Knox Product Installations

Knox Rapid Entry Systems are utilized to minimize potential damage caused by forcible entry and allow the building/facility to be re-secured quickly and easily once emergency operations are complete.  The following Information applies to typical circumstances and may not address all situations.


2014 Oregon Fire Code (OFC) §503.6 & 506 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010.


Key Box: A secure device with a lock operable only by a fire department master key, and containing building entry keys and other keys that may be required for access in an emergency. The Knox Rapid Entry Systems meet the definition of a key box. (OFC 201)
Key Tag: A tag attached to each key to identify the room served or the function of the key.
Knox Box or Vault: A UL listed storage box/vault used for securely storing building keys, entry cards and floor plans. There are three box or vault options available depending on the size required for the facility.
Knox Cabinet: A UL listed storage cabinet used for storing pertinent hazardous material data, SDS, building keys, entry cards, floor plans and emergency plans.
Knox Key: A key, electronically secured on all fire apparatus, which enables fire crews to access any Knox System within the City of Hillsboro.
Knox Key Switch: An electrical switch activated by a Knox Key, which opens a gate or other electric entry barrier.
Knox Padlock: A heavy duty padlock designed for securing perimeter gates, industrial equipment yards and similar areas.
Knox Lock: A plug/cap which prevents tampering of a fire department connection inlet.

Where Required by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010

  • Building/facilities equipped with a fire suppression and/or fire alarm system
  • Commercial businesses that use, store, manufacture or process hazardous materials and are required to have a Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (HMIS)
  • Buildings with elevators
  • High-rise buildings
  • Sites and facilities secured by manual or automatic gates, or barriers
  • Other buildings/facilities as determined by the Fire Code Official
  • Larger buildings/facilities may require multiple Knox Systems

Models required per 2014 OFC 506.1.1 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010

  • Single tenant buildings shall utilize the Knox Box, Model 3200 with a hinged door
  • Multiple tenant buildings shall utilize the larger Knox Vault, Model 4400 with a hinged door and single lock
  • When required by the Fire Code Official, buildings required to have a Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (HMIS) shall install a Knox Cabinet, Model 1301 with a hinged door and single lock (2014 OFC 506.1.3 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010)
  • Automatic gates and barriers shall utilize the Knox Key Switch, Model 3502
  • Manual gates and barriers shall utilize the Knox Padlock, Model 3770
  • Fire Department Connections (FDCs) shall utilize the Knox FDC Lock, Model 3110 (formerly Model #3043) (2014 OFC 912.3.1 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010)

Alarm Tamper Switch

The Knox Box, Vault and Cabinet can be purchased with an alarm tamper switch option.  Purchase of this option is at the discretion of the property owner and is not required by Hillsboro Fire Department.  If the tamper is connected to an existing fire or burglar alarm system, the installation will require a limited-energy electrical permit through Hillsboro Building Department. If the tamper is connected to the fire alarm system, it will also require a fire alarm permit and update of the fire alarm matrix. 

Ordering Procedures

To order the required products go to the Knox Company website or contact a customer service representative at 800-552-5669. Instructions for the online ordering form are noted below for your convenience:

  1. Go to KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry Systems   
  2. Select the product you wish to order from the list on the left
  3. Enter “Hillsboro” & “Oregon” under “Product Installation Location”   
  4. Select “Hillsboro Fire Dept - 240 S 1st Ave - Hillsboro, OR 97123”
  5. Select the product you wish to order from the options available and click “Add to Cart”
  6. Enter the address where the Knox System will be installed   
  7. Click the “Check Out” icon   
  8. Complete required “Billing Information” to complete the purchase

Installation Procedure

All Knox Systems shall be installed per the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the Fire Prevention Division requirements noted below:

Knox Boxes, Vaults, and Cabinets:

  • Knox BoxShall be located adjacent to the main entrance to the building/facility or adjacent to the fire control room in an obvious and clear location   
  • Mounting height shall be 60” – 72” above the adjacent walking surface, unless otherwise approved by the Fire Code Official
  • Area shall be free of shrubbery or other vegetation that may interfere with the fire fighters’ ability to access the unit   
  • Knox System window decals are required on the primary entry door(s) to alert fire fighters that a Knox System is provided (one is included when the Knox System is shipped)       
  • The following keys shall be assembled and have a key tag, of material able to withstand the elements, affixed to each with the doImage of Knox Window Stickeror, room, suite number or use clearly visible (additional keys maybe required):
    • Main entry
    • Fire control room
    • Card access keys
    • Mechanical/electrical rooms
    • Fire alarm control panel & manual pull stations (if not the same key)
    • Locks on sprinkler riser & backflow prevention devices
    • Elevator machine room & elevator Fire Department override
    • Other keys as required by the Fire Code Official        
  • More than one set of keys may be required for additional fire apparatus responding to the property. The following guidelines for number of key sets shall be followed:    
    • 1-2 story building: 1 set of keys
    • 3-5 stories or more than 62,000 square feet: 2 sets of keys       
    • 5 or more stories: 3 sets of keys       

Knox Key Switches:

  • Knox Key SwitchAn electrical permit from the Hillsboro Building Department shall be obtained for the installation. Please contact the Hillsboro Building Department, 503-681-6144   
  • Knox Key Switches shall be mounted directly adjacent to the key pad or card reader and shall face the vehicle access roadway   
  • Mounting height shall be 48 to 54 inches above the driving surface   

Knox Padlocks:

Knox Padlock installations typically utilize a combination of two padlocks, one standard lock and one manufactured by the Knox Company, hooked together as shown in Knox Padlockthe picture to the right. This allows access to both the owner (by unlocking the standard lock) and the Fire Department (by unlocking the Knox Padlock). Under certain conditions, the Fire Code Official may also approve a chain in lieu of a locking pin.

Knox Fire Department Connection (FDC) Plugs:

All new or replacement caps on fire department connections shall be Knox Plugs. Knox plugs prevent tampering with the fire department connection, thus reducing property owner maintenance and testing costs (2014 OFC 912.3.1 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010).

Picture of Knox FDC Plug

Final Inspection:

In order to secure Knox Boxes, Vaults, Cabinets, Padlock and Plugs the customer must contact the Fire Prevention Division to request an inspection. The customer must have a full set of keys available prior to requesting the inspection. After installation of a Knox Key Switch the customer must contact the Fire Prevention Division to test the Key Switch to ensure it works properly.

Please contact the Hillsboro Fire Department, 503-681-6166.

Key Maintenance:

When new locks are added to a building/facility or existing locks are re-keyed, the tenant and/or building owner shall provide new or replacement keys in compliance with the requirements noted above (2014 OFC 506.2 as amended by City of Hillsboro HMC 11.28.010).

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