LOCKED GATE ENTRY (KNOX)
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.
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 Fire 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 the Fire District.
The Knox Company was selected for several reasons. Their 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 Geyserville Fire Protection 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 Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District, we chose the Knox Entry system.
WHO IS REQUIRED TO INSTALL THE KNOX BOX?
Owners of any structure which contains a fire alarm that uses an automatic dialer to notify the Fire Department, or contains an automatic fire suppression system, or a multi-family residential structure, which includes senior apartments/ condo complexes that have restricted access to the living units. It also includes Commercial and industrial buildings identified by Fire Officials as difficult to access during emergencies.
It does not require that the owner place keys to individual living units in the Knox Box, but this is allowed at the owner's discretion. It also does not require that a structure having on-site 24 hour security personnel utilize the system.
DOES GEYSERVILLE FIRE 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 cost of a Knox Box is about $215, plus freight. This product is adequate for most key only installations, but The Knox Company has many other products to choose from.
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, between five and seven 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 some 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 Fire 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.
WHAT KEYS NEED TO BE INSTALLED IN MY KNOX BOX?
The Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District can assist you with that information. Keys required will vary from one business to another. Usually 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 DO I ORDER A KNOX BOX?
It is very simple. Visit Knox Box online and purchase with a credit card. Please note that the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District will not show up as a listed agency. Sonoma County Department of Emergency Service is the agency you choose. Please see our Knox Box Odering bulletin for additional information.