Door Size Up #8

Door number 8 is found on the backside of a 1 story wood frame strip mall, this specific occupancy is some type of ethnic food market. Take a look, run down our key size up points, and see what you think.

We gave you the construction and the occupancy, what else do we see?
1. Metal frame/jamb
2. Commercial metal door
3. Primary Lock is a key in the knob with a latch guard
4. Secondary Lock- Typical deadbolt with latch guard
5. We also see carriage bolts that are in a typical pattern of a slide bolt but an unusal size of the pattern. It is much larger than normal. This pattern is big enough that if we are not paying attention we may mistake it as a drop bar mount or some other type of alternative lock.

To be fair I want to point out that this interior picture is a different door than the exterior picture. Not by much, they have the same locks one is just lacking the latch guards and if you look at the bolt patterns, one of the slide bolts is set closer to the jamb. These were both on the same occupancy I just could not find the interior picture of the door with latch guards. Regardless it does not matter for the sake of the drill.

Taking a closer look at this  slide bolt we can see how significant of a throw this door has. Most slide bolts only make it into the jamb an inch or two at the most. This one looks to be 4 inches or more. That would mean unlike the typical slide bolt this will not only go into the metal jamb but all the way into the wood framing for the door. We will probably start to realize this upon attacking this door with the irons. If we determine we cannot defeat this slidebolt with the irons in a decent amount of time we must look at our other ways of attacking this setup.

The latch guards, key in the knob, and deadbolt will be fairly easily and quickly defeated by the irons with tried and true techniques. If the slide bolt is not defeated by way of the conventional techniques on the jamb, we have numerous ways of defeating the carriage bolts either by irons or the saw that will disable this bolt completely.

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13 Comments on “Door Size Up #8”

  1. R-Fr Says:

    Excellent drill! Keep it up.

  2. GaryLane Says:

    Great find and photos Ryan. Im sure this one will get all the “saw people” drooling about cutting the perimeter wood wall and taking the whole thing! Ha! I love it! Would love to get a vacant or building being torn down, and actually make this exact door up with a couple a’bucks worth of materials from the hardware store! Really get the brain going and sharpen some skills! Thanks for the posting these up!


    • We just had the chance recently on a vacant commercial building, to beef up the doors with some homemade drop bars, slide bolts ect and go to town. It was great, we really focused on beefing up some inward swinging commercials with stout drop bars and multiple locks to give us a run for our money. But in the end the good old Irons came through.

  3. Lynch Says:

    This is yet another door where I believe a lot of people would say a power saw is the preferred method of gaining entry. At first glance this door seems formidable and troublesome. Upon closer examination there are several indicators that this could be a fairly quick force. The door is a commercial metal door in a metal jamb. However, it is set in what appears to be a wood frame building that will allow more flex and an easier force than a steel or concrete building. If the occupants forget to slide the bolt or lock one of the deadbolts the resistance will be drastically decreased. Also, the slide bolt is only as strong as the screws or bolts securing it to the door. The irons can easily be used to knock out the carriage bolts or if the hardware is weak enough, the slide bolt may fail at its point of attachment to the door. Lastly, if we defeat the key –in-knob lock and deadbolt through conventional methods but cannot defeat the slide bolt an alternative method is to “crush” the metal door exposing the slide bolt for a saw to cut in half.

  4. Joe Says:

    What about pulling the hinge pins? If the door is secured by a drop bar, then you can fire up the saw. If it’s just the slide bolt then you might be able to just pull the door out from hinge-side and then slide the door away from the opposite side; the knob/deadbolt/slidebolt slip free.


    • Joe, Thanks for the input. I certainly think that can go in our list of options ( as we should have multiple plans) I just personally shy away from the hinges being my Plan A or B due to the numerous complications. A good majority of hinges on commercials in my area either have pins that are very difficult or impossible to release, or also have been secured by tack welds due to break ins. I just think hinges get underestimated a large portion of the time regardless if your using irons or the saw to attack them. Either way its good to get different views from different guys because there is always a place for everything.

  5. TRUCK 4 Says:

    I would agree with using conventional tool work. Key in knob and dead bolt will defeat easily. Also to save time, driving the two carriage bolts closest to the jamb may be all you need to drive through and the leverage from your pro bar and the leverage of the door should pry the slide bolt out of its hole. I also agree with Lynch about “crushing” the area and zipping throught the slide bolt with a saw. I definately believe that irons are all that are needed for this door. Also very typical in my area.

  6. Paul Says:

    Well, I’m all for a good set of irons at the right time, but shearing bolts off,hinges,forcing a steel door with 2 locks and a slide bolt,or drop bar uses up alot of energy that you’ll need to do other things at this commercial job,especially if your under staffed,(cause no one is under staffed right?) It looks like T-111 siding,is it over cinder block?,that won’t give much. If conditions permit, in THIS instance,why not cut the door in half horizontally six inches below the middle hinge (MAYBE take 30 sec. to 1 minute with a saw?),swing open the bottom half of the door,step in and unlock the upper half? (Dutch door). Move on to the next job…


    • Thanks for the input Paul, and I am with you on some of the points. We just harp on the Irons a lot because I think they are under estimated for speed.
      This door is unique with the homemade slide bolt being that it is seated so far into the jamb. Had this been a regular commercially made slide bolt like we typically find, than I would say this door is defeated by the Irons faster than the saw. I agree this door may require use of the saw, specifically for the slide bolt. However I would still start with my irons on this door for a few reasons. One if the slide bolt is not in place this door is easily done, and I would say in under a minute. If the slide bolt is in place than I have already defeated the two locks very quickly and now move onto my attack of the slide bolt. If my gap made by the irons is big enough than I would cut the bolt, if not I would attack the heads of the carriage bolts. They are close enough you could do two at a time, and spend very little time doing it. Go behind the heads into the door, cut them both off in less than 10 seconds, and move to the other ones.
      The dutch door, doggy door, etc, is not my preferred way of saw work only because you are counting on being able to operate everything from the inside. I just think your back to square one if you get in and they have padlocked slide bolts, or have double keyed deadbolts (both are very common). Also we commonly find homemade security gates behind the exterior doors. That list just goes on. I think there is a time and place for everything, I keep this type of half door cut in my head in case it applies, it just isn’t my first choice.
      I do absolutely agree that we should weigh time, energy spent, and efficiency when it comes to choosing our tactics.
      Thanks again for the input, it makes for good discussion.

      • Paul Says:

        Thanks for the feedback, love the site and check it often,keep up the good work!

  7. jake Says:

    Love the door size ups, makes a good quick company drill as well.

    My 2 cents, I have to agree with the irons guys. The other problem with the saw is the integrity of the door. Even with a lot of pounding, you could still use the door if you needed to close it, also for the owner, it is easier to secure and keep out the bad guys after the job.

    Key in knob and deadbolts are easy. The slide may be maybe a little harder but my first try would be driving the bolt heads through the door, if that did not work, I would try to crush enough of the door to get some room and try to fail the slide itself.

    It is always easier to figure out what to do when I am sitting in my room, it gets a little harder with fire blowing out the windows and the engine asking where the vent is. Thats why we drill.

    Keep em comin.

  8. TRUCK 4 Says:

    One thing that I did not see the first time I looked at this door was that the pad lock set up is in place for when the slide bolt is in the open position. Typically we see them pad locked in the closed position, so considering this setup, obivously not on all the doors but this one in particular, using the irons when it is in the locked position we may be able to crush the door enough during normal FE work and maybe able to move the bolt to the open position without cutting it at all. Not cutting this door in this case would give us the option too resecure the building after operations are done and we are picking up. Just an after thought.

  9. Lynch Says:

    Glad to see people giving feedback. Please keep contributing your thoughts and ideas. Also, please feel free to email pictures or videos of unique forcible entry challenges in your district.  
    As I stated before, I’m a big proponent of Irons work. In my experience it’s usually quicker and easier than saw work and more productive. Irrespective of your choice of saws or irons the point is to be efficient with the tool of choice. 


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