The company I work for has some very intense trade secret and intellectual property in its HQ. If police, fire, medical were called and needed access to certain areas of the facility were this information was kept, can the company ask that them to sign an NDA before they leave? Is it different state to state? City to city?


3 Answers 3


Yes, you can ask but if they don’t they can come in anyway. The law gives them the right to enter in certain circumstances.

Notwithstanding, any government employee that disclosed confidential information that they got in the course of their employment could be sued and possibly prosecuted.

  • 3
    Even asking them could be construed as impeding emergency services. Feb 13, 2018 at 21:25
  • This. They effectively are under a blanket NDA mandated by law, so no need for a specific NDA.
    – sleske
    Sep 18, 2020 at 6:38
  • plus: an NDA is a contract, this NDA is without force as OP doesn't offer them any consideration.
    – Trish
    Sep 18, 2020 at 10:31
  • 1
    @Trish allowing someone to enter a premises would be good consideration. That is, if they didn’t already have the legal right.
    – Dale M
    Sep 18, 2020 at 11:07
  • Emergency services have that right, so there is no consideration.
    – Trish
    Sep 18, 2020 at 13:13

You can not realistically ask municipal emergency responders to sign an NDA before entering your facility.

However, you may be able to form your own police department, fire department, etc. - depending on laws in your jurisdiction. Then it is your department, and you can NDA the staff if you want. Negotiate with your municipality. I am sure they will be relieved to no longer be responsible for your facility.

  • "You can form your own police department" is nonsense, they are already under the jurisdiction of an existing police force, either local or national. Same with "fire department" in many jurisdictions. Making statements that are nowhere near universally correct, or even not correct at all, is misleading and unhelpful.
    – user4657
    Jan 8, 2020 at 22:04
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    @Nij There are municipal police, state police, federal police, tribal police, railroad police, university police, hospital police, church police, company police, and private police. They negotiate jurisdiction agreements. If you want the police to be bound by your NDA you need to do something like this.
    – emory
    Jan 8, 2020 at 22:24
  • 2
    The majority of those things do not exist in the jurisdiction where I live, and would be illegal if someone tried to make them. Calling them "police" wouldn't change the fact they're not, and trying to avoid the requirements for security officers would create even more legal trouble. So, again, making statements as if they're universally true is misleading and unhelpful.
    – user4657
    Jan 8, 2020 at 23:56
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    @Nij at least half of those things exist in most US states, so I guess you either don't live in the US or are unfamiliar with how police forces are organized in the US. Since OP mentions states, I suppose the context is either the US or Australia. With reference to your first comment, police jurisdiction is not exclusive. Being under the jurisdiction of one police force does not imply that no other police force can have jurisdiction.
    – phoog
    Jan 9, 2020 at 8:08
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    @phoog in the US university, hospital, and transit police, are duly constituted law enforcement agencies chartered and governed by the laws of their state, and therefore arms of the government. There are private security services but no private police forces. The private security services and fire services do not have any more powers of arrest or enforcement than you or I do. The OP's business might have a private security force or fire service, but that doesn't eliminate or forestall the jurisdiction of the local government police or emergency services. Jan 9, 2020 at 19:55

Your NDA would be without force.

To have a binding contract - and an NDA is a contract - both sides do need to get consideration - which means something of value, even a mere peppercorn. But the allowance to enter and save someone else is not consideration. Non-private Emergency services in most modern states are under protective laws that grant a blanket allowance to trespass, knock down doors and if needed even bulldoze cars out of the way so they can get places to help people, so your NDA don't even offer them anything.

On the other hand, you demanding the NDA could be seen as hindering the emergency services, which - depending on the jurisdiction - can make you liable for damages to the person already damaged (by virtue of delaying the access of the emergency service) or by virtue of breaking a specific law.

  • Can't you just pay the emergency services one dollar to sign the NDA?
    – gnasher729
    Dec 8, 2022 at 16:00
  • @gnasher729 no, because they have access rights even without the NDA they don't need to sign in the first place, and your offer of 1$ could actually constitute attempted Bribery.
    – Trish
    Dec 8, 2022 at 16:07

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