Thread: Knox Boxes

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    Default Knox Boxes

    I am a member of an all volunteer dept. We have a college campus in town, and due to the fact that we run several false alarms there, we recently formed a commitee to help with communicating with the campus administration and security. I recently was appointed as chairman of this commitee, and one of my first projects is getting the college to buy and install knox boxes on all of their facilities, especially residence halls.
    We have the knox system in place in town. When the dept. first received knox boxes, they put the key retention system and a lock box in our first due engine. This worked for a while, until the keys started adding up, and now, it is a conglomeration(spelling?)
    The newer buildings on campus are also keyed different than any of the other, older buildings, which all have the same master key.
    The idea of KNOX was brought up at a tour of one of their new buildings, and the head of security said he would check on it.
    A friend of mine saw him in a fast food place about 3 weeks later and asked if he had talked to admin about KNOX, and he told my friend that it would never happen.
    We are in the process of putting an ordinance in for city buildings of a certain size to have knox, but the city inspector, also a fireman, says that the city has no jurisdiction over the college due to the fact that it is state owned. I am putting together info, like pricing, advantages, and so forth, to present to the college people on our commitee, but I would like some input from you guys. Any suggestions on how to help convince them that they are a good thing, and i would prefer to do it without having to demonstrate what a forced door would cost compared to a KNOX box, even though i wouldnt mind just seeing the look on the faces of the administrators as they look at the mess of a door we leave, and the price to replace it afterwards. The shock factor alone would be well worth it.
    Last edited by Svfman; 04-06-2004 at 01:32 PM.

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    Are the building sprinklered? do they have alarms (obviously yes!)? do they have elevators?

    If any of those 3 criteria are met in my town our ordinance states that you will be required to have a knox box regardless of the occupancy (govt, religious, education, healthcare)

    It was added to the code for new contruction to get a certif. of occupancy and when it was implemented existing businesses were give 6 months to comply.

    I half understand the resistance on behalf of the college with sex assualts, etc on the rise, they are leary about making keys potentially available (expecially to dormitories). We had a similar problem with 2 daycare centers but we were able to convince them the keys were safe in a dispatcher controlled key box in the apparatus and that all access to the key could only be given by the dispatcher and ALL access was logged.

    Hope that helps a little bit!

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    We don't have any dorms so our situation is a bit different. In our fire prevention ordinance it states that if they have a required system (by another ordinance) they must instal a key box, (new boxes are knox now but also have SUPRA and another older brand).
    Try having the key for common areas only in the KNOX box, they may go for that, it is easy to make entry into the fire unit.

    If they won't go for that have them get into a contractual agreement with the college, that security WILL be there for every alarm to open up.
    Then keep track of all the times you have to sit, and revisit the issue later.

    I still think the passing of an ordinance will be best.

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    Thumbs up

    -Provides immediate emergency entry
    -Prevents costly forced entry damage
    -Re-secures undamaged doors after emergency
    -Allows faster fire sprinkler shut-off
    -Protects inventory, equipment and supplies
    -Protects firefighters against injury
    -Increases fire department efficiency
    ummmmm....
    I would write them up a scenario where a KNOX BOX would save money by providing easy access to emergency responders. You could get estimates from a contractor on what it would cost to replace the damages caused by areas of the facility not having instant access for first responders. Hope this helps.

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    The next meeting we have, i plan on showing how the system works, such as having dispatch tone out the retention box, and opening our lock box.
    Also, my buddy has been the one who the hospital and other places contact if they need to put different keys in their knox box, and if they need to move it etc. Well, whenever they call him to have one installed, he has them put it eight feet up the wall. I asked why, and he said to keep vandals away from the box. Does anyone else do this? I think its kind of ridiculous to have to get a ladder just to get to the box, especially for the people that are vertically challenged, I am not one of them, but still grabbing a key out of a box eight feet in the air doesn't exactly make the keys easily accessable. Anyways, thanks for your posts, and any input is greatly appreciated.

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    If you look on the Knox Box web site, they have most of the infomation you'll need. Included are sample ordinaces, powerpoint presentations, etc.

    I also recomend looking at your state building code. Here, in New York State, Knox systems (or equivalent) are required on all commercial buildings (new construction).

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    They will come around once you force a few doors and they see what the cost of repairs will be each time you have to force a door.

    We had the same situation in my community. One of the business owners in a strip mall absolutey refused to place a key in the knox box for his store. Each store was sold as "business condo", and they had one large Knox keysafe for the complex.

    Well, the inevitable happened... a fire alarm activation in his store. There was a haze of smoke showing inside the store, visible through the plate glass windows and the glass door. It was with great joy that my crew took out the glass in the door to gain entry. The smoke condition was caused by a toaster oven that was left on in the breakroom. Someone had placed a slice of pizza (at least we think it was pizza ) in the oven to it warm up. The store closed for the evening and the "pizza" was forgotten.

    The story in a nutshell...

    A key for the knox box: $3
    The cost of replacing a glass entry door: $600
    The look on firefighters faces when they get to break something: Priceless!

    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    An alternative to requiring Knox Boxes (seeing as you have no jurisdiction) is to allow them to form their own fire department.

    Just food for thought.
    ullrichk
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    CapGonzo, we had a similar situation with a local restaurant, but with repeated alarm malfunctions. After replacing the front door 3 times in 3 days(boy forcing that door was fun..lol)two things happened.They fixed the alarm system and they got a Knox Box. Sometimes you have to hit them in the wallets for them to do the right thing.

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    We've also convinced some business owners to install them after we gained access "the hard way" a time or two. Our ordinance requires them on new construction, but we pressure existing business owners to install them. They normally agree shortly after they have an alarm. Even if conditions don't warrant our breaking in, after we call them at home at 2:00 some January morning to come down and let us in, they're usually more apt to agree.

    As far as their reluctance to provide keys for security reasons, you can get lock boxes with "tamper switches" in them. Hook the switch up to the alarm system- preferably the security alarm- then the simple act of opening the box sets off the alarm. That way, there's no chance that someone will get into lock box and be able to sneak into any buildings.
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    They will come around once you force a few doors and they see what the cost of repairs will be each time you have to force a door.
    ........
    A key for the knox box: $3
    The cost of replacing a glass entry door: $600
    The look on firefighters faces when they get to break something: Priceless!
    Oh yes! You took the words out of my mouth!
    We do not have widespread use of Knox boxes in our jurisdiction- Many times on a cold, frosty night we have patiently waited by the front door of an auto alarm "nothing showing" waiting for the effing keyholder to show up!

    I suppose it's good PR not to go breaking doors, but then again these people with flaky alarm systems never seem to learn.

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    I also recomend looking at your state building code. Here, in New York State, Knox systems (or equivalent) are required on all commercial buildings (new construction).
    SFDchief : I'm assuming that's the new NYS building code. Do you a section / paragraph # on that. It would sure come in handy
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    Originally posted by JJBat150


    SFDchief : I'm assuming that's the new NYS building code. Do you a section / paragraph # on that. It would sure come in handy
    Yes, that is the NYS Building code for all new commercial structures. It was added to the code in Jan. '03.

    I don't have the section handy. I will try to get it for you.

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