Residential Knox Box Rapid Entry Systems

The City of Portage, Department of Public Safety, Fire Division encourages the use of a Knox-Box Rapid Entry System.

The Knox-Box Rapid Entry System provides non-destructive emergency access to commercial and residential property. It provides faster emergency response without forced entry damage. Knox key boxes, vaults and cabinets hold building entrance keys, electronic access cards and vital emergency information. Knox key switches and padlocks provide fire department access through property gates. While many commercial buildings in the city utilize the Knox-Box system, the fire department suggests the use of these in residential homes as well.

The residential key box provides entry for fire and medical emergencies on residences – single family homes and apartment complexes. It gives the Fire Department fast access to a home when the owner is not there or is unable to answer the door due to illness or disability. Installing a Knox-Box also decreases dependence on neighbors or family members who may have misplaced the house key or may be unavailable when emergency help arrives. There is no waiting for a property owner to unlock the door in the middle of the night and no need to force the door open or break windows to gain entry. It can be mounted permanently on the door or if the key box is needed only temporarily, it is available with a temporary door hanger that is not removable once the door is shut. For residential use only, it holds a maximum of two keys.

There are numerous benefits to using a Knox-Box system:

If you are injured or become critically ill, firefighters can respond quickly, without forcing entry, when a KNOX-BOX is installed by your front door. They simply remove the entrance key stored inside, provide medical assistance and re-lock the door when they leave.

If no one is home and an alarm activates, firefighters must determine if it is a false alarm or an actual emergency. Without a KNOX-BOX, responders often force entry to determine the answer.

Elderly and/or critically ill citizens who depend on medical support services such as LifeLine™, also rely on fast response to calls for emergency aid. Knox-Box key boxes prevent forced entry and additional stress for the patient.


  • Visit the Knox Website: Residents of the City of Portage Only
    • Click here to Purchase Residential Knox Box
    • The 1659 Residential Knox-Box is ideal for individuals
    • Enter your city and state
    • Then choose Portage Fire Department
    • This is only for residents that live in the City of Portage. The Knox Box keys are unique for each fire department. 
  • Portage Public Safety, Fire Division has a limited number of temporary units for loan. These units are designed for residents who have a temporary disability (i.e. surgery, etc.) and may need to grant emergency responders access during that time. Please contact the Fire Marshal at the number listed below to inquire about borrowing one of these units.

After receiving Knox Box in the mail bring it down to your neighborhood Fire Station for key placement inside box. Hang Knox Box on front door 6”- 8” away from door jam.

For more information regarding the use of residential Knox-Box systems, please contact the Fire Marshal at (269) 329-4486, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.