Chapter 17

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Chapter 17
Forcible Entry
Introduction
• 2 ½ million homes broken into each year
• Owners install a variety of locking devices to
protect both homes and businesses
• Forcible entry often one of the first
operations conducted at a scene to gain entry
• Forcible entry is a combination of knowledge
and skill
– Must have knowledge of building construction and
locking devices
17.2
Figure 17-1 A typical assortment of forcible entry tools used by
fire departments.
17.3
Knowledge
• Working knowledge of locks,
hardware, doors, and other
assemblies is essential
• Must be able to “size up” the quickest
and easiest way to gain access
• Firefighter must know which type of
tool to use and best method to gain
access
17.4
Skill
• Involves a firefighter’s ability to apply
knowledge of:
–
–
–
–
Building construction
Lock assemblies
Tools
Techniques
• Skills developed by repeated practice
17.5
Experience
• Acquired by three means:
– Drills and practice
– Scene of actual fires and emergencies
– Learning about others’ experiences through
case studies and reports
17.6
Forcible Entry Tools
• Selection and right use of the “right”
tool are essential
• Right tool is the quickest and easiest
way to complete operation
• Many tools have more than one name
17.7
Table 17-1 Forcible Entry Tools
17.8
Striking Tools
• Used to deliver impact to other tools
• Used for impact delivery to the lock or
the door itself
– May force the door or even break it down
• Types of striking tools:
– Flathead ax
– Maul/sledge
– Ram
17.9
Figure 17-3 The group or family of striking tools
includes the maul, small hammer, flathead ax, and
Denver tools.
17.10
Prying and Spreading Tools
• Used to spread apart a door, move
objects, or expose locking device
–
–
–
–
–
Halligan tool
Claw tool
Kelly tool
Hydraulic spreaders
Miscellaneous prying tools
17.11
Figure 17-7 The group or family of prying tools includes the
Halligan, claw tool, hux bar, Detroit door opener, pry bar, and
hydraulic spreaders.
17.12
Cutting Tools
• Cut away materials and expose
locking device:
–
–
–
–
–
Ax
Handsaws
Bolt cutters
Power cutting tools—saws
Carbide-tipped blades and metal cutting
blade
– Masonry cutting blades
– Chain saws and reciprocating saws
– Cutting torch
17.13
Figure 17-10 The group or family of cutting tools includes
axes, saws (both power and manual), and bolt and wire
cutters.
17.14
Pulling Tools
• Hook or pike pole most common
• Grouped by type of head and handle
length
• Used to:
– Open walls and ceilings
– Vent windows
– Pull up roof boards
17.15
Figure 17-15 The most common type of pulling tool is the
hook or pike pole, available in various styles and lengths.
17.16
Special Tools
• Number of specialized tools available
to assist forcible operations:
– Bam bam or dent puller
– Duck bill lock breaker
– K-tool and lock pullers
• Most tools used in combination with
other tools to accomplish a task
17.17
Safety with Forcible Entry Tools
• If misused or used for wrong task, forcible
entry tools will create safety hazards
• General rules apply to all operations
– Always wear personal protective equipment
– Follow manufacturer guidelines
– Do not attempt to cut material for which a tool was
not designed
– Tools must be in proper condition
– Never use tools alone
– Tools should be properly stored and easily
accessible
17.18
Rotary and Chain Saws
• Remove security gates, barred
windows, and overhead doors
• These saws present a number of
hazards
• Firefighters should follow operation
and safety guidelines
17.19
Carrying Tools
• Many tools have sharp or pointed ends
and must be carried safely:
– Carry ax with blade away from body
– Pointed and sharp end of prying ax carried
away from body
– With striking tools, head carried close to
the ground and not swung freely
17.20
Hand Tools
• Constructed of:
–
–
–
–
Metal
Wood
Fiberglass
Combination of materials
• Tools inspected regularly for:
– Cracks in the handles
– Burrs in the metal
– Loose heads
17.21
Maintenance of Forcible
Entry Tools
• General guidelines
– Cleaned and inspected on regular basis
– Documentation of tool maintenance is
important
– Follow manufacturer guidelines for
battery-operated tools
• Specific guidelines for:
– Metal heads and parts
– Fiberglass handles
– Wood handles
17.22
Construction and Forcible Entry
• Type of construction of many different
features of buildings must be
recognized and understood
• Thorough knowledge leads to
successful forcible entry operations
17.23
Door Construction
• Manufactured in many styles
• Door assembly:
– Door, frame or jamb
– Mounting hardware
– Locking device mounted in a jamb, which is
rabbeted
• Rabbeted jamb milled into the casing that the
door closes against to form a seal
• Stopped jamb has molding nailed or attached
to the casing
– Can be removed allowing access to lock assembly
17.24
Figure 17-21 Doors are manufactured in a variety of styles
and materials.
17.25
Figure 17-22 The parts of a door assembly.
17.26
Types of Doors
• Three types of wood doors: panel, flush,
ledge
• Metal doors are hollow-core or metal clad
• Two main types of glass doors: metal,
tempered
• Other types of doors:
–
–
–
–
–
Sliding doors
Revolving doors
Overhead doors
Residential and commercial garage doors
Roll-down steel doors and gates
17.27
Locks
• Locks keep unwanted visitors out of
a building
• Know types of locks, how they
operate, and how to disable them
–
–
–
–
–
–
Key in the knob lock
Mortise lock
Rim locks
Tubular locks
Padlocks
Special locks
17.28
Figure 17-33 The parts of a lock device.
17.29
Figure 17-36 Rim locks (from left
to right): a dead bolt, a vertical
bolt and striker plate, and a
vertical bolt with key cylinder.
Figure 17-37 Tubular dead bolts.
(Courtesy of Master Lock
Company, LLC.)
17.30
Additional Security Devices
• Additional security may be simple or
complex
– Simple example: broom handle in track of
sliding door
– Complex example: additional locks
• Forcible entry team may need to find
alternative means of entry or use rotary
saw
• Obtain unwanted locks and use as
training aids
17.31
(A)
(B)
Figure 17-41 These auxiliary locking devices are usually not
detected by the forcible entry team: (A) floor-mounted stop plate, (B)
door blocker
17.32
(C)
(D)
Figure 17-41 (cont’d.) (C) steel bar and brackets, and (D)
sliding bolt. Note that the bar and sliding bolt are often
homemade devices.
17.33
Methods of Forcible Entry
• Three standard methods:
– Conventional
– Through-the-lock
– Power tools
• All forcible entry operations must be
coordinated with fire attack and
ventilation
– Lack of coordination may result in rapid
fire spread or backdraft
17.34
Conventional Forcible Entry
• Old and reliable method
• Use of leverage, force, and impact
• Primary tools:
– Halligan tool
– Flathead ax
• Accomplish one or more of the
following:
– Force door away from jamb
– Break lock, striker, door, and/or frame
– Force the hinges; breach the wall or door
17.35
Through-the-Lock Forcible Entry
• Involves attacking the locking
mechanism
• Remove key cylinder and operate lock
with alternative means
• Used when entry needs to be gained
with damage kept to a minimum
17.36
Operating Lock Mechanisms
• Manipulate lock by using proper key tool
– Flat steel key
– Square key tool
• Lock cylinders fall into two categories
– Mortise
– Rim lock
• Correct tool determined by examining
the cylinder
17.37
Figure 17-46 To operate the lock, look at the back of the
cylinder to determine the right key tool to use.
17.38
Lock Variations
• Many locks have a spring-loaded
shutter
• Rim lock with night latch can only be
unlocked from inside
• Locks such as key in knob and tubular
dead bolts are opened in manner
similar to rim lock
17.39
Windows
• Many types, architectural styles,
sizes, and construction
• Windows used as an alternative
means of entry
• Four construction features of
windows:
–
–
–
–
Glazing
Sash
Frame
Security devices
17.40
Figure 17-51 Windows are found in many types,
architectural styles, sizes, and construction.
17.41
Forcible Entry of Windows
• Each type of window requires a special
technique to force entry
• Two general reasons to force a
window:
– Gain entry
– Horizontal ventilation
17.42
Figure 17-52 Use a long-handled tool such as a
hook or pike pole to break glass out of a window.
17.43
Glazing
• Most common glazing material is glass
• Different types of glass:
–
–
–
–
Regular or plate glass
Tempered glass
Laminated glass
Wire glass
17.44
Types of Windows
• Several types of windows:
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Double hung/check rail windows
Energy-efficient windows
Casement windows
Awning windows
Jalousie windows
Projected windows
Fixed windows
Bars and gates
17.45
Breaching Walls and Floors
• Emergency situations often dictate that walls
of structure must be opened
• Two main considerations when breaching
walls:
– Type of construction of the building
• Wood construction with lath and plaster or
drywall easy to breach
• Brick and reinforced concrete require more
effort
– Tools available
• Ordinary hand tools are usually sufficient
• Solid masonry may require specialized tools
17.46
Figure 17-54 The firefighter uses an ax handle or Halligan
tool to poke through a wall to determine if there are any
obstructions on the other side.
17.47
Techniques for Breaching Walls
• Different types of walls present new
challenges
– Breaching wood-framed walls
• Avoid area around doors and corners
– Breaching masonry walls—block or brick
• Without power tools only option may be 12pound maul
– Breaching reinforced concrete walls and floors
• Most common tool used is the jackhammer
• May need oxyacetylene torch
– Breaching metal walls
• Location of heavy structural members located
first
17.48
Techniques for Breaching
Floors
• Cutting wood floors with a power saw
– Rotary saw with 12-inch-diameter carbidetipped blade
• Cutting wood floors with an ax
– Locate floor joists and cut along joist
– Pull up finish flooring to expose subflooring
– Make all cuts on subfloor first before
pulling up
17.49
Figure 17-56 A rectangle, square, or triangle can be
cut, followed by the removal of the finished flooring
and the subflooring.
17.50
Tool Assignments
• Necessary tools must be carried in with
first on-scene and later arriving units
• Tool assignments based on:
– Occupancy and construction of building
– Position or task assigned
– Department standard operating
procedures (SOPs) or policies
17.51
Lessons Learned
• Forcible entry is a key tactic
• Must understand tools, equipment, and
methods
• Teamwork is an essential element
• Forcible entry must be done quickly
• Firefighter must continually size up
buildings
17.52
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