Police Kick in Doors: Firefighter Force Doors

How long should it take you to force a standard residential door? Do you try and “Kick” it in? With security of homes being a bigger concern these days it seems that the doors are stronger than ever. This offers more security for the homeowner and a bigger challenge for us firefighters. When discussing this vary topic on the social media sites “Cops kick doors in” conversation keeps coming up. On your last response, did you try before you pry? Did you attempt to kick the door in? These two questions seem to be a constant topic of discussion. A few key points come to mind when talking about forcing doors open, let’s take a jumpseat view at this topic and talk about a few issues.

As street lever or “jumpseat” firefighter we have a responsibility to build the base of our skill set from day one. One skill that often goes overlooked or under-practice is the “art” of forcing doors. I believe it is an art form that can be perfected, just like a painter who takes the time to turn a canvas into a masterpiece. Over my career, I have seen firefighters who flourish with this skill and those who struggle. Why is this? I believe that forcing doors is a skill that you can’t perfect from a book nor is it a skill where brute strength can compensate for poor technique.

From the first day laying eyes on Hugh Halligan’s masterpiece of a tool, I have been fascinated with it. Here is a tool that was designed with more functionality than MacGyver’s Swiss army knife. From the forks, ads, to the spike it is set up to get the job done. Spending time learning how to use it needs to be a priority for us all. From the engine firefighter to the truck company captain learning the ins and out’s start from day one.



Here is a quick video from our friends at tradition’s training on proper haligan placement..


Keep your eyes open for more jumpseat views on this subject….

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