Fire department offers lock boxes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire department offers lock boxes

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The Waterloo Fire Department gets a new tool to help people during an emergency.

It's called a Knox Box.

It's a rapid-entry system that provides a non-destructive way to get into homes or businesses when first responders need to get inside.

After applying for a $20,000 grant, the Waterloo Fire Department hopes to provide the Knox Boxes to people who have mobility concerns.

Here's how it works.

"We're going to see how this works," Waterloo Fire Captain Bill Harter said.

Captain Harter said the department will offer 134 of these boxes to people who need it.

"Because it saves time. In an emergency it saves time for us to get to somebody who happens to be down, and we can't get to them in time," Captain Harter said.

The Knox Box is easy to use. Firefighters and first responders have a key that opens the box, and on the inside, you have the key of the door that needs opened.

"So, if you're not able to make it to the door, we can go ahead and get into your home without breaking a window or your door," Harter said.

Many commercial and apartment buildings already have similar technology, and these portable boxes make it easier for everyone.

"It's great, and thank goodness to Max and Helen Guernsey  Foundation for making this happen. And Knox provided a discount on each and every one of these units," Harter said.

Captain Harter said the fire department plans to install these boxes the third weekend in October.

It's important to note, only fire fighters and first responders will have keys to the boxes.

If you would like to apply for one of these boxes, you can visit the fire department's website or stop by in person.

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