Knox Boxes are small metal boxes that are specially designed to secure keys to buildings where emergency entry might be required when no one is present to open a door, such as after business hours during evenings and weekends.
Knox Boxes are mounted outdoors in proximity to an entrance, where first-responders can access it.
The keys to the boxes are in radio signal controlled locked boxes in each of Washington Township's emergency vehicles.
When requested, Dublin Police Emergency Dispatchers send a radio signal to the fire department vehicles which opens the box and releases the master key for use in the Knox Box.
Having the box has its advantages.
With rapid key access, entry to the building is faster than forced entry. It is also safer for the first-responder and doesn't cause property damage.
Whereas the Knox Boxes might be more common in commercial applications, they can be quite useful in residential settings.
For example, if a resident lives alone and there is a medical emergency, a Knox Box would allow rapid entry without the resident's assistance.
If a resident is away from their home for an extended period, the boxes could be useful if the fire department was called on a fire alarm, gas leak, smoke, a lightning strike, or other emergency that required the house to be checked.
If you think a Knox Box would be of value to you, call the Washington Township Fire Department non emergency number at 652-3920 and request an authorization form.
Submit the completed form with payment to: Fire Marshal, 6200 Eiterman Road, Dublin, Ohio 43016 for his signature.
The fire department will then submit your order and the box will be delivered to the address you specify on your authorization form.
Once you have the box, contact the Washington Township Fire Prevention Division to arrange for a consultation with a fire inspector about where it should be installed.
A record of its location will be added to the database first-responders can access if they ever need to enter your home when you are not available.
Washington Township Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Perkins submitted the Smoke Signals column.