About us

We believe everyone has the right to be safe at work

Our History

Through the years, electrical safety standards have evolved and the application of trapped key interlock systems has greatly expanded. Today, in addition to electrical power equipment, KIRK® trapped key interlocks are utilized on switchgear, machine guarding, loading dock safety, and many other industrial applications to protect personnel and equipment.

Key interlocking was developed during the 1890s to improve safety on the railroads for use in the application of railway track switching.  Ralph Levering, “R.L.” Kirk was the first to pioneer the use of key interlocking on circuit breakers and switches, by reducing hazards caused by improper switching operations. R.L. Kirk filed for his first patent “Safety Interlock for Electrical and Mechanical Equipment and Systems” in 1931 and Kirk became an authority in electrical safety.

In 1932, KIRK® trapped key interlocks were manufactured in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA as part of the Railway & Industrial Engineering Company, which held the patent filed by R.L. Kirk.  Through the years, Railway & Industrial Engineering changed to ITE, then Gould, which turned into Gould Brown Boveri, and finally ABB.

In December of 1999, Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC separated from ABB and was completely independent, moving operations to Massillon, Ohio, USA. In 2011 Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC was purchased by the holdings company Halma plc, and in September 2014, moved operations and manufacturing to North Canton, OH, USA.

Timeline

A quick look at key events that made Kirk Key Interlock the successful business it is today.

2014

Significant investments made

In September 2014

KIRK moved operations and manufacturing to North Canton, OH, USA.

2011

Join FTSE 100 Halma Group

Halma plc

In 2011 Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC was purchased by the holdings company Halma plc.

1999

Business independence

Completely independent

In December of 1999, Kirk Key Interlock Company LLC separated from ABB and was completely independent, moving operations to Massillon, Ohio, USA.

1931

Granted patent and industry

Leadership begins

R.L. Kirk filed for his first patent “Safety Interlock for Electrical and Mechanical Equipment and Systems” in 1931 and Kirk became an authority in electrical safety.

1932

Manufacturing increases

In 1932, KIRK® trapped key interlocks were manufactured in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA

As part of the Railway & Industrial Engineering Company, which held the patent filed by R.L. Kirk. Through the years, Railway & Industrial Engineering changed to ITE, then Gould, which turned into Gould Brown Boveri, and finally ABB.