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San Diego County offering key safe boxes to help first responders get to residents in distress

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Posted at 9:50 AM, Dec 19, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County Fire is offering some residents key safe boxes that allow first responders to gain access to homes in emergency situations, County News Center reports.

The boxes, called KnoxBoxes, are installed on or near the front door and can only be opened by local firefighters responding to life-threatening emergencies, the county says.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob says the program fulfills an urgent need.

“For older folks with chronic health conditions or in need of help with basic activities, KnoxBoxes can be a lifesaver,” said Jacob. “These devices can also provide some peace of mind in a region where wildfire is a year-round threat.”

County Fire received a federal grant to help purchase 200 boxes. The county plans to loan the boxes to residents in rural communities.

So far, the county says it has received 70 applications. Over 25 boxes have been installed.

County officials released a list of qualifications for those interested in participating in the program:

  • Live in San Diego County Fire, Ramona Municipal Water District, or Deer Springs Fire Protection District coverage areas.
  • Be any of the following:
  • At least 62 years old
  • Have a disability
  • Need assistance with one or more Major Life Activity

Anyone interested in applying is asked to call San Diego County Fire at 858-974-5744 or email

You can also click here to download an application or read more about the program.