Back To Basics: Effective Forcible Entry

TOPIC: BACK TO BASICS: EFFECTIVE FORCIBLE ENTRY TIME REQUIRED: THREE HOURS MATERIALS: ASSORTMENT OF HAND TOOLS AND POWER SAWS, ACQUIRED STRUCTURE OR FORCIBLE ENTRY PROPS, REFERENCES: ESSENTIALS OF FIRE FIGHTING, FOURTH EDITION, IFSTA...


      e. Rather than individual panes, the window may have a single pane of glass with decorative wood,

          metal, or plastic framework to give the appearance of individual panes

  3. When time and/or fire does not permit use of tool, knock out window with ladder

  4. Glass panes may be replaced with unbreakable plastic panes (Lexan or Plexiglas)

      a. May be cut with power saw using a fine tooth blade

      b. With other than steel frame, knock out entire window frame (may not work with Lexan)

      c. May have knock out panel which can be removed by striking corner with pick of axe

      d. If Lexan is encountered, there may be a need to find another means of entry

  5. Sliding windows

      a. A variation of the double-hung window where the window slides horizontally rather than

          vertically

      b. Frames may be metal or vinyl

      c. Locking mechanism between two panels may be separated

      d. Panes are generally thermal or two sheets of glass

      e. May have locking device in track to prevent forced sliding

      f. Glass may have to be broken for entry

B. Casement windows

  1. Window hinged vertically with moving part of window attached to crank

       a. Window crank usually light; can be easily forced

       b. Window lock located in middle or bottom of window

  2. Best way to open window is break out pane of glass, reach in and unlock window, and force it

      open with pry tool

  3. Many casement windows too narrow to allow entry

  4. Narrow windows often located at sides of large glass picture window

C. Factory – forced in the same manner as casement windows

D. Awning or Jalousie

  1. Awning windows consist of large sections constructed with a metal frame around the glass

  2. Awning window glass is usually double strength

  3. Jalousie windows consist of small sections usually constructed without a frame

  4. Both types of windows are supported on each end by a metal operating mechanism which may be

      exposed or concealed

  5. Windows are opened using a crank located at the bottom of the window

  6. Difficult to force

  7. May not provide enough space for entry

E. Barred Windows

  1. May consist of metal grating or bars

  2. Bars or grating may be attached to building or built into structure

  3. Removal of attached bars or grating will require a saw with a metal cutting blade or hydraulic

      cutting tools

  4. Given the time for force entry, consideration should be given to locating another entry point

F. Plate Glass

  1. Used in commercial store fronts

  2. Generally very large sections of glass

  3. If broken, comes out in large pieces

  4. If necessary to remove, start by breaking at the top rather than the bottom

  5. Stand to one side when breaking and attempt to get above the glass to prevent pieces of glass from

      following the tool handle and cutting the firefighter

G. Storm Windows

  1. Consist of metal or vinyl frame holding glass panels

  2. Glass panels inserted in metal or vinyl track

  3. May be forced by prying track outward and removing panels

  4. May also have screens in place

III. ENTRY THROUGH WALLS, CEILINGS, AND FLOORS

NOTE: When making entry through any walls, ceilings, or floors, be aware of the presence of utilities such as electricity which should be shut off prior to making entry to avoid electrical shock.

A. Walls

  1. Wood

       a. Exterior walls could be tongue and groove, overlapping panels, logs, or other methods of wood

           construction

       b. Wood could be fastened directly to framing or have some type of underlayment material such as

           insulation board

       c. Interior walls consist of boards or paneling

       d. Framing is 16 or 24 inches on center; could be metal or wood

       e. Material can be cut with conventional cutting tools or power saws

       f. Material can also be removed using a pry bar or point of pick axe

  2. Metal

      a. Exterior walls could be aluminum siding or sheet metal