Posted tagged ‘1. Forcible Entry’

Door Size Up #1


We have a series of doors (over the next few weeks) that can be used for size up practice. The exterior is shown first on the top of the page, then we placed the interiors lower down the page so that you can scroll down to see if your size up was correct. Solid practice in sizing up doors now can make a big difference in how quickly you identify characteristics of a door at a fire. Before a walk through, our crew will park at the back of a building and size up each door. Then we will go inside and see how close we were. You can become very comfortable at identifying bolt patterns and locks by doing this every time you go to a building.

The fire and training ground is where we should gain the experience in forcible entry. The knowledge should come from the constant study of doors and techniques before the alarm goes off.

Key points to identify every time you size up a door:                                           

–          Building Occupancy

–          Construction Type (mainly the wall around door)

–          Which way the door swings

–          Type of door material 

–          Type of frame and jamb

–          Locking devices and Bolt patterns (additional security)                  

Here is door number  #1-  This door is found on the backside of a strip mall. Located on a busy corridor  in a high crime area.

Doorstorefront 011

Here is the interior of door #1.

DoorBar 031

Here is a breakdown of what the outside is telling us.


You can see we have a typical door knob telling us that we do not have a panic bar setup. We also have a commercial deadbolt with a shackle guard which can slow us down getting a proper gap close to the bolt. In addition we have carriage bolts indicating drop bar mounts. These appear from the outside to be significant having four 3/8 inch carriage bolts for each mount. Fairly significant security, but nothing that an aggressive set of irons can’t defeat.

Hockey Puck Locks




 These “hockey puck locks” commonly made by American Lock Company and Master Lock are starting to pop up all over. No matter who they are made by they all have the same design and specs. The common factor of these locks is that the shackle or pin is completely hidden. This disables you from using any kind of bolt cutters. An option I have seen done but never tried myself is by twisting these off with a pipe wrench. Possible I guess, if you are thinking far enough ahead to be carrying a pipe wrench. We tried prying with a halligan with little success and many of these are mounted with guards to prevent you from doing any type of prying. These are only as strong as their hasp, a weak one will be pried off easily with the lock still attached. What we show below is a specific cut using the demo saw with an abrasive blade.

 To start here is a few of the common uses and guards that these locks will be found on.


.  The most important step in making the right cut is finding the proper location. It is critical because you only have about a half inch area that this procedure can be done within to defeat the pin. Locate the keyway of the lock. You want to make your cut ¾ of the lock away from the keyway. This will effectively defeat the lock by cutting away the pin where it is exposed on its underside. The picture below is probably much clearer.


Once this cut is completed the lock may just fall of the hasp, or you may have to pull it off which should take nothing more than your hand. The picture below lets you see the underside of the lock and what you are defeating.

HockeyPucklock 017

This allows you to see how they are attached underneath the lock.

 HockeyPucklock post

The overall operation should only take you 20 to 30 seconds.

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