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Norwalk Elks grants help purchase 12 Knox Boxes, firefighter equipment

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Aug 27, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Thanks to a $2,000 donation from Norwalk Elks No. 730, the Norwalk Fire Department has purchased 12 additional residential Knox Boxes for use in the community.

Also, the Elks, via grant from the Ohio Elks Association, were able to buy step cribbing and a K-tool for the department.

A residential Knox Box is a secure box that holds a house key the resident provides that is only available to firefighters. The device hooks on the top of an exterior residential door and the only way to gain access to the key inside the box is with a master key to which only firefighters have access.

By acquiring these Knox Boxes, the fire department can reach out to the community and loan the secure key box to those who would benefit from having it. Geared primarily toward homebound residents, elderly citizens or people with disabilities, the recipient can keep and use the Knox Box for whatever time period needed, free of charge. When they are done using it, they must return the box and the fire department will distribute it to the next person on the waiting list who has a proven need for one.

“The Knox Box gives easy, damage-free access to homes in a timely manner, which will potentially help save lives, as well as help the residents avoid the need to repair or replace the damaged doors or windows that typically occur when firefighters need to gain inside access to a residence. Many house calls are non-fire incidents, with no property damage occurring, aside from the forced entry from the fire department. Knox Boxes prevent the damage from happening,” said Chris Robuck, Norwalk Elks trustee.

Four years ago, the Knox Box program was launched through donations from the Norwalk Elks.

“(We) are very pleased to be able to continue to help the program grow each year to meet the needs of our citizens. There are now a total of 50 Knox Boxes available,” Robuck said.

Anyone interested in acquiring one should call the Norwalk Fire Department at 419-663-6790.

“The Shark collapsible step cribbing replaces (an) older, wooden step cribbing that is well worn and ready for retirement. The new equipment is also collapsible to save space. The step cribbing is used at auto accidents to help secure and stabilize a vehicle,” Robuck said.

The K-tool is used to gain entry through a locked door. It removes the face of the locking mechanism so the lock then can be manipulated.

“The K-tool saves time and also prevents (firefighters) from destroying a door as the only thing that would need replaced is the lock,” Robuck said. “(The) Norwalk Fire Department welcomed the purchase of these important and potentially life-saving tools for our community. Elks No. 730 is extremely happy to be able to give back to the department and our citizens year after year.”

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