NewsPasco County

Actions

Lock box program in Pasco County gives fire crews quicker access during emergencies

Posted: 5:01 PM, Jan 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-02 18:39:46-05
Lock box.jpg

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Lock box program in Pasco County gives fire crews access to your home, avoiding forcible entry and the expenses that can arise after from it an emergency.

Larry Walbridge takes care of his 93-year-old mother.

That’s just one reason he wanted Pasco Fire Rescue to have easy access to the key that opens his front door.

“It’s for peace of mind to know that someone can get to her if she falls down. Because she has fallen and you all have responded before.”

The program, called the Knox HomeBox Program , involves home owners buying a steel lock box and putting a copy of their house key in it.

Fire crews have a master key that opens the box in the event of a fire or other emergency.

“We are able to get in without breaking down the door, breaking windows. Handle the emergency and keep it small and simple,” said Fire Marshall Karl Thompson.

Pasco Fire Rescue says they’ve done the same thing with commercial businesses for 15 years and had no problems.

The lock boxes cost about $200. But, there may be county money available at some point to offset the cost.

“Well the cost is up there but it’s a lot cheaper than buying a door,” said Walbridge.

Homeowners are responsible for buying and installing the lock boxes themselves.

The master keys are heavily secured and even police don’t have access to them.