Knox Box Program
The Knox Box Rapid Entry System provides non-destructive emergency access to commercial and residential property in the event of an emergency. Knox Boxes can be ordered online through the Knox Company.
The Cudahy Fire Department has established by code that all buildings in the city of Cudahy with an occupancy of three or more residential units, commercial or manufacturing process, be equipped with a secured access system for use by the Cudahy Fire Department. This system is commonly called the Knox Box. The premise of this system is simple: provide the Cudahy Fire Department with keys to every structure in Cudahy that may not have a key holder on site 24 hours a day.
Prior to this system, the fire department equipped each primary fire engine with a very large ring of keys and labels. This system was cumbersome and time consuming. The replacement system involves utilizing a secured box mounted to the building, containing the keys and other important information about the property. All of the boxes are then keyed with the same key, allowing the fire department to access any box in the city with a single key. The system employed by the City of Cudahy is through the Knox Company. The box is custom-made and keyed according to the contract with the City of Cudahy. The Cudahy Fire Department is the only agency that possesses any key for this box. This ensures the integrity of the system and maintains a highly secure process. The advantages to the secured access box system are:
reduced wait time to access the building and any critical areas that may be the
subject of a fire alarm
streamlined tracking and accountability of the keys for each property
a better system to secure the keys
a consistent system for all buildings
reduced damage to the property from forced entry
an easily secured property following the response
The goal of the Cudahy Fire Department is to have all applicable properties equipped with this time-saving and money-saving piece of equipment. All a property owner needs to do is contact the Cudahy Fire Department at 414-769-2233 and ask to speak with a fire inspector about a Knox Box. The inspector will arrange a time to speak with the property owner about the proper placement of the device on the exterior of the structure and the process of filling out and submitting the application. The application can only be obtained from a Cudahy Fire Department fire inspector. This application is not available online and cannot be faxed or emailed. Homeowners are also encouraged to consider the installation of a Knox Box on their homes. Certain circumstances in a person's life may make reliance on others a primary concern. Many times someone will have a remote assistance button to summon help when he or she has fallen. This is a valuable tool when a person tries to maintain independence. What is not included with this item is a means to properly secure the home, but allow first responders access at the same time. The Knox Box is an ideal tool for such a situation. The key to the home is securely locked inside the box, and the box is only accessed when the fire department is
summoned to render aid. This allows for individuals to live independently, while still getting the help they need when they need it, without compromising the home's security. The Knox Box can be installed near the doorway, between the door and the storm door or mounted directly to the door. Once the unit is installed, the property is added to the list of properties that are protected by this valuable tool. When the call for aid goes out, the first responders are notified by dispatch that the property has a Knox Box, and its location on the home. This saves valuable time and prevents unnecessary damage if a person simply needs help getting to their feet. The Knox Box system does not provide portability. If a family decides to move to another community outside of Cudahy, the Knox Box will not operate. The key to any individual Knox Box within the City of Cudahy is keyed specifically to Cudahy. Any interested family should contact the Cudahy Fire Department at 414-769-2233 and ask to speak with a fire inspector regarding a Knox Box for their home. It adds security and peace of mind for anyone caring for an aging or ill family member.