Category Archives:Store

KNOX, KNOX. Who’s There? Rapid Entry System and Why You Need One.

Ever wonder what those little boxes stuck to the side of government offices, commercial buildings, schools and many other locations are for? Those little boxes are called KNOX Boxes and provide a means for rapid access to that facility by emergency responders. Installed by the building owner and coordinated with the local fire department or emergency reponders, these boxes are designed to securely hold keys, access cards and other vital information that are critical in an emergency. Only the tenant and the local fire department can open the KNOX Box.


5 Reasons to Install a KNOX Box

Rapid Access

Eliminate barriers and allow first responders to quickly gain access to secured properties when time matters most.


Protect property, inventory, and thousands of dollars in investments from fire and water damage by providing rapid emergency access to first responders.


Eliminate costly repair from forced entry with a one-time, low-cost investment.

Low Maintenance

Boxes are built Knox-Rugged to require little maintenance and retain their operational integrity even under extreme weather conditions.


Only your local fire department or emergency responders has the authority to access your Knox products.


Items to consider for storage in your KNOX Box.

  • Facility keys, labeled for quick identification as to what key opens which door.
  • Access Cards for electronic locks.
  • Laminated list of areas of concern that responders should be aware of. Examples: Where highly flammable or hazardous materials are stored. Location of main utility shut offs.
  • Contact List for your owner, facilities manager, CEO, ect.
  • Alarm company contact information.


Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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WARNING: Parking Lots are More Dangerous Than You Think

On average, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and parking garages annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries*.

5 steps to keep your parking lot safe & compliant:

Step 1: Create Safe Intersections

Create safe intersections and reduce vehicle collisions by posting STOP signs at all unsignalized intersections. Post STOP signs, for example, in visible areas to reduce accidents at intersections in your parking lot. Available in different sizes, reflective finishes and wordings, you can single-handedly prevent accidents from happening in your lot.

Step 2: Designate Parking Areas

Comply with ADA standards by posting the correct amount of accessible parking and van accessible signs in your parking lot. Organize your parking spaces to designate reserved areas for guests and visitors, and block off parking with No Parking Signs for fire lanes and unsafe areas.

Step 3: Control Speed

The higher the speeds traveled in your parking lot, the more likely it is that serious accidents and injuries will occur. Urge individuals to drive at reduced speeds while in your parking lot. Use Speed Limit signs to remind people of lowered speed limits in your lot and take advantage of speed bumps, humps and curbs to prevent vehicles from gaining excess speed.

Step 4: Direct Traffic Flow

Visitors and employees should be able to quickly understand the designated flow of traffic throughout your parking lot. Use signs and pavement markings to identify entrances, exits, traffic flow directions and do not enter lanes.

Step 5: Design Safe Crosswalks

Increase pedestrian safety by setting up crosswalks in your lot. The most important part of designing crosswalks involves making them highly visible. Paint your crosswalks to be a minimum of six feet wide in either traditional parallel lines or a high-visibility crosswalk pattern. Regardless of your crosswalk design, be sure to call attention to it with proper Pedestrian Crossing signage.


*Source EHS Today



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations


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Commercial & Industrial Trash Compactors

Many severe injuries are caused each year by improper use of trash compactors. Injuries such as amputations, lacerations, and even fatalities have been the direct result of trash compactor misuse. It is important that management institute specific safety controls and instruct

employees as to appropriate safe practices to follow when using trash compactors.

Management controls

  1. Written safe operating rules should be reviewed with all employees who will use the compactor. Documentation of this training should be maintained in the employees’ personnel files.
  2. Appropriate safety signs for proper use of the compactor should be posted.
  3. Bilingual signs may be necessary in some geographical areas.
  4. The “Emergency Stop Buttons” should be well labeled and located in a prominent, easy to reach location. If the compactor is equipped with a loading door, the door should be interlocked with the main power switch so that the compactor will not operate when the door is in the “open” position.
  5. De-energizing and/or lockout procedures should be established and followed during maintenance and repair operations.
  6. If a loading platform is necessary, it should be substantially constructed of noncombustible materials and have a nonslip surface.
  7. The general public and untrained employees should be kept from the trash compactor room at all times.

Safe practices

  1. The compactor area of room should be kept locked at all times.
  2. The compactor operating key should never be left in the machine when unattended. Only responsible, trained employees should be given keys.
  3. The entire area (especially the floors) surrounding the compactor should be kept clear of debris and other materials at all times.
  4. Employees should never place hands and arms, or climb into the compactor.
  5. Long-handled hooks and rods should be used to clear jams. When performing such operations, the compactor should be de-energized.
  6. All point of operation guards should be kept in place at all times. If maintenance/repair operations require their removal, guards should be replaced prior to the restart of the compactor.
  7. Electrical control box doors should be kept closed and secured at all times.
  8. Never hose down the compactor when the power is on. Turn the power switch to the OFF position and remove the key prior to washing the compactor or the immediate floor area.
  9. Before compacting garbage, the interior of the bin should always be checked.
  10. Stand well back when dumping refuse into the compactor and when compacting trash. Safety glasses equipped with side shields should be worn during these operations.
  11. Before compacting, the operator should note the location of the emergency STOP button(s).Fluorescent lighting tubes or glass should not be compacted unless they are enclosed in cardboard cartons.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Forklift Startup and Shut Down. Starting and ending the day safely.

Just a quick checklist for anyone who utilizes a forklift or lift. Startups and end of the day shut downs play a key roll in injury prevention.


  • Check for obvious physical damage and fluid leaks on the floor.
  • Make sure the overhead guard, load backrest extension, seat belt and all other safety devices are attached properly.
  • Inspect tires. Make sure the forks are properly attached and locking clips are in the proper position.
  • Check the capacity plate.
  • Check the parking brake and service brake and all controls and gauges.
  • Make sure hood latches are adjusted and fastened.
  • Check fluid levels.
  • Listen for unusual noises.
  • A maintenance department tag means: Do not operate the forklift. Do not try to repair the forklift yourself. Leave the tag on the forklift and see your supervisor.


  • Return your forklift to the proper area.
  • Put the directional lever in neutral.
  • Set the parking brake.
  • Completely lower the forks.
  • Put the mast in full vertical position.
  • Turn off the forklift.
  • Take the key and return it to its proper place.


Your forklift is your responsibility until it is returned to its place at the end of your shift.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Ensure Your Signs are ADA Compliant

You’ve seen them in just about every business environment and they are most likely your directional facilities signs to help the customer find restrooms, services, and exits. But are you ADA compliant? If they aren’t, you could be subject to sizeable fines. But just how big of a fine? As of March 2014, the potential fine for a first-time ADA violation increased to a maximum of $75,000!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that has been in place since 1990. This law protects disabled individuals from discrimination within all spaces accessible to the public. As of March 2011, compliance is now required and enforceable by federal law.

The ADA guidelines have specific parameters for signage products.

Listed below is a brief summary of some of the principal areas that the ADA regulates.

Character Properties + Braille Dots

  • Raised characters must be uppercase, sans serif and free of oblique, script or italic characters.
  • Raised characters shall be raised a minimum of 1/32 inch from their background.
  • Raised characters heights shall be between 5/8 inch and 2 inches.

They must be accompanied by Grade 2 Braille dots and positioned directly below the corresponding text. Braille must be separated a minimum of 3/8 inch from raised text and other raised objects. Braille dots are to be domed or rounded, not flat or squared.

Overhead and projection mounted signs do not require raised characters or Braille dots, but the characters should be designed to meet their required viewing distance.

  • Overhead signs should have a minimum of 2-inch character height.
  • Upper and lower case characters are permissible on overhead and projected mounted signs.

Finish + Contrast

  • Characters and their background must have a non-glare finish.
  • Characters must contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Pictograms + Placement

  • Pictograms must be placed in a 6-inch high “field” area, which should be free of raised characters or Braille dots.
  • When text and braille dots are used with a pictogram, they should be placed directly below the pictogram field.
  • Like the characters on a sign, pictograms should have a non-glare finish and contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Mounting Heights + Positioning

  • Signs with raised characters should be mounted on the latch side of the door.
  • The distance between the finished floor and the baseline of the raised characters must be between 60 inches (from the highest tactile character) and 48 inches (from the lowest tactile character).
  • The sign should be located so that a clear floor space (18 x 18-inch minimum, centered on the tactile characters) is provided beyond the arc of the door. See diagram below.
  • Overhead signs must have a minimum clearance of 80 inches from the bottom of the sign to the finished floor.
  • If a projection mounted sign extends more than 4 inches from the wall, it must also have an 80-inch clearance from the bottom of the sign to the finished floor.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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