The Seymour Fire Department is offering a new service to elderly or disabled residents in order to reach them quicker during an emergency.
The residential Knox Box program gives firefighters access to the interior of a home without causing damage to doors or windows should the homeowner not be able to answer the door.
Knox Boxes are small safe-like devices that attach to the resident’s front door or exterior of the home. An entrance key is stored inside the box giving firefighters a way to unlock the door and reach the person inside.
The Seymour Fire Department has the only key that will open the boxes, said Fire Chief Brad Lucas.
“It provides a secured means of access to your home in case of a medical emergency,” he said. “We simply remove the entrance key stored inside, provide medical assistance and relock the door when we leave.”
Back in 2013, Lucas requested the city require the lockboxes be installed in all new commercial buildings and apartment complexes. That ordinance passed and became a part of the city’s planning and development requirements.
Any residential facility, such as nursing homes and apartment complexes, equipped with fire alarms and sprinkler systems should have a Knox Box, Lucas said.
A limited number of free residential Knox Boxes are now available through the fire department. To qualify for one of the boxes, residents need to have a history of medical problems or be recovering at home after a hospital stay, live alone or have a medical alert pendant or home medical alert system.
“We are offering this service to meet the needs of our community,” Lucas said.
The boxes, which are the property of the fire department, are meant to be temporary and used for no more than two years. Should residents need or want one for a longer period of time, they can purchase one at that time, Lucas said.
If a resident moves, he or she must notify the fire department so the box can be transferred if the new location is still within city limits and a new key put inside.
Lucas said he was able to purchase a limited supply of Knox Boxes using grant money awarded by the JCB Trust Fund and Lutheran Community Home.
The boxes cost around $175 each.
Anyone wanting to enroll in the free residential Knox Box program or purchase their own Knox Box can do so by contacting the fire department at 812-522-2598 or by emailing [email protected].
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Anyone wanting to enroll in Seymour Fire Department’s free residential Knox Box program or purchase their own Knox Box can do so by contacting the fire department at 812-522-2598 or by emailing [email protected].