The Knox BoxSaving countless man hours and untold amounts of damage to doors, windows, buildings
Fire Department Rapid Entry System
As part of the Fire Prevention Division, the Miami Valley Fire District has implemented a program and Standard Operating Policy regarding the use of all rapid entry system components. This program is designed to allow for a “rapid entry” of fire department staff into structures or businesses during an emergency. We reiterate, your business would only be entered in the event of an emergency. Through the use of this rapid entry system, the fire service has taken an active role in minimizing damage caused to buildings due to the nature of our business. The advantages of this system are multifold. There is no longer a need to break glass, force doors or windows and destroy locks while trying to investigate and determine if an emergency exists. We simply access the rapid entry box mounted at or near the front of your business or structure, retrieve the key to your specific location and enter to investigate. When the nature of the problem has been mitigated, the key is returned to the rapid entry box and re-secured. The incident commander will then complete a form detailing the incident and the need to access your facility if contact with the business owner does not occur. A copy will be provided for your review and will provide contact information should you have questions. This information is also included in the fire department contact information section of this publication. For our program, we chose a model manufactured by the Knox Company, a proven leader in rapid entry products for over 30 years to supply the system. In their 30+ years of operation they have never had a box successfully opened without a key. Members of our fire department were skeptical when we chose to go this direction and challenged the company on their stance. One of our highly trained and tactically proficient fire lieutenants claimed he would be able to gain access to the box without the use of a key. After using every technique and tool in our arsenal, he waived the white flag and surrendered. That very box hangs inside his fire station as a reminder of how strong and secure this system really is. As a function of the Fire Prevention Division, during the development phase of any construction or development project, a plan review is completed by trained members of the fire department. During this phase, information is provided to the contractor or business owner on the styles of rapid entry boxes that are available for use. There are two styles of boxes to choose from depending on preference and application, and are included later in this publication for your review. With the combining of the two organizations into one, the need to standardize many of our operations is needed. Some business owners may have an existing “Supra Box” which is simply another manufacturer and style. The key inside is current and the box functions similar to the Knox Companies product.
Business Rapid Entry Unit Model #3275, is a recessed style (picture on right) of rapid entry box which is inserted into the wall during the construction phase. The only section or piece of the box that extends out of the wall is the actual faceplate of the unit. Model #3264, is a surface mount style (pictured on left) of rapid entry box. The box has four mounting holes pre-drilled to the back of the box to allow for secure mounting to any surface. Surface mounting enables the box to extend approximately four inches out from the surface of the wall. These boxes are available in several colors. Historically, business owners choose the standard black version. However, brown and aluminum are also available for an additional charge if desired. The desired location for the business rapid entry box is generally at or near the front of the structure. An alternative location may be authorized following approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and after consultation with the Fire Marshal. The desired location for the business rapid entry box is generally at or near the front of the structure. An alternative location may be authorized following approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and after consultation with the Fire Marshal.
Fire Department Master Key Retention Unit
The security of our system is paramount. This was a major concern in the decision to go with the Knox Company and their Rapid Entry system. As stated earlier, there has never been a time when their devices have been opened by someone without a key. This key system is secure and the keys cannot be duplicated. For additional security, the Miami Valley Fire District chose to use the Knox Box, Key Secure Master key Retention device. This device is used to house the master key for all Knox Box units within our jurisdiction. The device is keypad controlled and securely mounted within our apparatus. Firefighters must enter their individual access code to remove the master key. Additional security options include a blue strobe light which illuminates the moment the key is removed. This blue strobe light continues to flash until the master key has been returned to the unit and locked in place. The unit is also equipped with a 4-pin miniature USB connector. The unit is programmed and controlled by a PC-based administration software for configuration and audit trail collection of data. The administration software allows the system administrator to view all activity events which includes a time and date stamp and a user and/or group ID. It also records the date and time if the faceplate is removed even if the unit is disabled.
The Ohio Fire Code
The Ohio Fire Code provides documentation for the requirement of this style of device. The language has been provided for review. The Ohio Fire Code, Rule 5 (Fire Service Features), Section F (506) – Key Boxes 506.1 Where Required. When access to or within a structure or an area is restricted because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for lifesaving or firefighting purposes, the fire code official is authorized to require a key box to be installed in an approved location. This key box shall be of an approved type and shall contain keys to gain necessary access as required by the fire code official. 506.1.1 Locks. An approved lock shall be installed on gate or similar barriers when required by the fire code official. 506.1.2 Key Box Maintenance. The operator of the building shall immediately notify the fire code official and provide the new key when a lock is changed or rekeyed. The key to such lock shall be secured in the key box. Purchasing/Ordering of Knox-Box Rapid Entry Units A rapid entry key box may be purchased, using a form provided in this packet or by using the online service. If the business owner chooses to order via the included form, you will simply need to complete the form in its entirety and send it to the listed address. Should you choose to purchase the box online, simply go to www.knoxbox.com. You will need to include a zip code during the application process. Please use the zip code of 45342 and select the Miami Valley Fire District, 2710 Lyons Road, Miamisburg, Ohio from the list. The box will arrive at your location with mounting instructions. You may also contact the fire prevention division of the Miami Valley Fire District for assistance. We will be able to provide a list of contractors who have experience installing these types of boxes/products. Once the box has been installed, please contact the fire district. At that time a representative will respond to perform an inspection and if ready, secure the business access cards and/or keys into the new box.