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Knox Box device helps emergency crews, prevents building damage

December 17, 2012
The Daily News


Staff Writer

CRYSTAL FALLS - Residents and businesses in the Crystal Falls Fire Department's protection area can now take an extra step to prepare for emergencies by installing a Knox Box.

Article Photos

Nikki Younk/Daily News Photo
Crystal Falls Fire Chief Ray Niemi, left, shows Crystal Falls Police Chief Bob Sherwin a Knox Box, which can be installed on area residences and businesses. The box securely stores keys that firefighters or other first responders can access in an emergency.

A Knox Box is a small safe designed to hold entrance keys to a building. The box is mounted on the outside of the building, and can only be opened by a member of the local fire department.

Crystal Falls Fire Chief Ray Niemi said that firefighters use Knox Boxes to quickly gain access to burning buildings without damaging any doors or windows.

"We'd have to knock down the door otherwise," he explained. "This system prevents the property damage."

Niemi added that Knox Boxes could also be used in a medical emergency if the afflicted person is somehow unable to unlock his or her home to let first responders inside.

Interested residents and businesses must purchase and install their own Knox Boxes. Once a box is installed, a member of the fire department will come to the building and lock the box.

According to Niemi, several businesses in the Crystal Falls area have already expressed interest in the program.

For more information, contact Niemi at (906) 875-5555.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is



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