Columbia Borough Fire Department
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Offering Peace of Mind for the Community and Firefighters
Knox-Box Fire Department Emergency Access to your home or business
The mission of the Columbia Borough Fire Department shall be to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of the Borough of Columbia and neighboring communities from fire and other related emergencies or natural disasters. This public safety goal shall be achieved by providing professionally trained personnel educated in the areas of fire prevention, suppression, and tactical operations from the adverse effects of fire and rescue situations, or exposure to other hazardous conditions.
Our firefighters live our mission every day by participating in hundreds of hours of training annually.
One major issue as a first responder we face daily is gaining access to buildings, residences and dwellings to investigate reports of fires and emergencies. When we arrive, the time it takes to access a building is critical. In order to access buildings quickly, minimize damage from forcing a door or window and protect firefighters from injury, the Columbia Borough Fire Department encourages the use of the Knox-Box Rapid Entry System.
Reasons to Install a Knox-Box Unlocking System
- Eliminates needless, costly forced entry damage that may not be covered by your insurance deductible.
- Assure immediate building entry by firefighters without delay of waiting for building keys.
- Reduce liability for lost keys.
- Protect inventory, equipment and supplies from unnecessary water damage caused by delayed sprinkler shut-off.
- Satisfy local fire codes and emergency access ordinances.
- Save time and aggravation by not having to drive to your building at odd hours.
- Feel secure about emergency coverage when your building is left unattended.
- The fire department holds the only key to the Knox-Box at your location.
- Maintain building security after a fire alarm investigation by simply re-locking the undamaged door.
- Protect your property from thousands of dollars in damage with this one-time relatively low cost investment.
- Depend on the highest lock box security technology available with attack resistant, UL tested reliability.
- Over the past 25 years, Knox-Box has been the chosen solution in 7,500 communities nationwide communities just like ours!
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A KNOX BOX SYSTEM?
It's a high-security key box system, designed to give firefighters and emergency services immediate access to locked buildings, elevators, and other secured areas. Knox Boxes are a steel weather proof box with a reinforced locking mechanism which are mounted on the exterior of the building in discreet location. The boxes will then contain important keys to make entry into the building if the fire department is called to that location.
THE BOXES ARE UL LISTED AGAINST PHYSICAL ATTACK AND THE MEDECO SECURITY LOCK IS PATENTED AND UL LISTED AGAINST ENTRY ATTEMPTS SUCH AS DRILL, PICK OR PULL RESISTENCE.
The master key to open the box is carried in an electronically secured similar box on all Columbia Borough fire apparatus. The key cannot be reproduced and access to the key can only be gained by an electronic radio transmission from Lancaster County Wide Communciations.
WHY INSTALL A KNOX BOX?
Installation of a Knox Box on your property will not only allow firefighters faster access in case of an emergency, but will also prevent expensive forcible entry should emergency services be required while the premises are unoccupied. Costly front doors and entry ways need not be harmed if entry keys are available on-site.
HOW IS A KNOX BOX INSTALLED?
Each Knox Box is shipped with complete mounting instructions; however, the Columbia No. 1 Fire Department will assist you in choosing a proper location for mounting. It is highly recommended that Knox Boxes are mounted no higher than 5 feet from the ground and near the main entrance. After installation is completed, contact the Columbia No. 1 Fire Department (717)684-5100 to conduct an inspection of the installation and lock building keys inside the box. As soon as building keys are locked inside the box, it is ready to provide immediate access to emergency personnel 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
HOW DOES THE KNOX BOX SYSTEM WORK?
Following your purchase of a Knox Box from the factory, you will mount it securely on the exterior of you building (attractive recessed-mount models are available). All necessary access keys will be locked inside by a representative of the fire department (only the fire department's master key can open this box).
The Knox Box gives the fire department a simple alternative to expensive, time-consuming forcible entry. The generous interior capacity allows you to store everything emergency personnel may require-keys, floor plans, electronic entry cards, emergency contact names and numbers, and more - in complete security until needed.
During the early morning hours your building alarm system transmits a signal to your alarm monitoring company, who in-turn contact Lancaster County 911 and the Columbia Borough Fire Department is immediately dispatched to your alarmed location. The Columbia Borough Fire Department arrives a short time later and conducts an initial size-up of your location. Officers on the scene determine that an entry is warranted. If a Knox-Box system is in place at your business or home a signal is transmitted to a box mounted in the fire apparatus and it releases a key that opens the Knox Box at your location. The key inside your Knox Box is used to unlock your protected location. The police department is notified to respond. A brief interior inspection is conducted and no problems found. Firefighters simply lock up the building when leaving and return the entry key to the Knox-Box. Fire department officers then radio Lancaster County Wide Communications that no fire was found, and then leave the scene doing no damage. If the Knox-Box system was not in place windows may be broken or doors forced. This causes owners to repair the damage and for a time this location will not be as secure as it might otherwise be. You can see that with just one use the Knox-Box system could pay for its self in dollars and peace of mind.
HOW SECURE IS A KNOX BOX SYSTEM?
Security has always been a Knox strong point. Designed for maximum protection, each virtually indestructible box features a special high-security Medeco lock and key. This Medeco restricted locking system guards against unauthorized key duplication. Keys aren't even available to locksmiths or lock distributors - only The Knox Company can supply these keys!
Our system offers maximum security at every step. Each city has an exclusive key code. All Knox Box stations in that city are keyed alike - and only the Fire Department has master keys. In Columbia Borough, master keys are secured on our apparatus and are released via 911 emergency dispatches.
The KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System was specifically developed for the fire department. With one master key, you can gain access to commercial and residential property. More than 11,500 departments nationwide use Knox® key boxes, vaults, Haz-Mat cabinets, key switches, locking FDC caps, and padlocks.
With one master key, you can gain access to commercial and residential property. More than 11,500 departments in North America use Knox® products. The Knox System includes UL listed lock boxes, storage cabinets, heavy-duty padlocks and electronic override key switches. Complimentary products include the Sentralok® and KeySecure® Master Key Retention Systems. The system has grown to include locking FDC plugs and caps providing protection to the intake and discharge sides of water-based fire protection systems. With the new Knox MedVault Drug Locker, narcotic access can be controlled and audited.
Many of these departments use Sentralok® or KeySecure®, master key security systems, to control the Knox Master Key. These Master Key Retention units provide accountability with an audit trail giving the date, time and user ID for each key release. Knox also offers an optional Remote Administration program for these units.
Property owners in your community store entrance keys, access cards and floor plans in high-security Knox-Box® key boxes mounted near their building entrances. Each Knox-Box purchased by the property owner is keyed to a single master key controlled by your department. With the Knox System, there is no cost to the fire department, no waiting for a property owner to unlock the door in the middle of the night, and no forcing the door open to gain entry. The Knox Rapid Entry System reduces response time, property damage and the liability for lost keys.
How to participate
- Download the Knox Box Online Purchase Form.
- Complete all of the information requested on the form: Fire Department Contact will assist with choosing the correct Box.
- Obtain an authorized signature from the fire department
- Send your order with payment to the Knox Company
The Knox Company
17672 Armstrong Avenue
Irvine, California 92614
-Once you receive the box contact the Columbia Borough Fire Department to assist installing the box.
For more information, please visit www.knoxbox.com or contact a chief officer.