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Lock Boxes Can Save Precious Time!

By Heather Hill, Northwest Neighbors Village

Installing a lock box at your front entry allows firefighters and paramedics to quickly enter your home to respond to a 911 medical emergency call or fire alarm activation if you’re away from home or are unable to open the door. If you cannot open the front door, the emergency rescuers may have to force entry and this can cause a lot of expensive damage to your home and potential injuries to the rescue personnel. A lock box safely holds a key to your front door, and can only be accessed by a universal key that is held by local fire and rescue departments.

A lock box safely holds a key to your front door, and can only be accessed by a universal key that is held by local fire and rescue departments.

Lt. Kenneth Cole of DC Fire and EMS has provided instructions for purchasing and setting up a KnoxBox® lock box at your front entrance. The KnoxBox® is the preferred product of DC Fire and EMS, and over 14,000 other emergency and security departments nationwide. If your favored emergency service is the Bethesda Chevy Chase Fire and Rescue Services (BCCFRS), they also hold a universal key to all KnoxBoxes®. For more information, you may call the BCCFRS on their non-emergency number at 301-652-0077.

(Please note these instructions are for residential homes only. If you live in an apartment building, please consult your management office.)

1. Go to the website

2. At the top left of the website, click on the red text that reads Choose your local fire department agency.

3. Select Washington, DC from the drop down menu. And, then enter Dist of Columbia Fire & EMS (type in exactly as written) for the Local Fire Department/Agency.

4. Select the Residential Use ONLY and then HomeBoxes (the second choice).

5. Click on the Products heading, and select Residential Boxes. The appropriate box will be displayed per your location. Click on the product displayed and you will be prompted to enter the installation address and purchase the box. (You do not need to enter a permit number; you may leave that field blank.) The current price in early December was $283.00 ($319.00 with a tamper alert). You can choose the color (aluminum, black or dark bronze) that best fits your home.

6. Don’t forget to check the box confirming the correct fire department. Click Add to Cart and complete your purchase. You’ll need to set up a New Customer account and will then be directed to enter your payment and billing details.

7. Per Lt. Kenneth Cole, the box should be mounted in a highly visible location to the right of the main entrance of the building approximately 5 feet from the ground.

8. Once the Box is mounted and the keys (for the front entrance) are ready for placement in the box, email and request for the box to be locked.

For ordering support, call and speak to a KnoxBox® representative at 1-800-552.5669 or email Volunteers are available to help members of CWPV navigate the purchase of a box. Please call the office at 202-615-5853 or email us at


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