Archive for the ‘1. Forcible Entry’ category

Skinning Metal Doors and Obtaining a Gap


This video shows a very important skill that is very difficult to describe and teach without having real metal doors. At the same time I truly believe it is one of the most important skills a firefighter needs to know during outward swinging door forcible entry. If the door skins too bad without being overcome, it can prevent you from getting in a very simple door. If you are not familiar with skinning doors, please take the time to watch this one out of all of the other videos.

Kicking Doors 101


A quick thought on kicking doors. We teach not to do it. Not because it won’t open doors, because  honestly it will open a lot of them. I am not trying to kid anyone and say that we have not kicked open residential doors before. But I will say when I was still kicking doors open it is because I didn’t properly understand how to use a Halligan bar. So kicking was the easiest way for me to open an apartment door that was on fire. After I gained some experience, learned my way around a set of Irons and really thought about when and when not to kick a door, it became real clear to me that because I was now properly trained on a Halligan bar (and I carry it), there was no reason for me to kick doors open. They can be opened just as fast with a competent person on the tool. The other thing I noticed was kicking doors was wasted experience, it was a perfect opportunity to hone your skills with the Irons on a real door in a real frame. Thus building your confidence and not letting all of your experience be based on a forcible entry prop. Lastly, when luck runs out, because at some point it will, a person who is competent on their Irons now has multiple options and is very proficient in them because they have been forcing doors with the Irons for most of their career instead of kicking them for 15 years. Attacking doors based on knowledge rather then luck will give you a much stronger foundation when it’s time to force the doors that are out of the ordinary. You will find doors you cannot kick, and when you do, and the luck of kicking runs out, you will set the tone for the fire ground with a real bad forcible entry situation. To many people are relying on us to base our operations on luck.  Long live skillful Irons work!

These doors are all out of occupied residential homes.


Hand On Forcible Entry Class – Video Preview


Here is a video preview for our hands on forcible entry classes. Thank you for all the support over the years, we have officially trained over 1000 Colorado Firefighters. We still have plenty more to go! Sign up today, or contact us about being a host department. Lets keep spreading the solid forcible entry technique based on a foundation of good Irons work.

Please share this video if you have taken our class and thought it was worth your time and money.

Overcoming The Wall On Recessed Doors


By B. Brush and R. Royal

Commercial outward swinging doors can be some of the most difficult forcible entry situations due to the locking systems and added fortification but what is often overlooked in training is access challenges.

This outward swinging  door on the back of a commercial building has a half wall on the hinge side and the jamb side is recessed in the masonry block. While few would consider the “confined space FE” it still limits our working area. The half wall may prevent the use of a married hook here and the recessed jamb limits the prying ability of our adze.

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You can see that the Halligan is going to max out before we even use half of our full prying range of this bar, this could easily prevent us from getting enough leverage to force the door.

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The upside to this situation is that end of row bricks and block are very weak points and can be blown out easily with a strike to the corner with the flat head creating ample room for a full force.

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You can now return to your Halligan and properly set the tool all the way behind the door. When you pry outwards you will have the full range of motion and gain the maximum amount of pry and throw from your Halligan.

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This can be difficult to fully explain and see the advantage of this tactic in photos. Below is a quick video showing how effective crushing the block can be.

March 30th 2013 Tri Lakes FD Forcible Entry Class


Here is a small look into the forcible entry class that IRONS and LADDERS put on today at the Tri Lakes Monument Fire Department. The full gallery of photos can be found at was a great day of forcing doors and perfecting our craft. Thank you to all who attended this class. 


March 3rd 2013 Denver Metro Forcible Entry Class


UPDATE: This Class Is Full – Watch for other Denver area classes in the near future.

Here is the first class of the season, it will be on March 3rd 2013 in Littleton Colorado and will be open to any and all firefighters wishing to attend. If you have not attended one of our classes yet we would love to see you there. You will walk away with confidence using a Halligan on most situations you can come across in the field. The amount of hands on practice using real doors and props will change the way you view forcible entry in just a days time. If you have taken our class and thought it was worth your time, please share this with your friends. Thank you.

Click on the flyer for a larger, printable PDF file


Do Not Fear…The Panic Bar Is Here.


Here is a short Public Service Announcement from your friends at IRONS and LADDERS. This discusses and demonstrates forcible entry on the commonly found panic bars. There is a lot of tricks floating around the internet regarding panic hardware on commercial doors. Not all of them are right or wrong, however most are undependable as a Plan A. Watch the video and end the Panic.

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