Recapping the Seventh WHACC Round Table Discussion: Fire, Safety & the Law

Recapping the Seventh WHACC Round Table Discussion: Fire, Safety & the Law

Our seventh and final 2018 WHACC AM Learning Series Round Table discussion was held on Tuesday, October 23 and focused on Fire, Safety & the Law.

The Round Table discussion was led by Police Chief Antonio F. Stitt from The Village of Highland Hills, Captain Ty Abernathy from The Village of North RandallFire Department, Captain Michael O’Bannon  fromThe Village of North Randall Police Department, and Fire Chief Herbert Waugh from The City of Warrensville Heights.


With ever-shifting business safety precautions, it’s important to have a refresher course every once in a while. We sat down with the fire and police departments from the tri-city area to learn the latest recommendations for area businesses.


Chief Waugh explained how walkthroughs benefit both the fire department and business owners. Understanding building layouts helps them identify the safest entries and exits in case of an emergency. If you want to set up a walkthrough, you can request one from your local department.

Chief Stitt added that walkthroughs are a standard part of police training. For the tri-city area police departments, they particularly value the time they spend with business owners when there isn’t an emergency. They want to increase transparency with their procedures and keep communication steady.

Knox Boxes

Knox boxesare small, mounted boxes that stay on the outside of your building. They contain everything local fire or police departments need in case of an emergency, such as your alarm code, keys to the building, and any other pertinent information. Your area departments have one master key for all local knox boxes, so check with your police or fire chief to get an application. Knox boxes cost less than $600 and can save you from having to replace broken windows or doors if the firefighters or police officers need to get in. Captain Abernathy added that businesses receive a tax deduction for knox boxes.

Dedicated Safety Liaison

Every business needs a safety plan. Captain Abernathy recommended each business have a dedicated safety liaison who knows evacuation procedures, alarm codes, building layout, etc. to assist firefighters and police officers when an emergency situation arises.

 See Something? Say Something.

Chief Stitt emphasized the importance of calling in to the police department if something looks fishy. Oftentimes, loitering is the beginning of a larger problem, so don’t hesitate to call your local department. You’re not bothering them by doing so.

If you feel as if the situation doesn’t warrant a 911 call, you can contact the local non-emergency dispatch lines.

Warrensville Heights Fire and Police Non-Emergency: 216-581-1234

North Randall Fire Non-Emergency: 216-663-1212

North Randall Police Non-Emergency: 216-663-1234

Highland Hills Fire Non-Emergency: -216-591-1212

Highland Hills Police Non-Emergency: 216-591-1234

For emergencies, call 911 from a landline when possible. Chief Waugh recommended if you need to call from a cell phone to contact the police or fire department directly to decrease the amount of time it will take firefighters and police officers to get to your business.

A Few Other Tips

  • Do not leave your car running in your driveway to warm it up this winter. These are easy targets for car jackers.
  • Check your fire extinguisher! It might be time for an update. Also, your area fire department may offer paid training on proper fire extinguisher use for your employees. Remember to PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep).
  • Your local fire department might also offer EMS training so your employees can learn CPR.
  • If you or one of your employees has a medical condition, make sure at least one other person (or the police or fire department) knows about it. This information saves time, and for some conditions, even saving a few seconds is crucial.
  • Local departments are working on active shooter training. In the meantime, if you or one of your employees owns a gun, it’s worth letting your area police department know in the case an active shooter situation arises. If you see someone with a gun, go the other way.

 For local business safety, it’s all about forming partnerships with area fire and police departments. When we plan for emergency situations and works together to create safer communities, everyone wins.

AM Learning Series Round Tables are absolutely free and open to the public. The goals are to incorporate networking, open discussion, and include valuable content for all WHACC members as well as kick off a committee to answer questions in the future.

However, the number of attendees is limited to 20 to ensure a robust and worthwhile discussion. So be sure to register for our future round tables as soon as you see the link in your inbox! Our 2019 AM Learning Series will be announced soon.


About Matt Barker

Matt Barker is New Image Media, Inc.'s senior editor. Learn more about New Image Media at