Montauk Fire Department Corner

Good day, and welcome to the August edition of the Montauk Fire Department Corner. This month I would like to focus on alerting our local homeowners, business owners, and the general public, about the use of the KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry Security System.

MFDThe KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry Security System is a small, exterior wall mounted safe that holds building keys so that fire departments, emergency medical services and police departments may gain rapid entry in emergency situations. With this system in place, local fire departments can hold a master key to buildings within their jurisdiction. Fire Chiefs can gain access to a building without forcing entry, or waiting for a caretaker, who may or may not be available to respond rapidly to the scene.

Why is this so important? I believe that most people don’t realize what happens when a Fire Chief is called to investigate an alarm.  Upon arrival to a scene it is the responsibility of the investigating Chief to determine if there is in fact an emergency at the location or if the call is caused by a system malfunction.  A full 360 degree visual inspection of the business and/or residence is performed, to determine if there is, or is not, a real threat to the structure. Without keyed access to the residence, this determination cannot be made with full certainty. The educated assumption must be made that the house is secure and that the alarm is the result of a malfunction. This scenario could actually occur in the Montauk Fire Department’s District. If the investigating Chief has access to the residence, however, property damage can be averted.

The Town of East Hampton, realizing the importance of the ability to gain keyed access to buildings in emergency situations, is working with the East Hampton Fire Chiefs Association on recommendations that all commercial buildings, and any new residential construction beginning in 2015, have a security system allowing access for emergency personnel.

I highly recommend that all home owners research the KNOX-BOX and have one installed at your residence. If you have any questions regarding the KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry Security System, please contact the East Hampton Town Fire Marshal’s office at (631) 329-3473. KNOX-BOX’s Web site is

Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summer of 2016.

See you next month…

Joseph Lenahan, Chief, Montauk Fire Department

Photos by Richard Lewin Professional Photography (