Door Size Up #9

Here is door size up number 9, Thanks to B. Lynch for putting this one together.

This door is found on the backside of an old single story convenience store.  The store has since been renovated and is now used as a Korean beauty supply shop.  We’ll give you a little information why this size up is unique.  The first is the issue of adequate space on the exterior of the building.  The store backs up to a strip mall and a bar.  There is a wooden fence and gate that is padlocked that accesses the rear of the beauty shop and bar.  There is approximately four feet of space between both buildings hence the exterior pictures had to be taken at an angle.  Run down our key size-up points and see what you think.

We gave you the construction and occupancy but what else do we see?

  1. Metal Frame and metal jamb
  2. Metal door
  3. Primary lock is key in knob with a latch guard
  4. Secondary lock is a commercial deadbolt
  5. The carriage bolt pattern suggests an additional locking device has been added.  The likelihood is small that this is a drop bar because of the unusual pattern of the carriage bolts.  However, in our haste to access this door we may mistake this for a drop bar.  Another note about the carriage bolts is the size of the washers behind them.  This will add difficulty in driving the carriage bolts through the door should we choose to employ that tactic.
  6. We also see slide bolt patterns in the door in three different places.  On the hinge side directly below the top hinge and on the jamb side about a foot below the deadbolt and about three feet above the key in knob lock.

 The only real unknown we see is the unusual pattern of the carriage bolts on the exterior of the door.  Like we said before this could indicate the presence of a traditional drop bar with the two vertical bolts securing a bracket and the other bracket either welded to the door or the frame.  This doesn’t account for the carriage bolt mounted dead center of the door.  Taking a look at the back of the door reveals what we are up against.  As suspected we have a key in knob lock, deadbolt, and three separate slide bolts.  The unusual carriage bolt pattern on the front of the door is a modified drop bar.  The circular pattern on the door reveals how it functions.  The arm swivels and rests in the bracket.  It sits against the frame in an “L” shape and prevents the door from being opened.  

At first glance this door appears to be a formidable task.  Taking a closer look at the locking mechanisms reveals several things.  The slide bolts mounted near the top of the door do not match up with the holes drilled in the frame.  In other words they are not functioning locks.  The bottom slide bolt throws less than 2” into the frame and is held on by only two small screws.  This slide bolt will fail very easily with a little leverage applied via the Irons.  The latch guard, key in the knob, and deadbolt will be fairly easily and quickly defeated by the irons with basic 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.  The swiveling drop bar may be defeated be either attacking the lone carriage bolt in the center of the door or attacking the two vertical bolts next to the key in knob lock.  Either way this door will be defeated with by tried and true techniques and the Irons.

Explore posts in the same categories: 1. Forcible Entry

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8 Comments on “Door Size Up #9”

  1. Blake Says:

    The door also has exterior hinges. Pop the pins and start to pry. This lone slide bolt may give like you said. Would anyone else attempt this side first?

    • Paul Says:

      I’d try it Blake,or at least make it plan B, pulling the pins,not forcing the hinge, and that slide bolt on the hinge side is problably put in with short sheet metal screws,they should give pretty easy. great post lynch… keep’em coming

  2. Lynch Says:


    First and foremost thanks for posting. When discussing outward swinging, doors some people tend to look at the hinges as the primary means of gaining access. There may be an instance where this is true but in my experience taking the hinges is an absolute last resort. I see several problems with hinge cuts as a “plan A.” It almost always takes more time than we predict to cut through the hinges and once we do make the cuts, we are still dealing with at least one primary locking mechanism. In this case we may still have the key in knob locked, the deadbolt locked, the bottom slide bolt in place, and the swiveling drop bar in place. By removing the hinges we take away some of the stability and structure used during conventional forcible entry operations. Lastly, forcing entry doesn’t necessarily mean that our intention is to make that particular door a point of entry. It could be used as egress for hose teams and truckies searching or a proactive RIC company ensuring quick access to all parts of the building. We may want to force entry and keep the door closed. If we remove the hinges and then force the door we may inadvertently influence fire and smoke behavior and create a real mess. My primary means of attacking this door is going to be conventional. If the store owner leaves and forgets the slide bolts, and drop bar, this door becomes nothing more than a key in knob lock and a deadbolt. Something very easily defeated by the Irons.

  3. Nick Says:

    My question is if you would think twice upon seeing the fence at 3 in the morning. I could see the gate portion of the fence being very easily overlooked in the dark. If you come upon something like a fence with orders to open up the rear of the building, do you go through the fence to check it out or keep moving and opening the doors in plain sight?

    • Lynch Says:

      Excellent point. I sincerely believe that one of the most important things a fireman can do is to learn all the idiosyncrasies n their district. Knowing what you’re up against before the alarm comes in is paramount. This door may be easily missed if you didn’t know it was there.

  4. Truck4 Says:

    Great find Lynch. I definately was not expecting this type of drop bar. To me I was expecting a modified multi-lock with only one bar. I now that I can see the inside it obviously makes sence. I also agree that conventional FE would bee the best place to start. I think that once youstart moving and crushing the door and see whats back there, driving that center bolt, obviously with a bit of extra work, we could easily defeat this drop bar. Great find man!!

    • Lynch Says:

      The credit for finding this door goes to some of the guys at Stratmoor Hills Fire Department.

      • Truck 4 Says:

        Yeah it doesn’t look much like Truck 10’s district, it definately looks like Stratmoors district. Good find Stratmoor Hills

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