Skip to main content

Knox Access for Commercial Properties

May contain: person and human, keys and lock box on brick wall
A firefighter accesses a building's secured key box using a Knox Master Key


To provide secure and safe access for first responders, various Knox Rapid Access Solutions are required for secured perimeters, gates, buildings, and commercial properties. With Knox, there's no more forced entries or waiting for property owners to unlock doors in the middle of the night.

It would be impossible for our firefighters to carry individual keys or combinations for every lock in the District. Knox keys let us to use a District-unique Master Key to access secured lock boxes -  holding all keys on premises. A separate Master Key is used for powered gates and padlocks used on manual gates.

See how a Knox Program works here:


High Security Systems

The Knox high security system is comprised of a tamper proof box made of heavy steel. It can be bolted to or built into the building near the main entrance and/or the Fire Riser Room door. Building keys for each occupancy are provided by the owner or occupant. They are identified and placed into the KnoxBox which is locked by Fire District personnel. Each Fire District apparatus is equipped with a Knox Master Key securing system that tracks when Master Keys are used and, using user-unique PIN codes, who used the Master Key. Neither building owners nor occupants have the ability to gain access into the building's KnoxBox. 

If no one is present when a fire engine arrives at the location of a fire alarm or other emergency the engine company uses a unique PIN to release the high security Knox Master Key for use. The officer opens the High Security KnoxBox on the building and removes the necessary keys to make entry into the building. When the emergency incident is over the officer will re-secure the premises, return all keys to the KnoxBox, secure the KnoxBox, and re-secure the high security Knox Master Key in the inside the fire engine's Knox KeySecure device.


HIGH SECURITY KnoxBoxes for commercial properties can be obtained online at and use the "El Dorado Co Fire Prot District" option. Please see the instructions here:


For gates and low security locks (See below), please use the "El Dorado Co Sheriff–GATES" option.



Low Security Systems

The low security Knox system is different from the high security system in that it provides access through gates of fenced areas by fire service and law enforcement personnel. The low security key cannot open the high security KnoxBoxes. Tamper proof padlocks make up the majority of low security systems. These padlocks may be “daisy chained” as an additional link into the chain which allows others who need property access to use their locks as links into the chain. In cases where there is only one other user the Low Security pad lock may be part of a “clamshell” which is purchased by the user allowing either padlock to open the gate mechanism. These locks are used on non-electric gates. Again the low security system does not provide access to buildings, just property. See file below for details.


Electric Gates

Fire service and law enforcement personnel can enter onto private property through electric gates by way of the Knox Gate & Key Switch switch system which is wired into the electric gate. A low security key is inserted into the key switch, allowing the gate to be opened and returned to normal operation or locked open. Fire and law enforcement personnel need to use a low security Knox Master Key to return locked-open gates to normal operation. 

LOW SECURITY Knox Gate & Key Switches (for commercial or residential properties) can be obtained online at and use the "El Dorado Co Sheriff–GATES" option. Please see the instructions here:

Join our mailing list