The Burlington Fire Department is participating in a program designed to allow firefighters and paramedics gain rapid entry into a person's home without damage, even if the person is not home or unable to open the door.

"The program is through the Knox Box Co., providing their HomeBox," said Bruce Workman, a battalion chief with the Burlington Fire Department. "A Knox HomeBox is a key safe mounted outside a residence that can be unlocked only by the fire department.

"This is a voluntary alternative to forced entry or no entry when the fire department is called to your home for a medical emergency or fire alarm activation."

According to Workman, Knox boxes have been used by commercial properties for years.

"They are now available for residences served by the Burlington Fire Department," he said. "The HomeBox (key safe) can be mounted either permanently or temporarily, depending on needs or preference. The permanent mount is affixed to the building outside the front door. The temporary mount securely hangs on the entry door."

Workman said the cost of a HomeBox key safe is $174. He said it can be ordered online or by phone. Details are available online at, he added.

For more information, contact Fire Marshal Mark Crooks or Workman at (319) 753-8398.