Chesterton Tribune

CFD urges folks to keep house key in Knox box in case of emergency

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A couple of weeks ago, Chesterton firefighters and police officers responding to a 911 call believed to have been made from an apartment on South Calumet Road roughed up the door a bit trying to access the building.

Turns out, the apartment was not only empty but vacant—the cell provider gave the 911 Dispatch Center the wrong number—but the damage was done.

A “Knox box” could have made everybody’s life easier, CFD Deputy Chief John Jarka says.

A Knox box is a highly secure steel box located outside a residence or business in which you keep a door key for use exclusively by firefighters in an emergency. The box can be securely fixed to a door or the exterior of the building and the manufacturer “would never make a key for another jurisdiction,” Jarka says.

The box can also be used to store pertinent medical information about a resident or, in the case of a business, about hazardous materials on site.

To date, Jarka says, four residents have Knox boxes in place on their homes and about 20 businesses, but under Town Code all new commercial construction must include one.

Knox boxes come in a wide range of sizes and begin at $95 for residential models and $200 to $300 for commercial ones.

The CFD has a catalogue for viewing and order forms available, Jarka says. For more information, call the CFD at 926-7162.


Posted 7/27/2012