The dangers of a gated community - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The dangers of a gated community

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November 7, 2002

Albany - In the case of an emergency, we all know to dial 911. But if you live in a gated community, it may take longer for help to get to you.

You wake up to the sounds of someone breaking into your house. You immediately call 911, knowing help is now on the way. But, the security gate built to keep intruders out is now stopping emergency crews from reaching you.

"They can be an obstacle," said Assistant Fire Chief James Carswell. With more neighborhoods installing security gates, emergency crews have had to overcome this challenge.

"Emergency crews can use a universal code on most gates, allowing us access to these communities," said Charles Callahan, 911 Communications. "If the universal doesn't work, the sound of an emergency siren should open the gate."

"The sirens on our fire trucks work on most systems. If the sound doesn't open the gate, we can use the universal code. And if we have to, we will physically remove the gate," said Carswell.

Firefighters plan ahead for challenges such as gates. They learn the obstacles they may face for each house. "We are constantly surveying the neighborhoods, to make sure we can easily access houses or apartments."

Carswell promises if you're in danger, emergency crews will do whatever it takes to get to you. When you move to a new house or apartment, you should call the 911 communication office and tell them your correct address and gate code.

Posted at 4:02 PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com