Posted tagged ‘halligan work’

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.

Bevel to the Door vs. Bevel to the Jamb


Bevel to the door or bevel to the jamb?…..that is the question. The main intention of this article is to compare the differences in the two ways the fork end of the Halligan can be used on inward swinging doors. Both ways can be used  with very effective results, but knowing why we choose to use one way or the other is important. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but as long as we recognize these advantages and use them in conjunction with each other it makes for a great combination. For clarification we refer to the bevel as the outside of the curve, it will be much clearer when looking at the pictures. This comparison applies to Pro Bar Halligans, although some of the info will pertain to other bars, it is written based of the use of the Pro Bars.

After we obtain a proper gap of the door(  based on wood or metal jambs) we must move to our fork and choose to either place the bevel to the jamb (as seen below) or bevel to the door. First we will cover bevel to the jamb. Bevel to the jamb allows us a few advantages when setting the tool to the proper depth. As you can see below the angle of the fork wants to naturally guide itself around the door. Because of this angle it leaves us with much less resistence on a metal frame, and it also helps prevent us from sinking the teeth into a wood jamb. While guiding our bar away from the door while it is being struck we keep the fork moving smoothly around the door. Our disadvantages come after we have the tool set and we are ready to force. This will be discussed below. The next two pictures show the fork being set with the bevel to the jamb.

Next we have Halligan being set with the bevel towards the door. This is probably the most common way setting a Halligan is taught, which is fine as long as we know the potential problems we have to overcome. You can see the curve of the tool is wanting to guide the forks into the frame. This can cause us to feel more resistence when it is hitting a metal frame, or creates much more of an oppurtunity to drive the forks into the jamb if it is wood. The Halligan firefighter has to pay complete attention to guiding the forks in to prevent us from hanging up on the frame. Solid pressure on the tool away from the door as it is being driven is a must to allow it to sink easily to the proper depth.  This is the disadvantage of setting the tool with the bevel to the door but the advantages come later. The next two pictures show the halligan being set with the bevel to the door.


If we haven’t lost you to boredom yet, we can now see the remaining advantages and disadvantages. As you see below we are back on the bevel to the jamb. As stated above the bevel to the jamb is easier to set and guide around the door to the proper depth. Where the disadvantage comes in is when we apply the force. The picture below is showing the Halligan applying full force. You can see that the gap it has created is relatively minimal. This is because we are not using the designed leverage point of the Halligan and we have also gone against the design of the forks. This still does not mean this way is wrong because many times this is all the leverage we are going to need, however we need to remember that the Halligan provides more leverage in other ways if it is needed.

The last picture(above) shows us bevel to the door being used. If you scroll back and forth between this picture and the one above it you can see the difference in the gap. We stated earlier that the bevel to the door can be more difficult to set if the door is tight, but as you can see when the bar is set it applies much more leverage. When the bevel is placed to the door it uses the characteristics of the tool to their full potential leverage. The forks grab hold of the backside of the frame and the high point of the bevel is being pushed against the door.

In summary neither way is right or wrong as long as you know why you are placing the bevel the way you choose. Different doors, jambs, and lock setups will call for different ways to put the bevel. A metal frame and metal door that is secured very tightly may call for the bevel to the jamb so that you can set it easier. However if we choose bevel to the jamb and don’t get the leverage we need, we can put a chock in the door or an axe and hold the gap we made. We can then pull the Halligan out and reverse the bevel and continue applying force with the bevel to the door.

This can go on and on, but it is only intended to illustrate the major differences in how you place the bevel. We know this is getting technical, but practicing the different ways regularly makes it become second nature on which way to place it. Again this is just another back to the basics post, nothing new, nothing that we invented. Just passing on great technique tips that has been passed on to us.  After this long-winded writeup there is really a simple way to sum it all up:

Bevel To the Jamb= Easier to set, Less leverage to force

Bevel To The Door= Harder to set, More leverage to force


%d bloggers like this: