wildfire preparedness

County's New ‘Knox Box' Program Aims to Save Lives in an Emergency

The "Knox Box" allows firefighters to reach people in their homes more quickly

Firefighters douse wildfire.
Daniel Canepa

Detrimental wildfires that take lives and property are now the norm in California, so San Diego County and fire officials unveiled a new program on Wednesday meant to provide senior residents with another escape plan.

The county is partnering with the San Diego County Fire Protection District for the "Residential Knox Box Program," which provides a lock box to residents that can be accessed by first responders in an emergency.

The program, which is meant to be a back-up plan, was created to provide people with a way to be more accessible during an emergency.

The county will provide residents with a lockbox that can be installed near or on a resident's front door and will hold a spare key to the home. The boxes are then unlocked by San Diego County fire crews in an emergency, like a fire or a medical emergency.

This program is primarily meant to help seniors who may not be able to answer the door during a crisis, the San Diego County Fire Protection District said.

To qualify for the program, residents must be at least 62 years old and live within County Fire's service area. The box will be provided for free.

Supervisor Jim Desmond and San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham will be introducing the program on Thursday at the San Marcos Regional Emergency Services Training Center.

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