Door Size Up #5

This door size up drill is a little different than most of the ones we have posted before. It points out more of a specific lock setup that we find on newer style apartments complexes. These are a great example why it is beneficial to take a look at doors as you walk through them on all the calls we have before the fires. 

You can see that the outside of the door only shows your typical handle and deadbolt setup. However once you open the door you can see that this has a second hidden deadbolt that is only operated from the inside. With a wood frame (as shown) this adds very little extra security due to the fact that the jamb is going to split and probably fail at the same time for both locks. However if this setup is found on a metal frame it may hold up better and add some resistence to the door that is not expected until we start our conventional forcible entry on the bottom two locks. Nothing too out of the ordinary here, just worth noting that they are out there and that we should always have plan A, B, C and so on.

Maybe the most important thing to notice about this type of lock setup is what it provides you for search information. This is typically found on apartments that have one door that is used for egress. If we force this in a fire and find that the top deadbolt is locked, we may have a real good indicator that someone is inside the unit. These locks, like security chains, can give us valuable search information if we pay attention to the details.

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3 Comments on “Door Size Up #5”

  1. TRUCK 4 Says:

    Nice find bro, I agree with you that the lack of reinforcement of this lock will cause it to fail. The door itself may fail since the key side of the lock is not providing any backing and stability for the latch side of the lock. My guess is that conventional FE will pop the knob and original DB and if the top lock is still intact and swift kick will pop it out of place. Looks like someone already tried to kick this door in by the looks of the split on the door already. Good find, definately different.


  2. The double deadbolt like the one you pictured is quite common in my area, on thing that I noticed that will be big during your size up is the presence of a sticker that covers the spot on the door were the drill bit on the hole saw starts to come through. You see this quite a bit on doors where this lock was added on by a locksmith or the home owner, you dont see it if the door was purchased with the lock in it. Again it is not a hard and fast rule but if the cover up sticker is in place you know they have a hidden deadbolt.

  3. OKFF65 Says:

    These are very common in our city, as we have a university and several thousand student apartments. An efficient method in defeating them is to shock the door- it will be much stiffer when both deadbolts are engaged. then set the halligan relatively high on the door ( 6-8 inches from the top of the door frame, and get a good gap. use a chock to capture progress, and just work your way down the door, enlarging the gap and popping the deadbolts out. kinda like opening a shellfish shell. the key is capturing progress with the chock. the door frame isnt usually very sturdy, thin aluminum and will bend and give with good fundamental irons work. Preplanning and knowing they are their is always helpful! most of these apt complexes have “show apts” that can give a good idea of layout, locks, etc.


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