Princeton – The Princeton City Council heard from Fire Chief Ron Lawrence and Police Chief Todd Frederick at its Aug. 10 meeting about enacting an ordinance that requires new business buildings to install a Knox Rapid Entry solution box.
It is a small lock box accessible only with a fire or police department master key, and business owners place it in a specific location above their main door so that emergency personnel can access the building without breaking down a door.
“It’s a life-saving measure,” Lawrence said.
He said a local fire chief has the authority to require them on new and existing buildings, but Lawrence said he’d rather encourage existing building owners to get one rather than require it. He said the strategy might be to promote the concept via a written letter to building owners.
The fire department orders the boxes for about $300, the owner pays for them, and the city can install the box for free.
Councilors asked questions about Knox boxes and learned that the Princeton Fire Department has had to break down the same door twice for a smoke alarm and police have encountered similar situations. The council said that $300 for a lock box is quite a bit less than a new door and frame would be.
The council agreed to create the ordinance for new businesses and encouraged Lawrence to visit existing businesses to talk to them about the boxes. Consensus seemed to be that most owners would probably want one once they had the information about them.