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FORCIBLE ENTRY. INTRODUCTION. Modern society is security conscious P rivate homes C ommercial occupancies Vehicles Forcible entry The technique used by fire department personnel to gain access to a structure whose normal means of access is locked, blocked or nonexistent . INTRODUCTION.

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  • Modern society is security conscious

    • Private homes

    • Commercial occupancies

    • Vehicles

  • Forcible entry

    • The technique used by fire department personnel to gain access to a structure whose normal means of access is locked, blocked or nonexistent


  • Forcible entry, when properly used, does a minimal amount of damage to the structure or structural components and provides quick access for firefighters

    • should not be used when normal means of access are readily available

    • may be required to open means of egress (exit) from structures


  • Knowing the construction features of doors, windows and other barriers, knowing proper tool selection and knowing forcible entry techniques greatly enhances a firefighter’s effort on the fireground

  • Ability to use forcible entry techniques quickly and effectively demonstrates professionalism to the community you serve

Forcible entry tools

  • A firefighter must have a complete working knowledge of the tools available to perform the task

    • Using the proper tool will make the difference in whether the barrier faced is successfully forced

  • Forcible entry tools can be divided into four basic categories

    • Cutting tools

    • Prying tools

    • Pushing / pulling tools

    • Striking tools

Forcible entry tools1

  • Cutting Tools

    • Many different types

      • Often specific to the type of materials they can cut and how fast they can cut them

    • No such thing as a single cutting tool that will efficiently cut all materials

      • Using a cutting tool in a way it was not designed can destroy the tool and endanger the operator

    • Cutting tools may be either manual or powered

Cutting tools

  • Axes and Hatchets

    • The most common type of cutting tool available in the fire service

    • Two basic types

      • Pick-head

      • Flat-head

    • Pick-head axe

      • 6 pound or 8 pound head

      • Handle made of either wood or fiberglass

      • Effective for cutting through natural and lightweight materials

Cutting tools1

  • Axes and Hatchets

    • Flat-head axe

      • 6 or 8 pound head

      • Handles made of either wood or fiberglass

      • Cuts through a variety of natural and lightweight materials

      • Can be used as a striking tool

Cutting tools2

  • Handsaws

    • There are times when the handsaw is necessary because of a small work space

    • Commonly used handsaws

      • Carpenter's handsaw

      • Keyhole saw

      • Hacksaws

      • Coping saw

Cutting tools3

  • Power Saws

    • Make fast and efficient cuts in a variety of materials

    • Times when these saws should and should not be used

    • Divided into categories

      • Rotary (circular) saw

      • Reciprocating saw

      • Chain saw

      • Ventilation saw

Cutting tools4

  • Power Saws

    • Do not push a saw (or any tool) beyond the limits of its design and purpose

      • Two things may occur

        • Tool failure

        • Injury to the operator

    • Never use a power saw in a flammable atmosphere

    • Always use eye protection when operating any power saw

Cutting tools5

  • Power Saws

    • Rotary (Circular) Saw

      • Fire service version is often gasoline powered

      • Blades spin more than 6,000 rpm

      • Blades range from large-toothed blades for quick rough cuts to fine teeth for a more precise cut

      • Carbide tipped teeth are superior to standard blades

        • Less prone to dulling with heavy use

Cutting tools6

  • Power Saws

    • Rotary (Circular) Saw

      • Blades specifically designed for cutting metal are also available

        • Often used in forcible entry

      • Following both manufacturer’s recommendations and department SOGs are imperative to maintaining a firefighter’s personal safety when operating saws

Cutting tools7

  • Reciprocating Saw

    • Powerful, versatile and highly controllable saw

    • Can use a variety of blades for cutting different materials

    • Require electricity

Cutting tools8

  • Chain Saw (Vent Saw)

    • Used for years by the logging industry

      • Sometimes more efficient than the rotary saw

      • Powerful enough to penetrate dense material yet lightweight enough to be easily handled in awkward positions

      • Should not be used to cut metal

Cutting tools9

  • Metal Cutting Devices and Cutting Torches

    • Bolt cutters

      • Cuts bolts, iron bars, pins, cables, hasps, chains and some padlock shackles

      • Advances in security technology are limiting the use of bolt cutters

        • Materials shatter the cutting surface or cause the handles to fail

Cutting tools10

  • Metal Cutting Devices and Cutting Torches

    • Cutting Torch

      • Operates by burning away the material being cut

      • Uses a mixture of flammable gases to generate a flame with a temperature of more than 5,700° F

Prying tools

  • Prying Tools

    • Provide an advantage for opening doors, windows, locks and moving heavy objects

    • Hand (manual) prying tools use the basic principle of the lever to provide a mechanical advantage

      • Leverage applied incorrectly works against the firefighter

    • Hydraulic prying tools can either be powered hydraulic or manual hydraulic

      • Manual hydraulic tools operate slower

Prying tools1

  • Manual Prying Tools

    • Variety of hand prying tools is available to the fire service

      • Crowbar

      • Halligan-type bar

      • Hux bar

      • Claw tool

      • Kelly tool

      • Pry axe

      • Flat bar

Prying tools2

  • Hydraulic Prying Tools

    • Hydraulic rescue spreader tool

    • Most often associated with vehicle extrication has some uses in forcible entry

      • Depending on manufacturer, spread as much as 32 inches

Prying tools3

  • Hydraulic Prying Tools

    • Hydraulic ram

      • Designed primarily for vehicle extrication

      • Spreading capabilities ranging from 36 inches to an extended length of nearly 63 inches

      • Place the ram in between either side of a door frame to spread the frame apart

Prying tools4

  • Hydraulic Prying Tools

    • Hydraulic door opener, is a hand-operated spreader device and is relatively lightweight

    • Consists of a hand pump and spreader device

    • Pressure usually causes the locking mechanism or door to fail

    • Valuable tool when more than one door must be forced

      • Apartments or hotels

Pushing pulling tools

  • Pushing / Pulling Tools

    • Limited use in forcible entry

      • Tool of choice for breaking glass and opening walls or ceilings

    • Tools includes

      • Standard pike pole

      • Clemens hook

      • Plaster hook

      • Drywall hook

      • San Francisco hook

      • Multipurpose hook

      • Roofman's hook

Pushing pulling tools1

  • Pushing / Pulling Tools

    • Gives the firefighter additional reach

      • Stay out of the way of falling debris

    • Pike poles and hooks should not be depended on for leverage

Striking tools

  • Striking Tools

    • Basic hand tool consisting of a weighted head attached to a handle

      • Sledgehammer (8, 10 and 16 pounds)

      • Maul

      • Flat-head axe

      • Sledge hammer

      • Multi-tool

Tool combinations

  • Tool Combinations

    • No single forcible entry tool provides the firefighter with the needed force or leverage to handle all forcible entry situations

    • The most important factor to consider is selecting the proper tools to do the job

      • Pre-incident surveys will help to determine what tools are required

Tool safety

  • Hand and power tools used in the fire service can be extremely dangerous if misused or used carelessly

  • In atmospheres that could be explosive, extreme caution should be taken in the use of power and hand tools that may cause arcs or sparks

Tool safety1

  • Prying Tool Safety

    • Using prying tools incorrectly creates a safety hazard

      • Not acceptable to use a "cheater bar"

        • Can put forces on the tool that are greater than the tool was designed to handle

Tool safety2

  • Circular Saw Safety

    • Must be used with extreme care to prevent injury from the high-speed rotary blade

    • Store blades in a clean, dry environment free of hydrocarbon fumes

      • Hydrocarbons will attack the bonding material in the blades and make them subject to sudden disintegration during use

    • Match the saw to the task and the material to be cut

      • Never push a saw beyond its design limitations

    • Wear proper protective equipment

    • Do not use any power saw when working in a flammable atmosphere or near flammable liquids

Tool safety3

  • Circular Saw Safety

    • Keep unprotected and nonessential people out of the work area

    • Follow manufacturer's guidelines for proper saw operation

    • Keep blades and chain well sharpened

      • A dull saw is more likely to cause an accident than a sharp one

    • Be aware of potential hidden hazards

Tool safety4

  • Carrying Tools

    • Carry tools and tool combinations in the safest manner possible

    • Axes

      • Carry the axe with the blade away from the body

      • Pick-head axes

        • Grasp the pick with a hand to cover it

      • Axes should never be carried on the shoulder

Tool safety5

  • Carrying Tools

    • Prying Tools

      • Carry these tools with any pointed or sharp edges away from the body

    • Combinations of Tools

      • Strap tool combinations together

      • Halligan type bars and flat-head axes can be “married” together and strapped

Tool safety6

  • Carrying Tools

    • Pike Poles and Hooks

      • Carry with the head down, close to the ground and ahead of the body

      • These tools can severely injure anyone poked with the working end of the tool

Tool safety7

  • Carrying Tools

    • Striking Tools

      • Keep the heads of these tools close to the ground

      • Maintain a firm grip

    • Power Tools

      • Never carry a power tool that is running

      • Carry the tool to the area where the work will be performed and start it there

Care and maintenance

  • Care and Maintenance of Forcible Entry Tools

    • Proper care and maintenance of all forcible entry tools are essential ingredients of any forcible entry operation

      • Tools will function as designed if they are properly maintained and kept in the best of condition

Care and maintenance1

  • Wood Handles

    • Inspect the handle for cracks, blisters or splinters

    • Sand the handle to minimize hand injuries

    • Wash the handle with mild detergent, rinse and wipe dry

      • Do not soak the handle in water because it will cause the wood to swell

    • Apply a coat of boiled linseed oil to the handle to prevent roughness and warping

      • Do not paint or varnish the handle

    • Check the tightness of the tool head

    • Limit tool marking

Care and maintenance2

  • Fiberglass Handles

    • Wash the handle with mild detergent, rinse and wipe dry

    • Check the tightness of the tool head

  • Cutting Edges

    • Inspect the cutting edge for nicks, tears or metal spurs

    • Replace cutting edges when required

    • File the cutting edges by hand

      • Grinding weakens the tool

Care and maintenance3

  • Plated Surfaces

    • Inspect for damage

    • Wipe plated surfaces clean or wash with mild detergent and water

  • Unprotected Metal Surfaces

    • Keep free of rust

    • Oil the metal surface lightly. avoid using any metal protectant that contains trichloroethane

    • Avoid painting

    • Inspect the metal for spurs, burrs or sharp edges and file them off when found

Care and maintenance4

  • Axe Heads

    • The manner in which the axe head is maintained directly affects how well it works

    • If the blade is extremely sharp and its body is ground too thin pieces of the blade may break when cutting

    • If the body of the blade is too thick, regardless of its sharpness, it may be difficult to drive the axe head through ordinary objects

Care and maintenance5

  • Power Equipment

    • Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions

    • Inspect and ensure power tools will start

    • Check blades for completeness and readiness

    • Replace blades that are worn

    • Check all electrical components for cuts and frays

    • Ensure that all guards are functional and in place

    • Ensure that fuel is fresh

      • Fuel mixtures may deteriorate over time

Size up

  • Door Size-Up and Construction Features

    • Primary obstacle firefighters face in gaining access to a building is a locked or blocked door

    • Size-up of the door is an essential part of the forcible entry task

      • How the door functions

      • How it is constructed

      • How it is locked

Size up1

  • Door Size-Up and Construction Features

    • Doors function in one of the following ways

      • Swinging (either inward or outward)

      • Sliding

      • Revolving

      • Overhead

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  • Door Size-Up and Construction Features

    • Firefighters should try the door to make sure that it is locked before force is used

      • “try before you pry!”

    • If the door is locked, begin additional size-up

      • Which way does it swing?

        • Look for the door

        • In or out?

      • Does it slide left or right?

      • Does it roll up?

Size up3

  • Door Size-Up and Construction Features

    • Access doors to residences usually swing inward

    • Commercial, public assembly doors and industrial doors, swing outward

    • There will be times that even that best size-up and forcible entry effort will not be successful

      • Remember not to get focused on one effort and one technique

      • Spending too much time forcing a door is counterproductive

      • If the door proves too well secured, find another door

Size up4

  • Door Size-Up and Construction Features

    • After determining how a door functions, you must understand how the door is constructed

      • Doors range in construction types from interior hollow core to high-security steel

    • Most common door encountered is the wood swinging door, followed by the steel swinging door

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  • Wood Swinging Doors

    • Three general categories of wood swinging doors

      • Panel

      • Slab

      • Ledge

    • Entry doors on structures are usually panel or slab

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  • Wood Swinging Doors

    • The door is only one component of a door assembly

    • Doorjambs are the sides of the opening into which the door is fitted

      • Rabbeted jamb

        • A shoulder milled into the casing that the door closes against to form a seal

      • Stopped jamb

        • Has a piece of molding added to the door frame for the door to close on

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  • Panel Doors

    • wood panel doors are made of solid wood members insert with panels

      • panels may be wood or plastic

    • panel doors often have panels fitted into the door to allow in light

      • glass

      • Lexan (polycarbonate)

      • plastic

      • Plexiglas

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  • Slab Doors

    • a very common door

    • constructed in two ways

      • solid core

      • hollow core

    • many interior doors in residences are hollow core

      • core or center portion of door is made up of web or grid of glued wood strips over which several layers of plywood veneer panels have been glued

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  • Slab Doors (cont.)

    • most exterior slab doors found on newly constructed residences are hollow core

      • exterior slab doors on older homes may be solid core

    • not pierced by windows or other openings

      • panels on a slab door are purely decorative

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  • Slab Doors (cont.)

    • the core of a solid core door is constructed of some type of solid material

    • very old homes, the door may be made of thick planks that have been tongue and grooved together

    • modern solid core doors may be filled with a material used for insulation or soundproofing

    • plywood veneer covering

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  • Ledge Doors

    • also know as “batten doors”

    • found on warehouses, storerooms, barns and sheds

    • made of built-up materials, including boards, plywood sheeting, particleboard, etc.

    • generally locked with some type of surface lock, hasp, padlock, bolt or bar

    • hinges generally pin type, fastened with screws or bolts

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  • Metal Swinging Doors

    • are classified as hollow metal, metal covered and tubular

    • more difficult to force due to their construction and design

      • most often set in a metal doorjamb

      • very little “spring” to the door

    • generally considered impractical to force a metal door in a metal frame in masonry

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  • Metal Swinging Doors (cont.)

    • vary greatly in their construction

    • metal covered doors may have a solid wood door underneath the metal or it may be a hollow metal door filled with fire-resistive materials

    • the structural design of tubular metal doors is of seamless rectangular tube sections

      • groove is provided in the rectangular tube for glass or metal panels

      • found on exterior openings of modern buildings

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  • Metal Swinging Doors (cont.)

    • tubular aluminum doors are comparatively light in weight, are strong and are not subject to much spring

    • when faced with the need to force a metal door

      • consider the use of power tools, especially rotary saws or hydraulic tools

    • do not waste too much time trying to force the door

      • may be easier to breach the wall next to a steel door

Size up15

  • Sliding Doors

    • travel either left or right of their opening and in the same plane as the opening

    • attached to a metal track by roller or guide wheels

    • often called pocket doors when used as an interior door

    • more common type of sliding door is the door assembly used in patio areas of residences or as doors to porches or balconies in houses, hotels and apartments

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  • Sliding Doors (cont.)

    • the glass panels and sliding door are heavy glass window panels set in a metal or wood frame

      • glass panel normally double-thickness glass

      • newer doors may be triple-glass pane

      • some doors may have tempered (safety) glass

Size up17

  • Sliding Doors (cont.)

    • may sometimes be barred or blocked by a metal rod or a special device

      • commonly called “burglar blocks”

      • easily seen from the outside

      • practically eliminates any possibility of forcing without causing excessive damage

Size up18

  • Revolving Doors

    • made up of quadrants that revolve around a center shaft

    • turns within a metal or glass housing assembly that is open on each side to allow user’s entry and egress

    • may be locked in various ways and in general, they are considered difficult to force when locked

Size up19

  • Revolving Doors (cont.)

    • usually, there are swinging doors on either side of the revolving door

      • more effective to force through the swinging door

    • all revolving doors are equipped with a mechanism that allows them to collapse during an emergency

    • three basic types of mechanisms involved

      • panic proof

      • drop arm

      • metal braced

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  • Revolving Doors (cont.)

    • Panic-Proof Type

      • has a ¼ inch cable holding the door quadrants apart

      • triggered by forces pushing in opposite directions on the quadrants

    • Drop-Arm Type

      • has a solid arm passing through one of the quadrants

        • a pawl is located on the quadrant the arm passes through

      • press the pawl to disengage the arm, then push the quadrant to one side

Size up21

  • Revolving Doors (cont.)

    • Metal-Braced Type

      • resembles a gate hook and eye assembly

      • to collapse, lift the hook and fasten it back against the fixed quadrant

      • hooks are located on both side of the quadrant

Size up22

  • Overhead Doors

    • generally constructed of wood, metal or fiberglass

    • pose quite a forcible entry problem

      • heavily secured

      • sometimes motor driven and usually spring loaded or balanced

      • forcible entry may be difficult, but it is not impossible

    • classified as follows

      • sectional (folding)

      • rolling steel

      • slab

Size up23

  • Overhead Doors (cont.)

    • sectional (folding) overhead door is not too difficult to force entry through unless it is either motor driven or remotely controlled

      • latch mechanism is generally located in the center of the door

        • controls two locks, one located on each side of the door

        • lock and latch may also be located on only one side

Size up24

  • Overhead Doors (cont.)

    • sectional overhead doors may be forced by prying upward at the bottom of the door with a good prying tool

      • less damage will be done and time will be saved if a panel is removed and the latch is turned from the inside

      • may be locked with a padlock through a hole at either end of the bar or the padlock may even be in the track

      • cut a hole in the door to gain access and remove the padlock

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  • Overhead Doors (cont.)

    • pivoting or overhead slab doors, sometimes called “awning doors”, are more difficult to force due to the nature of the door

      • spring mechanism must pivot the door out and up

      • care must be taken to not jam the door in its tracks or it will not open

      • wood pivoting doors are very heavy

      • locked similarly to the sectional or folding doors

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  • Overhead Doors (cont.)

    • pry outward with a bar at each side near the bottom

      • tends to bend the lock bar enough to pass the keeper

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  • Overhead Doors (cont.)

    • rolling steel doors, used as high-security doors

      • designed to keep people out

      • locked with several padlocks and pins

      • can be manually operated, mechanically operated or motor driven

      • among the toughest forcible entry challenges faced by firefighters

      • best accessed by cutting a triangle-shaped opening

        • rotary rescue saw or a cutting torch

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  • Fire Doors

    • protect door openings in walls that are required to be rated as fire-barrier assemblies or fire wall

    • assembly includes the door, frame and associated hardware

    • types of standard fire doors

      • horizontal and vertical sliding

      • single and double swinging

      • overhead rolling

Size up29

  • Fire Doors (cont.)

    • fire doors may be mechanically, manually or electrically operated

    • two standard means by which fire doors operate

      • self-closing

        • when the door is opened, it returns to the closed position on its own

      • automatic-closing

        • normally remain open, close when the hold-open device releases the door upon activation of either a local smoke detector or a fire alarm system

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  • Fire Doors (cont.)

    • swinging fire doors

      • generally used on stair enclosures

      • opened and closed frequently

    • vertical sliding fire doors normally open and arranged to close automatically

    • overhead rolling fire doors

      • installed where space limitations prevent installation of other types

      • arranged to close automatically

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  • Fire Doors (cont.)

    • most interior fire doors do not lock when they close

    • when passing through an opening protected by a fire door, block the door open to prevent its closing and trapping you

      • fire doors have also been known to close and cut off the water supply in a hoseline

Locks and locking devices

  • Locking devices vary from a simple lock to a series of very sophisticated locking devices

  • Locks are divided into four basic types

    • mortise lock

    • bored (cylindrical) lock

    • rim lock

    • padlock

Locks and locking devices1

  • Mortise Lock

    • designed to fit into a cavity in the door

      • consists of a latch mechanism and an opening device

    • when the lock is in the lock position, the bolt protrudes from the lock into a keeper that is mortised into the jamb

Locks and locking devices2

  • Mortise Lock (cont.)

    • newer mortise locks may also have larger and longer dead-bolt features for added security

    • found on private residences, commercial buildings and industrial buildings

Locks and locking devices3

  • Bored (Cylindrical) Lock

    • named because their installation involves boring two holes at right angles to one another

      • one through the face of the door to accommodate the main locking mechanism and the other in the edge of the door to receive the latch or bolt mechanism

    • one type of bored lock is the key-in-knob lock

Locks and locking devices4

  • Bored (Cylindrical) Lock

    • key-in-knob has a keyway in the outside knob

      • inside knob may contain either a keyway or a button

    • latch bolt usually no longer than ¾ inch

      • vulnerable to prying operations

Locks and locking devices5

  • Rim Lock

    • one of the most common locks in use today

    • surface mounted

      • used as an add-on lock for doors that already have other types of locks

    • found in all types of occupancies

    • identified from the outside by a cylinder that is recessed into the door

Locks and locking devices6

  • Padlock

    • include portable or detachable locking devices

    • two basic types of padlocks

      • regular

        • have shackles of ¼ inch or less in diameter

        • not case-hardened

      • heavy-duty

        • have shackles more than ¼ inch in diameter

        • case-hardened

        • toe and heal locking (both ends of the shackle are locked)

Non destructive rapid entry method

  • Rapid-Entry Key Box System

    • all necessary keys to the building, storage areas, gates and elevators are kept in a key box

      • mounted at a high-visibility location on the building’s exterior

      • only fire department carries a master key

    • unauthorized duplication of the master key is prevented

      • key blanks are not available to locksmiths

      • cannot be duplicated with conventional equipment

Conventional forcible entry

  • Conventional Forcible Entry

    • is the use of standard fire department tools to open doors and windows

    • if there are no glass panels in the door to break and a door is definitely locked

      • the firefighter must force the door open

      • the best combination is the 8-pound flat-head axe and the Halligan type bar

Conventional forcible entry1

  • Breaking Glass

    • first technique of forcible entry is to break the glass near the door or in the door

      • reach inside and operate the lock mechanism

    • may be easier to break the glass, but will it cause more damage?

    • if breaking the glass is the most appropriate method of entry, do it!

Conventional forcible entry2

  • Forcing Swinging Doors

    • a common type of door is one that swings to open and close

    • these doors can be either inward or outward swinging doors

    • forcing entry through these types of doors are basic skills

Conventional forcible entry3

  • Forcing Swinging Doors (cont.)

    • inward swinging doors

      • conventional forcible entry of inward swinging doors requires either one or two skilled firefighters

Conventional forcible entry4

  • Forcing Swinging Doors (cont.)

    • outward swinging doors

      • present a different set of problems

        • to get a forcible entry tool into the space between the door and the doorjamb, open that space and allow the lock bolt to slip from its keeper

      • sometimes called flush fitting doors

      • forced using either the adz end or the fork end of the Halligan type bar

Conventional forcible entry5

  • Special Circumstances

    • circumstances where additional measures may need to be taken to force a door due to

      • building construction

      • door construction

      • higher security

    • a few of the doors needing additional forcing measures

      • double swinging doors

      • doors with drop bars

      • tempered plate glass doors

Conventional forcible entry6

  • Special Circumstances (cont.)

    • double swinging doors

      • can present a problem depending on how they are secured

        • secured only by a mortise lock, the door can be pried apart far enough to let the bolt slip past the keeper

        • insert the adz end between the doors and pushing down and outward

        • security molding over the space between the two doors, must be removed

Conventional forcible entry7

  • Special Circumstances (cont.)

    • Doors with Drop Bars

      • either wood or steel, dropped across the door and held in place by wood or metal stirrups

        • insert small narrow tool into space between double doors and try to lift bar up and out of its stirrup

        • cut a triangular hole into the door just below the bar

        • insert the blade of a rotary power saw into either the space between the jam and the door or between the doors in double doors and cut the bar

Conventional forcible entry8

  • Special Circumstances (cont.)

    • tempered plate glass doors

      • commercial stores, light industry and institutional occupancies

      • heavy and extremely expensive

      • difficult to break glass

        • shatters into small cube-like pieces

      • resists heat

      • glass should be shattered at a bottom corner

        • use a tool with a pick or point

      • glass should be broken only as a last resort for access

        • through-the-lock method

Through the lock

  • Through-The-Lock Forcible Entry

    • is the preferred method of entry for many commercial doors, residential security locks, padlocks and high-security doors

    • minimal amount of damage to the door

      • performed correctly

    • requires a good size-up of both the door and the lock mechanism

      • suitable for conventional forcible entry?

Through the lock1

  • Through-The-Lock Forcible Entry (cont.)

    • commercial doors, the lock cylinder can actually be unscrewed from the door

      • common on storefront doors

      • protected by a collar or shield?

    • operating the lock as though you had the key to the lock

      • use a key tool to operate the lock mechanism once the cylinder is removed

Through the lock2

  • Through-The-Lock Forcible Entry (cont.)

    • requires patience and practice

    • some examples of through-the-lock tools

      • K-tool

      • J-tool

      • shove knife

Through the lock3

  • K-Tool

    • useful in pulling all types of lock cylinders

      • rim, mortise or tubular

    • used with a Halligan-type bar

    • K-tool forced behind ring and face of cylinder until wedging blades bite into cylinder

    • metal loop acts as fulcrum for leverage

      • holds adz end of the prying tool

    • once cylinder is removed, key tool can be used

Through the lock4

  • A-Tool

    • tool accomplishes same job as the K-tool

      • slightly more damage to the door

    • many locks are manufacture with collars or protective cone-shaped covers

      • prevent anyone from using a lock-pulling device

    • A-tool is a sharp notch with cutting edges machined into a prying tool

    • designed to cut behind the protective collar

Through the lock5

  • J-Tool

    • is a wire-type device designed to fit through the space between double swinging doors equipped with panic hardware

    • can manipulate the panic bar

      • operate with minimal pressure exerted

Through the lock6

  • Shove Knife

    • flat steel tool, is one of the oldest burglar tools

    • rapid access to outward swinging latch-type doors


  • Forcible Entry Involving Padlocks

    • padlocks

      • portable locking device that are used to secure a door, window, gates, etc..

    • range from the very simple, easily broken type to the high security, virtually impenetrable type

    • conventional forcible entry tools can be used

      • additional tools are available

        • duck-billed lock breaker

        • hammer-headed pick

        • locking pliers and chain

        • hockey puck lock breaker

        • bam-bam tool


  • Forcible Entry Involving Padlocks (cont.)

    • duck-billed lock breaker

      • is a wedge shaped tool that will widen and break the shackle of padlocks

        • like using the hook of a Halligan type bar

      • driven by a maul or flat head axe until the padlock break


  • Forcible Entry Involving Padlocks (cont.)

    • bam-bam tool

      • uses case-hardened screws driven into actual keyway lock mechanism of padlock

      • few hits with sliding hammer will pull lock tumbler out of padlock body

      • key tool or screwdriver can be inserted to trip lock mechanism

      • will not work on Master Locks, American Locks and other high quality locks

        • case-hardened retaining ring


  • Cutting Padlocks with Saws or Cutting Torches

    • may be quickest method of removing padlocks

    • high security padlocks designed with heel and toe shackles

      • will not pivot if only one side of shackle is cut

    • do not try to cut a loose padlock

      • fasten a set of locking pliers and chain to the lock body


  • Fences can be made of wood, masonry, woven wire or metal

    • may be topped with barbed wire or razor wire

    • may also be used to keep guard animals on the premises

  • Cutting metal fences with bolt cutters or removing wood boards are ways to gain access

  • Wire fences should be cut near posts

    • lessen the danger of injury from the whip coil of loosened wires


  • Using ladders to bridge fences, especially masonry fences, is another quick way of gaining access over a fence

  • SIZE-UP!

Forcing windows

  • Forcible entry can take place through windows, though they are not the preferred entry point into a fire building

    • sometimes easier to force than doors

    • entry can be made to open a locked door from inside the structure

  • Size-up of windows is critical to a successful forced entry

Forcing windows1

  • Breaking widow glass on the fireground presents a multitude of hazards to both firefighters and civilians

    • glass shards travel great distance from windows on upper floors

    • make movement for advancing hose teams or rescue crews difficult

    • may shower victims inside the structure

Forcing windows2

  • Wire glass requires great effort to break and remove

    • wire prevents the glass from falling out of the frame

Forcing windows3

  • Thermopane windows or triple-glaze windows can cost the owner a large sum of money

    • determine if the benefits of breaking the window outweigh the damage that will be caused or will breaking the window cause more damage than necessary

Forcing windows4

  • Thermopane windows are more difficult to break

    • shard removal difficult and time-consuming

  • Windows come in a variety of types and sizes

    • basic windows include

      • double-hung (checkrail)

      • hinged (casement)

      • projected (factory)

      • awning or jalousie

    • also various high-security windows

      • Lexan

      • barred

      • screened

Forcing windows5

  • Double-Hung (Checkrail) Windows

    • extremely popular window in building construction

    • manufactured in either wood, metal or vinyl clad

      • made up of two sashes

      • top and bottom sashes are fitted into window frame and operate by sliding up or down

    • newer double-hung windows, referred to as "replacement windows"

      • not only move up and down, but tip inward for cleaning

Forcing windows6

  • Double-Hung (Checkrail) Windows (cont.)

    • may contain ordinary glass, Thermopane glass, wire glass, Plexiglas, acrylic plastic or Lexan plastic

    • secured by one or two thumb-operated locking devices located where the bottom of the top sash meets the top of the bottom sash

      • may also be more securely fastened by window bolts

    • replacement windows

      • two side-bolt type mechanisms located on each side of the sash

Forcing windows7

  • Hinged (Casement) Windows

    • constructed of wood or metal

    • often called a "crank out window"

      • should not be confused with an awning or jalousie window

    • consists of two sashes mounted on side hinges that swing outward, away from the structure

      • window crank assembly

Forcing windows8

  • Hinged (Casement) Windows (cont.)

    • locking devices vary from simple thumb-operated devices to latch-type mechanisms

    • can only be opened by operating the crank mechanism

    • extremely difficult to force

      • usually at least four locking device as well as two crank devices

    • very narrow and presents a more difficult entry

Forcing windows9

  • Hinged (Casement) Windows (cont.)

    • if possible another means of entry should be sought

    • if not

      • break the lowest pane of glass and clean out the sharp edges

      • force or cut the screen in the same area

      • reach in and upward to unlock the latch

      • operate the cranks or leavers at the bottom

      • completely remove the screen and enter

Forcing windows10

  • Projected (Factory) Windows

    • most often associated with factories, warehouses and other commercial and industrial locations

    • most often metal sashes with wire glass

    • most practical method of forcing is the same as that described for casement windows

    • metal frames and wire glass make it difficult to effectively accomplish rapid forcible entry

Forcing windows11

  • Projected (Factory) Windows (cont.)

    • may have bars over the outside and inside to prevent entry

      • best method of forcible entry is to seek another entry point!

    • often cover a large area, but the window openings themselves are very small

    • function by pivoting at either the top or bottom

      • projected-in

      • projected-out

      • pivoted-projected

Forcing windows12

  • Projected (Factory) Windows (cont.)

    • projected-in

      • bottom rail of the window swings into the occupancy toward the person who is opening it

      • top rail slides in a metal channel

    • projected-out

      • bottom rail of the window swings away from the building

      • top rail slides into a metal channel

Forcing windows13

  • Projected (Factory) Windows (cont.)

    • pivoted-projected

      • usually operated by a push bar that is notched to hold the window in place

      • screens are seldom used

Forcing windows14

  • Awning and Jalousie Windows

    • awning windows

      • consist of large sections of glass about 1 foot wide and as long as the window width

      • constructed with a metal or wood frame around the glass panel

Forcing windows15

  • Awning and Jalousie Windows

    • jalousie windows

      • consist of small sections about 4 inches wide and as long as the window width

      • usually constructed without frames and the glass is heavy plate that has been ground to overlap when closed

Forcing windows16

  • Awning and Jalousie Windows (cont.)

    • glass sections of both awning and jalousie windows are supported on each end by a metal operating mechanism

      • may be exposed or concealed

    • operating crank and gear housing are located at the bottom of the window

    • most the difficult of all types to force

Forcing windows17

  • Lexan Windows

    • is 250 times stronger than safety glass

      • 30 times stronger than acrylic

    • classified as self-extinguishing

    • virtually impossible to break with conventional forcible entry tools

    • two recommended techniques

      • cut Lexan using rotary power saw with carbide-tipped medium toothed blade

      • discharge carbon dioxide extinguisher on Lexan, then immediately strike Lexan with point of a tool

Forcing windows18

  • Barred or Screened Windows and Openings

    • building owners add metal bars or metal mesh screens over windows and sometimes door openings

    • may be permanently installed, hinged at the top or side or fitted into brackets and locked securely

    • forcing involves considerable time

Forcing windows19

  • Barred or Screened Windows and Openings (cont.)

    • more permanent security measure is to install heavy metal bars in the masonry above and below the window

    • "burglar" bars vary in their types and construction

      • attached directly to the building

      • attached to the window frame

    • forcible entry is a difficult and time consuming task

Forcing windows20

  • Barred or Screened Windows and Openings (cont.)

    • considerations for burglar bar

      • shear off the bolt heads for the mesh screen or bar assembly it they are visible and accessible

      • cut bar assembly or screen from the building using an oxyacetylene torch

Breaching walls

  • Forcible entry situations may arise where it would be faster and more efficient to gain access through the wall of a structure rather than through a conventional opening

    • thorough knowledge of building construction and good size-up techniques

    • breaching load-bearing walls already weakened by fire can be a very dangerous task

    • walls conceal electrical wiring, plumbing and gas lines

Breaching walls1

  • Plaster or Gypsum Partition Walls

    • interior walls may or may not be load bearing

    • gypsum wallboard and plaster are relatively easy to penetrate with forcible entry tools

      • select location of opening

      • check wall for electric wall plugs and switches

      • have a wide variety of forcible entry tools available

      • sound wall to locate studs

Breaching walls2

  • Plaster or Gypsum Partition Walls (cont.)

    • cut along studs to make a large open

    • remove one stud, if possible, from center of breach to enlarge the opening

    • use breach to gain access to area and search to find the normal means of entry

Breaching walls3

  • Brick or Concrete Block Walls

    • can be the toughest type to breach

    • battering ram may be used to breaching

      • with handles and hand guards

      • one end is jagged for breaking brick and stone and the other end is rounded and smooth for battering walls and doors

      • requires two to four firefighters to use

Breaching walls4

  • Brick or Concrete Block Walls (cont.)

    • power tools such as air chisels, hydraulic spreaders and rotary rescue saws

      • prove to be the best methods for breaching

Breaching walls5

  • Metal Walls

    • usually fastened to studs by nails, rivets, bolts, screws or other fasteners

    • metal cutting power saw is normally the best tool to use

    • metal should be cut along the studding

      • provide stability for the saw

      • ease of repair

    • if no studs can be located, may bear the entire load of the structure

      • cut a hole in the wall in the shape of a triangle

      • distributes the walls load more evenly

Breaching floors

  • Wood Floors

    • wood joists usually spaced a maximum of 16 inches

    • sub-floor consisting of either 1 inch boards or 4 foot by 8 foot sheets of plywood is first laid over the joists

    • finish flooring is laid last

      • linoleum

      • tile

      • hardwood

      • carpeting

Breaching floors1

  • Wood Floors (cont.)

    • plywood sub-flooring is generally laid at right angles to the joist

    • carpets and rungs should be removed or rolled to one side before a floor is cut

Breaching floors2

  • Concrete / Reinforced Concrete Floors

    • Extremely difficult to force

    • Opening them should be bypassed if possible

      • Most feasible means is to use a compressed air or electric jack hammer

      • Concrete cutting blades are available for most portable power saws