Skip Navigation

City of Omaha - Nebraska

Omaha Fire DepartmentOmaha, Nebraska

Text Size   - | +

The purpose of key boxes (Knox Box) is to provide the Omaha Fire Department with rapid, non destructive emergency access to certain occupancies where no building representative is on location.

The International Fire Code 2003, Chapter 5, Fire Service which has been adopted by the City of Omaha authorizes a key box system. Particularly, International Fire Code 506.1 provides, “Where access to or within a structure or area is restricted because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life-saving or fire-fighting purposes, the fire code official is authorized to require a key box to be installed in an approved location. The key box shall be of an approved type and shall contain keys to gain access by the fire code official.”

After much discussion and deliberation, the City of Omaha Fire Department through its Fire Code Official has determined that a key box system will be implemented. This decision also involved a detailed analysis of the products available in the market and ultimately, a selection of the product that provides functionality, but also is affordable and convenient.

WHO MUST HAVE A KEY BOX?

The Omaha Fire Department will be requiring a key lock box be installed on certain occupancies that include but are not limited to:

1) Buildings with fire alarm users or sprinkler systems
2) Buildings with elevators
3) Buildings or areas that are restricted by way of a security gate or door or have a similar restricted entry.
4) Buildings secured or restricted where gaining immediate access by OFD is imperative.

Notwithstanding the above, single family residences and duplexes shall not be required to have a key lock box. Further, a key box is not required for businesses that are open 24 hours or buildings that are always unlocked.

WHY HAS KNOX BOX BEEN SELECTED?

After researching for an approved type of emergency key access system to authorize, KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System was the only company that met all the fire code official’s criteria which was:

1) Shall meet the standards for:

  • Safety for Key Locks UL 437
  • Anti Theft Alarms and Device UL 1037
  • Central Station Alarms UL 1610

2) Excellent history of providing services and products to fire departments throughout the United States

3) Administered and user friendly web-site that is maintained by the provider.

4) Provide Data Base that will track and maintain users of the key access system.

5) One key system

WHEN MUST YOU COMPLY

The KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System will be required on all new construction that falls within the established criteria. All existing facilities that fall within the criteria will be required to have the KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System installed within a period of twelve (12) months from the official starting date. Other existing facilities that contain hazardous operations or hazardous materials deemed by the authority having jurisdiction may be required to have the KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System installed within a reasonable time period as determined by the fire code official.

Guidelines of KNOX-BOX Purchase, Installation, Inspection

1) Business owners/operators shall purchase the appropriate Knox-Box. 

  • The item is available from the official Knox Box website: http://www.knoxbox.com or by calling 800-552-5669.

2) Business owners/operators shall be responsible to have the Knox-Box installed at a location as close to the front entrance door as possible at a height of 6'.

  • Exception will be Knox-Box installed for access to security gates which shall be installed at a location approved by the OFD.

3) Once Knox-Box has been installed a business representative shall contact the Omaha Fire Prevention Bureau at 444-5711 to request a Fire Department representative to inspect the box and lock an entrance access key in the Knox-Box.

  • Entrance access key shall be provided by the occupancy representative.
  • A Fire Department representative shall make sure access key functions properly before locking it in the box.
  • An inspection fee of $25.00 shall be charged to the occupancy at the time of the inspection.

4) If a facility has the entrance locks changed or re-keyed for any reason they should contact Omaha Fire Prevention Bureau to make arrangements for a new inspection and entrance key to be placed in the Knox-Box.

5) All facilities that have a Knox-Box installed shall display a decal stating such on the front entrance.

HOW WILL THE KNOX BOX SYSTEM KEYS BE MAINTAINED?

There will be a total of seven Knox-Box system keys maintained by the Omaha Fire Department. One key will be secured in the Fire Prevention Bureau when not in use, the remaining six keys will be placed in the Fire Suppression Battalion Chiefs’ vehicles. These keys will be kept in a secured lock box mounted in the vehicles.

Use of the Knox-Box system key shall be for emergency response access with the exception of inspections. An owner or business representative shall be present during non emergency use of the Knox-Box system.

News and Information

  • Fire Prevention Week - October 7-13, 2018

    2018-10-05 20:31:39

    Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018. The national theme for this year’s fire prevention week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The Omaha Fire Department performs Fire Prevention all year round and ou ...

  • 2018 National Night Out

    2018-05-30 14:55:43

      WHAT IS NATIONAL NIGHT OUT? National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out ...

  • Burn Ban in effect until 0700 on Thursday, May 3, 2018

    2018-05-01 20:13:13

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Burn Ban in effect until 0700 on Thursday, May 3, 2018.   The Omaha Fire Department would like to remind everyone that there will be high winds and threat of severe weather. Due to these atmospheric condit ...

  • Community Awareness for the Active Killer Threat Presen ...

    2018-04-05 14:08:11

      Community Awareness for the Active Killer Threat What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where there is an active killer threat? It's imperative that we as a community face this issue head on and be prepared.& ...

  • Tri County Fire Corps Exploring Program

    2018-02-06 20:13:26

      Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program - Discover a career through exploring! Learn the skills necessary for a career in firefighting through classroom instruction and hands on experiences. Training in areas such as CPR/AED, fire extinguis ...

  • Hood Suppression System Plan Requirements

    2017-02-01 17:43:23

    Please click here to access the Omaha Fire Department Hood Suppression Plan Requirements. 

  • Carbon Monoxide Safety Act Effective January 1, 2017

    2017-01-03 13:40:54

    “Quick Reference Notes for C.O. Alarms” Nebraska Legislation Bill 34 -Carbon Monoxide Safety Act Effective January 1, 2017                     &n ...

  • Omaha Fire receives Silver Award

    2016-06-16 14:54:02

    The Omaha Fire Department has received the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.  The American Heart ...

  • Fire Department attends 14th annual SAFE event

    2016-06-07 18:30:30

    The Omaha Fire Department attended the 14th Annual SAFE Event on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at the Omaha Kroc Center, 2825 Y Street. The free event, hosted by the Omaha Police Department, featured food, music, games and safety demonstrations. S ...

  • Rescue Task Force Training

    2016-02-26 15:40:42

    Rescue Task Force Training Omaha firefighters and paramedics recently trained alongside local law enforcement officers.  The implementation of the Rescue Task Force allows skillfully trained paramedics to enter the "hot zone" during an active e ...

  • Firefighters change battery and shovel walkway

    2016-01-26 16:29:51

    Firefighters are at work 24/7 always willing to serve members of our community.  Some go above and beyond. KMTV Channel 3 recently reported on such a story.

  • Training Division Conducts First Session of 2015 CPT

    2015-01-19 07:13:30

    The Omaha Fire Department’s Training Division conducts CPT, or Continuous Professional Training, annually from January to November. CPT is an opportunity to hone current skills, learn new skills, and engage in unique training scenarios. Three sessi ...