What is the Knox Rapid Entry System?
The Knox Rapid Entry system is a secure emergency access program developed for property owners and fire departments. When a fire breaks out, or there is any emergency, the Knox Box Rapid Entry System allows firefighters and paramedics immediate entry into buildings and property without forced entry damage or delay. Property owners store keys, access cards, gate keys, etc. in high security Knox-Boxes mounted near building entrances. Each Knox-Box purchased by a property owner is keyed to a master key controlled by the Fire Department.
In addition to key boxes and vaults, Knox Padlocks and key switches operate the same master key. This allows fire department access to gated communities and storage areas using the same Master key
How does the Knox Rapid Entry System benefit property owners?
When an emergency occurs, the Knox Rapid Entry System will allow the Fire Department to spend less time and fewer resources gaining access to your building. This faster access will result in a more rapid control of the emergency situation. This could mean faster fire control or more rapid shut off of a sprinkler system, resulting in less water damage.
In addition, the Knox Rapid Entry System allows fire department access without damage to the building. Without this system, the fire department will gain access by forcible entry. This generally results in damage to doors or windows and their associated facings. After forcible entry, it is generally difficult to secure a building again after the emergency has been controlled. Repairs made after a s single forcible entry will likely pay for the purchase and installation of a Knox-Box.
With the Knox-Box Rapid Entry System, property owners save in two ways; first, with more rapid control of emergencies and second, with less damage caused by fire department entry.
What about Master Key security?
As one should know, security of the Fire Department master key is a major concern. Anyone with access to this key can have access to your building. The Kimberton Fire Department has chosen the Knox Master Key Retention system to help insure security of the Master Keys. Master keys are kept only in emergency apparatus. In each emergency apparatus the key is secure in a Knox Master Key Retention device. The key can only be released when a Kimberton Fire Department Officer requests a release of the key through the County 911 Fire Dispatcher.. The Fire Department Officer can then complete what task is needed and replace the Master Key in the emergency apparatus. The apparatus that the key was removed from will have a recorded encrypted log of who removed the key and what time it was removed and replaced. The County then records this data until the key has been placed back in the retention device. This will make sure that the key is replaced prior to the movement of the vehicle. This system allows the maximum security available for these master keys.
Why is the Knox Rapid Entry System required?
Don’t other companies make similar products?
Other companies do make similar products. However, any system adopted by a Fire Department must be compatible from one installation to another. Only one master key will be carried on the fire apparatus. This key must operate all lock boxes in the district. To maintain master key security, all companies in this business carefully guard the master key codes. They will not release this information to any other manufacturer or supplier. These security concerns require that one supplier be selected for all installations in our district.
The Knox Company was selected for several reasons. There system has proven reliable in thousands of cities across the nation. They have a variety of products that meet rapid entry and access needs. However the primary reason the Knox Company was selected for the Kimberton Fire Department was Key security. No other company makes a product similar to the Knox Master Key Retention system. Because we were not willing to compromise the reputation of the Kimberton Fire Department, we chose the Knox Entry system.
Who is required to install the Knox Box?
Local ordinances requires the Owners of any commercial structure which contains a fire alarm that uses an automatic dialer to notify the Fire Department, or contains an automatic fire suppression system, and select retirement communities. It also includes Commercial and industrial buildings identified by Fire Officials as difficult to access during emergencies.
It does not require that the owners of single family homes place keys to individual living units in the Knox Box, but this is allowed at the owner’s discretion. Many homeowners chose to have a Knox Box opposed to risking forcible entry damage when they are not home. It also does not require that a structure having on-site 24 hour security personnel utilize the system.
Does the Fire Department make any money off the sales of the Knox Box?
No. The Fire Department has absolutely no financial interest in the sales of the Knox Company. The only purposes in requiring the Key Lock System is to improve Fire Department Access in emergency situations and to reduce property damage caused by forcible entry.
How much does a Knox box cost?
Currently, the 2014 cost of a Knox Box is $175 for Residential, and $275 for a Commercial. These products are adequate for most key only installations. For your convenience, A Knox box may be purchased at the fire station or ordered from the company. Order forms must be obtained from the Fire Station.
Where should my Knox box be mounted?
Key boxes should be mounted near the main entry door to your building. The Fire Department recommends that the box be mounted on the right hand side of the door, no higher than five feet above the ground. We also realize that this may not be possible in all applications, so we would recommend calling the Fire Department for advice in most situations.
How do I lock my keys in the Knox Box? I did not receive a key?
Property owners do not receive keys that will open their Knox Box. Any key that will open your Knox Box will also open other Knox Boxes in the district. For that reason, only the Fire Department has the master key. When your box is mounted and ready to install keys, call the non emergency number at the Fire Department and advise them that you are ready to place keys in your box. An officer from the Fire department will come and place the keys securely in your box. We will also complete a form with your emergency information on it. This can/will be used when we enter your premises for an emergency or alarm.
What keys need to be installed in my Knox Box?
The Kimberton Fire Department can assist you with that information. Keys required will vary from one business to another. The Ordinance lists keys for the exterior doors, and all interior doors which control access to shared systems such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), Sprinkler systems, Alarm and electrical panels.
How well built is a Knox Box?
Knox-Boxes are constructed of ¼" solid steel with a ½" steel door and reinforced locking mechanism. They are UL listed against physical attack and Medeco security lock is patented and UL listed for drill, pick and pull resistance.
What do I need to do to get an application?
The Kimberton Fire station is where you can find an application. They can assist you with the application and have sample boxes to look at or purchase. After mounting the Knox Box in the appropriate location just call the fire department and they will come out and lock your keys in the Knox Box.
Samples of various types of Knox Boxes & Padlocks