Rapid Access System
The La Porte Fire Department is registered with the Knox Company to participate in the rapid entry system, providing safe and secure nondestructive emergency access to commercial and residential properties. A locked box or Knox box used for securely storing the keys to a gate, building or rooms within a building. Appropriate fire and fire prevention apparatus are equipped with locking units that are accessed by an individual pin code. Participation minimizes potential budget impacts caused by forcible entry during an emergency and allows a building to be re-secured quickly and easily by the fire department.
Property owners can order Knox-keyed devices and ensure that they are installed securely in a manner and location approved by the Department, in accordance with local building codes and ordinances. Property owners can order through the Knox box websiteDepending on the type of business or property will determine what type of Knox box is needed to be purchased, commercial or residential.
Knox-Boxes should be installed near the main entrance to the building at a height not to exceed six feet. This height has proven ideal as it enables members to access the Knox-Box quickly without deploying a ladder, yet is high enough to discourage tampering. Consideration is given to places such as warehouses, industrial districts, larger property, etc. where gate area mounting may be a better fit. The reflective alert decal included with each Knox-Box should be mounted on the door or door frame adjacent to the Knox-Box. It is intended to alert fire companies of the presence of a Knox-Box.
Knox-Boxes are shipped to the property owner in the open position. After the box has been installed, the property owner must contact the La Porte Fire Department to request a lock-up of the box. Fire Department staff will assist the property owner in arranging for a lock-up. All keys should be tagged and ready for placement in the Knox-Box upon the arrival of the Fire Department staff.
Every access key placed in a Knox-Box shall be identified with a sturdy key tag. Each set of keys shall be grouped together on a key ring. Tags and key rings may be purchased from the Knox Company at the time the Knox-Box is ordered. The keys being installed will be at the discretion of the property owner but should be selected based on the access needs of emergency responders. Keys typically installed in a Knox-Box include:
- Main entrance
- Grand master
- Elevator control
- Mechanical room
- Electrical room
- Roof access
- Fire alarm panel
- Other secured areas deemed appropriate by the owner and/or the Department