Home' Island Sun : ISN 010617 Contents ISLAND SUN - JANUARY 6, 2017
Device Offers Home
Access To First Responders
by Jeff Lysiak
Island residents and business owners may want to consider adding a new device to
their private and commercial properties in order to be safer and more secure in the
The Sanibel Fire & Rescue District has recently partnered with the Knox
HomeBox, a device that provides homeowners with secure, rapid access to a
residential property in an emergency without propert y damage.
Created for residential property owners, at-risk residential occupants and
persons responsible for at-risk occupants who need the ability to grant fire
departments access to their properties in case of an emergency, Knox HomeBox
is the most secure, residential-grade key safe that is trusted and supported by fire
departments across the United States.
“Getting in through a locked door or glass, or if you’ve got hurricane shutters,
it can be almost impossible to access a home quickly,” said Rick Tassoni, fire
marshal for the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District. “If we’re doing a welfare check
on a resident, we don’t have to wait for a key holder to get in. And in case of a
fire or other emergency, $159 (the cost for a Know HomeBox device) is a lot less
expensive than a new door.”
Unlike “universal” or “realtor” residential-grade boxes that can be opened by
anyone who has a common key or PIN pad, Knox HomeBox is a high security,
weather-resistant key safe that can only be accessed by fire departments 24 hours
a day, seven days a week.
Tassoni explained that only a member of the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District has
the specially coded access key for each Knox HomeBox on the island.
Bob Kern, a member of the Sanibel CERT (Community Emergency Response
Team), brought the idea to the local fire department after discovering one of his
neighbors had passed out in her home.
“I had to call 9-1-1 to have somebody come and see if she needed CPR,” Kern
recalled. “W hen I learned about the Knox HomeBox, I thought it was a great idea.”
The Knox HomeBox system
currently protects hundreds of
thousands of government and
commercial properties in more than
13,500 fire jurisdictions across North
Some of the advantages to having
a Knox HomeBox installed at your
• Helps first responders to enter
the home quickly
• Reduces property damage
• Makes re-securing accessed
property reliable, easier and faster
• Utilizes the highly secure Knox
proprietary key system that is already
in place for commercial buildings in
Available in three colors and
priced from $159 to $174, the Knox
HomeBox comes in three hanging
styles. Once purchased, a member
of the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District
will come to your home and install
“We can install it in concrete, in
a metal or a wooden door frame,
and we can offer advice on the
best location to install them,” said Tassoni. “Best of all, we don’t charge for the
installation. That’s just one of the extra services we offer for our island residents –
we want everyone in the community to be safe.”
For persons who may have a temporary disability, the Sanibel Fire & Rescue
District has three loaner Knox HomeBox devices. “If it gets more popular, we
might buy some more for loan purposes,” he said, explaining that homeowners
can fill out an application in order to qualify for the free loaner.
“From a safety standpoint, you can’t break into these with a hammer or a
crowbar,” added Tassoni, who offered to speak about the device with any local
groups, organizations or homeowners associations who may be interested in
learning more about the Knox HomeBox.
Visit www.knoxhomebox.com for a product overview and ordering instructions.
For more information, contact Sanibel Fire Marshal Rick Tassoni at 472-5525.
From left, CERT member Bob Kern holding a Knox HomeBox device with Sanibel Fire &
Rescue District members Rick Tassoni and Alma McClure
photos by Jeff Lysiak
Firefighter Alma McClure demonstrates
accessing the Knox HomeBox system
Legion Post 123
On Sunday, January 8, American
Legion Post 123 will be offering
barbecue ribs and chicken from 1
to 8 p.m. Cost is $12 to $14.
There will be an American Legion
general meeting at 6 p.m . Sunday,
Every Monday is an 8-ball pool
league at 5 p.m. Stop in and watch
some good shooting. On Tuesdays,
tacos are served all day. Spaghetti
and meatballs are served all day on
Wednesday. On Fridays, a six-ounce
ribeye steak sandwich is on the menu.
There are daily specials as well as
half-pound burgers. Food is served from
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Ladies Auxiliary has shell
ornaments available. If you have a flag
that needs to be retired, drop it off at
Post 123, located at Mile Marker 3
on Sanibel-Captiva Road. It is open
Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.
to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9
p.m. The public is welcome.
For more information, call 472-
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