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Forcible Entry is of one of the key areas in which truck companies must achieve proficiency. What strategies and tactics do you use to force entry? What challenges have you encountered? Share your knowledge!

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Started seeing them here too. Downtown and especially in the vacant buildings and those under construction. Any advice on forcing from the exterior? How well do they hold heat? How rapidly will the deteriorate from heat?
Here's a tip for through the lock entry. It seems that a lot of homeowners put a lot of money into a nice door for their home but always seem to go cheap with the locksets. Most are Schlage or Kwikset... The Kwikset type are a truckie's dream. They have what appears to be a ring on the front face of the knob. This is actually the cylinder which is only held in with two spring clips. Inserting a flathead screwdriver into this ring and prying the cylinder out will expose the stem inside the lockset. You can then use the same flat head to manipulate the lock, left or right. The beautiful thing about this method is once entry is gained...the cylinder can be pushed back into the knob and the whole thing works as if it was just installed. The keyway is not disturbed. Quick, easy, with minimal force, no exertion, and few tools. Attached is a pic of the type of locksets. I will try to get some of the actual technique uploaded.
Also for a can use the same flat head screwdriver and place it between the rim of the lock and the door. Tap it in between the two and turn it to make a purchase point. This should be done above the centerline of the cylinder so access can be made to the top of the bolt. Then inserting a (small) rigid wire or rod with a hook similar to a key tool (even a dental pick) into the purchase point with the pick facing upwards and once inside rotating the pick down to catch the strike lever of the bolt, pull it backwards. You'd be surprised at the minimal effort it takes to pull this bolt back to the unlocked position. Will send pics of this technique also.
Looking for input on forcing entry on magnetic locks. In our area, we are coming across aluminum stile commercial doors being fitted with a magnetic lock in the upper corner of the door. Seeing what peoples takes and experiences are on these magnetic locks

Chad Cox
Wichita Fire

I have yet to try it, but I've been told that if you can find a large magnet (store it somewhere on your truck) you can place it over the cap on the door and it can overpower most electo-magnets and render the door available for normal FE operations. Other than that, you could disconnect power to the building since the magnets are activated electrically.


Chad Berg
Ladder co. 72
Snohomish County, WA

With such a great first name, what can I say! Very interesting with the magnet idea. Some of the ones we have sized up have one domed bolt head showing on the exterior part of the door. We brainstormed you may be able to treat that bolt like a bolt showing on a door fitted with a drop bar, and possibly cut the head of the bolt and then attempt to pry the door away much like you can on an outward opening door possibly prying the magnet away from the door. We haven't had a chance to work with any magnetic doors, so just looking for peoples ideas and experiences.

From what I've seen in my area...the maglocks are usually at the top of the door with some sort of sensor on the interior. They also have some type of rim or cylinder lock at the bottom. If you can defeat the cylinder at the can actually use the style of the door for leverage and pry the door away from the mag. If that doesn't work, then you can gap the door enough at the top, and use a carpenter square or some other tool, to breach the sensor and release the lock. If you carry a roll of nails, once the lock is breached , place many nails across the lock and it will keep it defeated should the door chock fail and the door closes.
Sorry for the late reply on this post.
I have a number of these magnetic locks within my area. We have made a tool to defeat the magnetic lock systems. From my experience, there are two types of exiting systems for these locks. The first is the touch sensor push-bar. It looks like a panic hardware bar, but is sensitive to the touch of a person. In this system, we use a "J" shaped tool fashioned from stainless steel welding rod that is slipped between the double doors to manipulate the touch sensor. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort, but the rod activates the unlocking mechanism which deactivates the magnetic lock.
The second system uses a motion detector on the inside of the door. Similar to the automatic opening door in a grocery store. However, the difference is they simply unlock the magnetic lock. In this system, we have fashioned a flag out of an old salvage cover about 6"x8" which is taped to the other end of the "J" shaped stainless rod that I described above. We slide this tool into the crack between the double doors and wave it in front of the sensor. The sensor detects movement and unlocks the magnetic lock.
You are correct bro. Window bars need to be removed at private dwelling fires without out a doubt. Private dwelling fires can go bad quick and these bars will prevent the brothers from a fast egress. You have RIT teams, we have FAST trucks same thing. The FDNY has alot of resources as you know so the chief will call for an additional truck company just to deal with window bars at these fires. It is a good idea to use 2 members of your RIT team to start taking window bars, but god forbid you get put to work there is now no body to deal with the remaining bars. Try having the 2nd due LCC also work on the bars. This way if you get put to work the bars can still be worked on. I know everyone wants to be on the inside but the outside jobs are whats going to save our brothers. Thanks

Nick Morgan said:
Sometimes the windows are barred too, but not always. Usually if the front or main entrance is barred, then additional front or rear entrances will be barred too. Our companies doing truck work are not as consistent about removing bars from windows during offensive firefighting as they should be; but I wanted to just share a common occurance with security bars on residential entry and exit doors. Ideally, the RIT company should remove any additional bars from windows and doors during the firefighting operation, but this doesn't happen near as often as it should. Thanks!


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