Phoenix Fire Department loses 850 keys for businesses

PHOENIX - The Phoenix Fire Department can't account for hundreds of keys for lock boxes that allow firefighters to enter thousands of businesses and other locations when they're closed to battle blazes.

Deputy Chief David Carter on Monday blamed poor record keeping over the past 15 years for the missing 850 keys but said there's no indication they have been used for criminal purposes.

“It’s a system that obviously as we go through the years we look at, and it needs some changing,” said Captain Nunez.

The Fire Department keeps the keys in engines and other vehicles and gives them to certain personnel so they don't have to break into a building to gain entry.

“There is money in the budget to replace those nine thousand locks, so there’s no extra added money coming from anywhere else," he said.

Carter says the department will replace the mechanisms of the 9,000 lock boxes at establishments using the system in Phoenix. A department spokeswoman says Phoenix set aside $50,000 for the work.

“There has not been any actual information whatsoever on any actual stolen keys, buildings being broken into using these keys. It’s just an oversight, so we're working on it," he said.

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