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Wrightstown mandates ‘Knox Boxes’ for commercial buildings


“Knox Boxes” are now required for commercial buildings in Wrightstown.

At a public meeting on Monday, the three-person board of supervisors voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that mandates that the boxes, which hold building keys for use by first responders, be installed on all new commercial buildings in the township.

The boxes are also required for existing commercial properties when there is new land development that changes the use. Existing businesses must also put in place a “Knox Box” within six months after receiving the annual fire prevention inspection.

Located on the exterior of the building, “Knox Boxes” hold the building’s keys for fire departments, emergency medical services and police to retrieve in emergency situations.

The ordinance applies only to commercial/institutional buildings. There is not a requirement for residential structures, though Supervisor Chair Chester Pogonowski noted that there are residential “Knox Box” installations in Wrightstown.

Safety and a desire to minimize damage to buildings are primary reasons for the ordinance. “Knox Boxes” are generally small, wall-mounted safes.

Pogonowski said that the intention in Wrightstown is to ensure first-in firetrucks at emergency calls have access to a key that enables them to open the “Knox Boxes” on commercial buildings — and thereby get the keys for the building within.

According to Pogonowski, a typical “Knox Box” installation costs about $500 but can go up in price depending on how many special features are wanted. Many boxes, he said, are installed with an integrated burglar alarm sensor to notify the alarm company when the box is opened by the fire department.

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