EDITORIAL: June 22, 2007

Fire company offers peace of mind

It’s been said that big things come in small packages. Perhaps one of those “big things” could be the protection of your home.

The Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company (BBVFC) is now trying to do its part to make taking care of your home that much easier. For some time now, the BBVFC has been encouraging homeowners within its district to secure Knox Boxes for their homes. Now they’re taking it a step further by buying a supply of the boxes and giving homeowners the opportunity to buy one straight from the BBVFC. If a homeowner decides to go this route, members of the BBVFC will come to his or her home, install the box and design a plan for the homeowner’s property if a situation arises and emergency personnel need to get into the home.

Let’s give a little background here. The Knox Box is 4 by 5 inches, and either hangs on a door or is mounted on a wall. Inside the box, the homeowner will keep a copy of the house key, so if emergency responders arrive at the house for a fire or health emergency, there is no need to break down doors or windows to get inside. Fire personnel will carry copies of the Knox Box keys in an electronic carrier in each truck. To get access to the Knox Box’s key, an officer will have to call EOC, who will send a radio signal that allows the responder access to the key. As a safety precaution, the dispatcher records every use of the key.

According to BBVFC officials, four recent alarm activations required responders to do damage to a door to gain access. While that might seem a small price to pay to have your home and life saved, consider the extra time that could be involved in knocking down a door or getting through security bars. Imagine if it was a life-and-death situation and every second counted.

Also, let’s consider the damage done to the door itself. When one considers the cost of the Knox Box — installed and set up by the very people that would need to get to it — is only $225, it would seem to be a good investment, as well.

So, how do you get started? There are plenty of options. The BBVFC took out an ad on page A21 of this week’s Point, which includes an easy-to-fill-out form. People can also call Bob Minutoli at 539-5244 or stop by the station to get a form.

It’s really that easy.

We’re not going to stand on a soapbox and demand everyone takes advantage of this service. But shouldn’t they?