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Knox Equipment Information


The purpose of the gate access program is to provide rapid emergency access to property protected with gates, without damaging access gate equipment


Approval by the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office of gate plans is required prior to construction or installation of an access gate for a multifamily residential property or gated subdivision. Under the Montgomery County Fire Code new building projects protected by security gates will be required to submit gate plans under the program to maintain emergency access. Existing gates in multi-family residential complexes and gated communities must be equipped as well with the required access device under this program.

 *  Existing commercial properties who install new gates must comply with the gate access program *

Gates may be of the sliding, swinging, or cross-arm types

Clearance- When the gate is open, there cannot be any overhead cross-arms, braces or other structures. It shall provide an overhead clearance of at lease 14 feet. When open, gates shall provide a clear width of not less than 14 feet. Although the minimum clearance width of the gate is 14 feet, the overall minimum width of the entire emergency access way shall not be less than 20 feet. 

Electric Operated Gates
The electric gate access feature shall require on of the following options:
A county gate knox key switch incorporated into the gate or lockbox on all new installations
Existing gates with an existing lock box may equip with a county gate knox padlock
The gate shall default to an open position and remain open in the even of power failure or; 
A manual gate release shall be provided and accessible for emergency use
All gates, when made active, shall move from completely closed to fully open, taking no more than 15 seconds. Once the gate is activated via the lock box, the gate shall remain open for 5 minutes minimum
All electrical devices shall be UL listed
All exit gates shall open when a vehicle is prepared to exit the area without the use of a key, card or special knowledge

Option # 1 ( All new installations )– Install Knox 3501 or 3502 Key Switch

Install a County Gate Knox key switch at or near the gate access keypad
Activation of the key switch operates the gate as required

Option #2 - Lock Box with padlock – existing only with prior approval by MCFMO

An existing box with padlock capability may employ a County Knox padlock.
The color of the box shall be red with "FIRE DEPT" or “911” painted on the door.
The entry gate is to remain open while the lock box door is open.
The lock box must be located on the gate in such a manner that is easily located but protected from vehicular damage.

Chain Drop Systems
Chain drop systems may not be used as the primary access system on electric gates. The primary access system should be located at or near the keypad or entry station, and when activated, it should open the gate using the electric operating system.

Chain drop systems can be used to provide a secondary mechanical release in the event of power failure, thus eliminating the need for battery backup. In an effort to avoid confusion, the chain drop box should not be mounted next to the electric emergency access switch or box.


Please visit the knox website at You will select the "buy" option to place your order.  All key switches and padlocks must be keyed to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office.
If you are needing to purchase a knox box for a building, please select the responding Fire Department for the box to be keyed as. You can look under our Fire Department tab to determine which one responds to the your location. 

If you have any questions please contact Kristin Maguire at 936-538-5506, or email




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