Door Size Up #2

The second door we have is an interesting one. It is very obvious upon size up that we have multiple security features to this door (which is not always this obvious). Take a look and a guess…..then scroll down and see if you were in the ballpark.

Remember the key points to look at sizing up before you plan your attack.

  •  Building Occupancy (which we will give you) 
  • Construction type
  • Which way it swings
  • Type of door/material
  • Type of jamb/frame material
  • Locking devices and bolt patterns (primary, secondary and so on)

This door was found on the backside of a L-shaped 2 story wood frame commercial. The building has multiple storefronts, and many business on the second floor also. This specific unit was a large rental center and the tenant had multiple previous break ins.

And here is the first step of the interior.

Just as you begin to think you’re getting a handle on the door you find this next.

What was the outside telling us??

Just walking up to this door we can see pretty obvious signs of heavy fortification. The numbers above go along with the following descriptions:

  1. We have a typical  door handle and rim cylinder combination. This type of hardware showing, along with knowing the occupancy, will tell you this has panic hardware on the backside. This lock setup is not very substantial alone, and may be all that is holding this door shut if it is daytime hours.
  2. Next we have two sets of carriage bolts mounted right above the panic hardware setup. These bolts should tip us off to some kind of drop bar mounts installed on the inside.
  3. Third we have two sets of 4 pattern carriage bolts. One set up high and one down low. These more than likely tell us that we have either slide bolts into the jamb, or padlock hasps installed. The location of the bolts near the edge of the door and the pattern of the four bolts are what is unique to these types of setups.
  4. The fourth characteristic basically tells us they have fabricated something inside that requires heavy-duty anchors through the entire exterior wall. Untill you see the inside, you could be thinking a number of things.

How do we defeat this?

Many people give this door much more credit than it deserves. The doors looks impressive from the outside and has some great points for talking about size up, however this door can be handled with a set of irons and some assistance from the saw. It is going to take longer than some but is still very reasonable to make as an option on the fire ground. Don’t let the internet fool you, C4, trucks with chains, find another door or this is impossible are not viable answers.

  1. Start conventional, Gap Set Force. During daytime hours this door was regularly locked with just the panic door. If that’s the case we are in with ease. If it is all buttoned up the halligan will still expose the weak points and we can conventionally pry open every lock you see on the outside door.
  2. Pry near the primary lock and the drop bar bolts, this is a great starting point and will be defeated with a set of irons and a hook if needed. This will also tell us what else is locked on the door.
  3. Next pry near either the upper or lower set of bolts that is the slide bolt. These offer some decent resistance if they are mounted correctly but can be overcome with irons. If one is ever holding on a little better than normal, the 6′ hook as a cheater will destroy these.
  4. After that this door is open to the roll down gate. Remember if you have a running saw you can always cut the shafts of these carriage bolts to assist you with loosening everything up. I am not anti saw and would absolutely do this also, just know irons can get you in these basic locks. When using the saw make smart cuts, start with the bolts on the lock side, ignore everything on the hinge side unless it is needed.
  5. While we are working on the outside door, hopefully someone has sent for the saw by the time we get to the roll down door behind it. This is going to be forced by the saw much quicker at this point.

Check out our commercial forcible entry videos on you tube for detailed instructions on forcing this exact type of door.

Explore posts in the same categories: 1. Forcible Entry

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8 Comments on “Door Size Up #2”

  1. Chap Says:

    My initial reaction to this force entry problem: better hope the event occurs during delivery hours. The reality that a crew will make an a sufficiently quick entry through this door in order for initial arriving crews to make a search, advance a attackline through, or use as a vent point, would be slim to none and slim left town.

  2. Josh Talbot Says:

    After looking at the Door I recognized it and I would probably look at making a door next to it through the wood frame wall rather than dealing with the door. The only problem with that is I know that they have storage from floor to ceiling in that room. So after you work to cut a door you will run into a pathway problem. It seems that anytime you make a door somewhere outside the normal path of eggress you will run into storage or other blockages. Anyway great post!!!!!

  3. I agree with both of you on this one. It is never going to be a quick one for a primary entry point. Like Josh says maybe even something through the wall would be better. It is pretty practical to say we would want it opened even if the second truck company or the RIC truck had to do it. This is the only other door into the occupancy. If companies were going to be working for a while, you would probably want it open. It is a great door for size up practice.

  4. Trev Says:

    I say we adopt policy from the movie “Towering Inferno” and use some C4!!!! Ok all kidding aside, definately a problem. I agree with Chap and Talbot. A real problem, not to mention that the fire loading in that room is going to be tough to deal with if the fire starts there or makes it’s way there. Look some where else. If you have too make this door, how about a top to bottom cut on the hinge side. Then use your saw on th roll up.

  5. JG Says:

    I agree that this will be a tough door to say the least. The only thing that I will add is that IC,the attack crew, and all interior crews should be notified immediately that the rear door will take a while to access.
    This information will be important to the interior crews so they can prepare for a hot firefight with no ventilation or actually the only ventilation is the door they came in from!
    Strategy and Tactics will change with this info as well, NO PPV behind the entry team! A second attack line just became a priority as did placing PPV fans and lines in the adjacent occupancies to keep fire in the occupancy of origin. The IC will not allow an offensive attack for long.
    If you are on the nozzle, pencil the ceiling constantly to cool the upper level and keep the fire from flashing, water at the ceiling level will also cool the possible lightweight bar joists and keep them from collapsing.

    How long do you think it will take (realistically)to get through this door?

    • RR-E8T Says:

      Assuming how long is tough to have a fair guess since we have already seen the backside. Business hours, 30 to 45 seconds if only the panic bar is engaged. Regardless night or day I am going to attempt conventional irons work to start. Never know when they may have forgotten to lock up, or are still inside. If we feel resistance that corresponds with the bolt patterns then we know we are in for a tough door. My guess is a team that is aggressive, and has the right tools are looking at anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes on the quick side and 10 to 15 on the long side. Here is what I base it off of. (Granted many variables can come into play) but until those are thrown at me this is how I would attack.
      Two guys, proficient with irons make their gap near the primary lock. Identify the resistance of the drop bar and attack the left side (jamb side) set of drop bar mounts by making holes below each of the 3 bolts and then knock them through with the adze. The jamb side may be the only mount we need to disable to allow the bar to fall out. We now go conventional on the high and low slide bolts. Proper gapping near these slide bolts will allow quick setting and forcing of these devices. I am counting on the larger portion of our time being spent on the roll down door that will need saw work to get through.
      That is my guess, anyone can add to it or modify it. I do agree with the above statement (L. Chap) that to think this door will be the primary entry is a long shot, especially when the front side is a much less secure door.

  6. Ditto Says:

    This does look like a bit of a challange. I think I might try another way. I agree partly with what Trevor says. I look at it like an extrication. If we need to extricate somebody from a car, the car is going to be considered a total loss. It doesn’t matter if we take just the door, or roof\door\dash. Same with the door. If we have to force this door, the door is a loss. If we are doing this in a fire situation time is important. Whether it is inital entry or softening the building by a RIC. Sizing up the door, and trying it before we force it is paramount.

    Seeing the brackets for the roll up door tells me I have another barrier of protection between me, and the fire after this first door. I agree with Trevor in cutting the door, but in different spots. The drop bar extends to the jamb, so just cutting the door on the hinge side isn’t going to defeat the drop bar unless you cut through it too. My thought is cutting a dog door on the bottom just below the slide lock hasp. This gives me access to the panic hardware,drop bar, and lower slide lock. My second and third cuts would be a triangle on the upper hasp. Using the edge of the door to complete the triangle, and defeat the top hasp. After that the roll up door is all thats left.

    • RR-E8T Says:

      Doggy door cuts take some time, especially when you hit both frames and you have to get thru most of that frame to get through the door. If your gonna go the saw route, what do you think about this? Cut an access triangle between the drop bar and upper slide bolt. Reach in and disable the drop bar and slide bolt. Now go conventional on the lower slide lock (since these are pretty easy to defeat)I think you could easily force that lower bolt with irons before a saw could beat you. Now that your extra security is gone trip the panic bar. I just think one 12inch triangle will be faster then getting into the jamb and doggy door.
      Just an idea, Keep them coming this is good stuff.

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