it.
A special advantage for the fire brigade is the connection of the key cabinet to the central alarm control of the building. This technical refinement of the new fire station triggers a full alarm mode when an incoming call comes in, which makes important emergency arrangements. All the lights in the building are switched on and all the necessary equipment is unlocked and released for use.
Since the keys are now stored centrally in the electronic key cabinet instead of in the vehicles, it was important that the building‘s alarm control system could also access the system and the keys contained inside.
By connecting the electronic key cabinet to the alarm system, the otherwise blue illumination of the cabinet is now automatically changed to the red insert colour when an alarm is received. At the same time, the incoming signal from the building opens the key cabinet remotely and releases all the keys inside.
In the event of an emergency, the emergency services can thus quickly access all the keys they need without having to authenticate themselves individually via RFID chip on the system beforehand. This integration saves valuable time in the field.
The electronic key management system from ecos was the only one on the market that could realise the link to the alarm control of the fire brigade building. The guarantee of emergency power supply was also a decisive point for the fire brigade to ensure complete operational readiness even in the event of a power failure.
Commander Florian Rechtsteiner recommends the electronic key cabinet „to every fire brigade because simply the keys that are possessed are monitored electronically.“ In this way, even in the event of insurance or loss, it is possible to trace exactly which person last removed the key.