Lockboxes help rescuers save lives in emergencies

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)  - There is a way you can protect your loved ones at home, or even your business, in case of an emergency. It's called a lockbox and it helps fire and Emergency Medical Service crews get to you, possibly without having to break down your door or window in the process.

Taking a quick look at the doors on this Chesterfield business that we visited on Thursday, you wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary. But a closer look shows you a small box, that goes a long way.

It's called a Knox Box. A type of lockbox that emergency crews have a master key to, to gain access to this business in case of a fire or other emergency call.

Property manager Christina Jeffries had these boxes installed more than 10 years ago. "It's a great thing. It gives you a good piece of mind. We work with the fire department all the time. It helps to know they have easy access into the building. We've had a couple of false alarms after hours."

There are dozens of businesses in Chesterfield that have these boxes. But only a few homes have them. Fire leaders say these boxes would benefit the disabled and elderly, especially if someone has fallen and can't get up.

But, they could also help rescue people in fires, possibly in situations like a home fire a few weeks ago, where a woman was trapped.

Of course, the use of these boxes in a fire depends on the circumstance.

For Christina, the boxes provide piece of mind and save her some money, too. "With the economy the way it is, anything we can do to mitigate our exposure is helpful to us."

These boxes are made of steel and secure. Every fire and EMS truck in Chesterfield has a master key on board, locked up for use in case of an emergency.

To get a Knox Box installed through Chesterfield County for your home or business, give the fire department a call at 748-1426.

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