ADVISORY

To: Head of Fire Departments
From: Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshal
Date: April 26, 1999
Re: Knox Boxes

The DFS Legal Department has conducted research as to whether fire chiefs have the authority to mandate the use of Knox Box key security systems in their cities or towns. They find there are no laws or regulations in the Commonwealth pertaining to the use of Knox Boxes. However, fire chiefs may obtain the authority to mandate the use of Knox Boxes if their city or town implements a local ordinance or bylaw on this matter.

Many communities already have such local ordinances in place. For example, one community ordinance states that any property that is tied into the municipal fire alarm system must have a Knox Box in which the keys to the facility are left in order for the fire department to gain access to the premises.