Knox Boxes are miniature steel vaults that allow residents and businesses to store keys that can be retrieved by emergency personnel to obtain access to homes and commercial properties. The Knox Company is the specific vendor chosen by Worthington Fire & EMS to supply these key vaults in our fire protection district. The use of a "sole provider" is critical for fire departments to eliminate having to carry keys on each truck for every different vault manufacturer. With this system, every Knox Box that is purchased comes manufactured to only work with the unique master key provided to the jurisdictional fire department. In fact, the company will not even allow the resident or business owner to obtain a master key, since it would allow them to access every vault in their town.
The advantage to using a device of this kind is it allows the fire department to rapidly make entry into a locked structure without the need to perform what is known as "forcible entry". As the phrase implies, this normally means using hand or power tools to break and/or bend a door or window. Thus the high up-front cost of the vault and its installation can easily be justified by the savings from lack of damage at one incident.
The vaults are very secure, especially when installed in a recessed fashion so only the outer access door is visible. Even those that are installed "proud" of the mounting surface, when screwed into a secure anchor point, are difficult to remove without power tools. And even if that occurs, your building locks remain inaccessible until the thieves are able to figure out how to get through the thick steel of the box itself.
All buildings with Knox Boxes are logged in a master database at the emergency 9-1-1 center and in our own building software that feeds into the emergency vehicle computers.
If you would like more information, please visit the manufacturer's website at https://www.knoxbox.com/Products. You will be prompted to enter your fire department name so you are aware of the boxes permitted in Worthington. (Make sure to choose the "Worthington City" and not "Worthington Township", as the autocomplete feature will prompt both names for Ohio.)