1. #1
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    Default Door Entry Procedure - HAZARD WARNING!

    There was no obvious fire in the building as firefighters arrived on-scene but there was a strong smell of burning and some smoke was seen issuing from a chimney in the six-story building. As Firefighters opened the door leading onto the stairway, heavy smoke suddenly turned to flame. The intense fire that followed killed several firefighters caught above in the stair-shaft
    Firefighter X, along with three other firefighters, were searching for the source of the fire when he became separated from the crew, reports stated .... Firefighters opened a door to the front room of the house and fire rolled out the door and over their heads. Then they proceeded to extinguish the fire in the room. One of the firefighters heard Firefighter X's safety device, which sounds when a firefighter stops moving, and then found him face downward on the floor and severely burned
    As we opened the door, fire came torching out over our heads. There was sudden chaos as we tried to knock the fire back but the gases were igniting above our head faster then we could apply water. We tried to close the door but the heat was too intense at this point. All we could do was drop the line and crawl the few feet back to the relative safety of the stairway. We were lucky to get out
    What are your door entry procedures? In fact do you receive any training in any form of procedure for opening and entering doors behind which you suspect fire may exist?

    Do you have a procedure or is it just 'open the door, wait and see what we've got'?

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    Classic old-school, procedure still being taught here. "Feel the door with the back of your hand, if very hot, expect fire". So we have to remove a glove to do this...

    Find a hot door? Get down low, one person cracks the door open, branch-man inserts nozzle, swirls on fine spray, door is closed. Short wait for steam to do its job then crack the door again. Smoke and flame billowing out might cause your sphincter to close so quickly you'll need a crowbar to open it of course.

    That's the training; haven't had to do it so far!
    "Professional" means your attitude to the job...

    Nullus Anxietas ..... (T Pratchett)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    just 'open the door, wait and see what we've got'?
    That about sums it up - in non-backdraft apparent situations anyway.

    It also varies with what your intentions are and how much fire you suspect or is probable behind the door. There is a big difference in doing this in a single family home and a large commercial occupancy or hi-rise building.

    If you have a hoseline with you and you have no doubt that it will be able to handle the amount of fire behind the door, it can really be as easy as opening it, stepping back or to the side, give it a few seconds to see if anything develops, and mount your attack or enter to perform your primary search.

    In larger commercial occupancies and hi-rises, you should be much more cautious. There could be a vast amount of fire on the other side of the door and it could come at you with force in the case of wind driven high rise fires. Control the opening of the door and have a charged hoseline in place ready to go if need be.

    Off to the FDIC exhibits. Be back later.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Okay I am prepared to take a pounding for what I advocate but here goes anyways.

    Door opens towards me.

    I place my foot about 6 inches or so back from the door, making it a door stop. Check the door for heat. I open the door to my foot and if flame or heat comes out I can close the door in relative safety until we are ready to enter with a hoseline. I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator so they can be in position and ready to flow water if necessary.

    Door opens away from me.

    Hook a short section of chain, dog chain or swingset chain, on the door knob. Check the door for heat. Short choke the chain so the door will only open 6 inches or so. Open the door and check for flames or heat. If necessary you can pull the door shut in relative safety. As above I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator.


    Controlling the door is the key. Being able to close the door can be critical if conditions are beyond your initial capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Okay I am prepared to take a pounding for what I advocate but here goes anyways.

    Door opens towards me.

    I place my foot about 6 inches or so back from the door, making it a door stop. Check the door for heat. I open the door to my foot and if flame or heat comes out I can close the door in relative safety until we are ready to enter with a hoseline. I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator so they can be in position and ready to flow water if necessary.

    Door opens away from me.

    Hook a short section of chain, dog chain or swingset chain, on the door knob. Check the door for heat. Short choke the chain so the door will only open 6 inches or so. Open the door and check for flames or heat. If necessary you can pull the door shut in relative safety. As above I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator.


    Controlling the door is the key. Being able to close the door can be critical if conditions are beyond your initial capabilities.
    Don... the only pounding you'll get is from those "Safety Suzies and Sallies" who say you are too close to the burning building!

    Bob aka Memphis E34A is correct about entering commercial structures. Higher ceilings and suspended ceilings can give a firefighter a false sense of security when they open the door, as there may be little or no heat or smoke visible due to the products of combustion being overhead. The flammable range of CO is 12.5% to 74% . If the CO concentration in the upper ceilings does ignite, it's going to be really nasty.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Don... the only pounding you'll get is from those "Safety Suzies and Sallies" who say you are too close to the burning building!

    Bob aka Memphis E34A is correct about entering commercial structures. Higher ceilings and suspended ceilings can give a firefighter a false sense of security when they open the door, as there may be little or no heat or smoke visible due to the products of combustion being overhead. The flammable range of CO is 12.5% to 74% . If the CO concentration in the upper ceilings does ignite, it's going to be really nasty.

    Thanks Chief.

    What we have been doing is taking a pike pole with us and popping ceiling tiles in commercial occupancies just inside the doorway if we have any indication that there may be something going on. This can be as easy as using the butt end of the pike pole and just pushing up enough to see if you get any smoke or can see flame. The important part of this is doing it before you are deep into the structure where a catastrophic failure of a suspended ceiling may mean trapped or dead firefighters. Of course the TIC can do much of that without having to disturb the tiles but being a little old school I like to actually take a peek for myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Okay I am prepared to take a pounding for what I advocate but here goes anyways.

    Door opens towards me.

    I place my foot about 6 inches or so back from the door, making it a door stop. Check the door for heat. I open the door to my foot and if flame or heat comes out I can close the door in relative safety until we are ready to enter with a hoseline. I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator so they can be in position and ready to flow water if necessary.

    Door opens away from me.

    Hook a short section of chain, dog chain or swingset chain, on the door knob. Check the door for heat. Short choke the chain so the door will only open 6 inches or so. Open the door and check for flames or heat. If necessary you can pull the door shut in relative safety. As above I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator.


    Controlling the door is the key. Being able to close the door can be critical if conditions are beyond your initial capabilities.
    No pounding from me FyredUp .... In fact I vote yours the best post so far. You hit on some key points in what I define a safe approach to a closed door, behind which fire or smoke is suspected.

    I do believe that this 'basic' action by firefighters is often undertaken without any 'control measures' being put in place first. This may lead to tragedy as we have seen above. Lets see what proposals we have so far ....
    • Door opening away from you (use a strap or 'chain' to maintain control)
    • Door opening towards you (use a foot as a safety door stop)
    • Feeling the door at different levels to give an idea on heat
    • Charged hose-line where possible
    • Opening the door just a few inches to observe conditions
    • Appying some water into the overhead of the room/compartment using the six inch opening created

    I would suggest that ALL side-hinged doors should be approached in this manner, whether commercial or residential. I do agree about the added dangers concerning high ceilings but I don't particularly relate this to door entry procedures, although the point is well made about lifting ceiling tiles for inspection purposes.

    Further points -
    • Do we all agree that water should be applied into the overhead prior to opening the door fully?
    • If so ... how is this done?
    • What specific things should we be looking for on making the six inch opening?
    • What should we also be considering where the door opens onto a stairway?
    • What dangers might exist if the room fire has breached the ceiling in a two story residence?
    • Are there any areas outside a doorway where we should avoid locating ourselves?
    • Even prior to opening the door what danger may exist in the immediate area we are occupying?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    No pounding from me FyredUp .... In fact I vote yours the best post so far. You hit on some key points in what I define a safe approach to a closed door, behind which fire or smoke is suspected.

    I do believe that this 'basic' action by firefighters is often undertaken without any 'control measures' being put in place first. This may lead to tragedy as we have seen above. Lets see what proposals we have so far ....
    • Door opening away from you (use a strap or 'chain' to maintain control)
    • Door opening towards you (use a foot as a safety door stop)
    • Feeling the door at different levels to give an idea on heat
    • Charged hose-line where possible
    • Opening the door just a few inches to observe conditions
    • Appying some water into the overhead of the room/compartment using the six inch opening created

    I would suggest that ALL side-hinged doors should be approached in this manner, whether commercial or residential. I do agree about the added dangers concerning high ceilings but I don't particularly relate this to door entry procedures, although the point is well made about lifting ceiling tiles for inspection purposes.

    Further points -
    • Do we all agree that water should be applied into the overhead prior to opening the door fully?
    • If so ... how is this done?
    • What specific things should we be looking for on making the six inch opening?
    • What should we also be considering where the door opens onto a stairway?
    • What dangers might exist if the room fire has breached the ceiling in a two story residence?
    • What dangers might exist if the room fire has breached the ceiling in a two story residence?
    • Are there any areas outside a doorway where we should avoid locating ourselves?
    • Even prior to opening the door what danger may exist in the immediate area we are occupying?
    Okay Paul let me take a stab at your list:

    Do we all agree that water should be applied into the overhead prior to opening the door fully?

    If so ... how is this done? (took these 2 together)


    Depends on the conditions found. If the fire has complete control of the room some water applied into the overhead and shutting the door again MAY allow the resulting steam to control the fire. Ventilation should be done before reopening the door to stop the steam and byproducts of the fire from pushing out at you forcefully due to steam expansion. If the fire is localized and there is some fire travel across the ceiling then yes, water should be BRIEFLY applied to the ceiling to cool the overhead and to insure that it is just gases burning and not the ceiling itself.


    What specific things should we be looking for on making the six inch opening?

    Amount of fire and its location. Color and pressure of the smoke emitting from the partially open door. Heat.


    What should we also be considering where the door opens onto a stairway?

    Our location in relation to the fire. Are we above or below the fire. Other crew locations, are they above or below the door about to be opened and are they above or below the fire. As in the scenarios you originally posted you don't want the opening of a door on a stairway to create a potential firestorm and trap firefighters or civilians.


    What dangers might exist if the room fire has breached the ceiling in a two story residence?

    The fire can move in the void space above the ceiling and may actually be over your head out in the supposed safety of the hallway. It may also cause structural weeakness. depending on how the fire moves there is also a potential for a backdraft type explosion in the ceiling void areas as oxygen is depleted.


    Are there any areas outside a doorway where we should avoid locating ourselves?

    Hm, this question puzzled me and I am not sure I understand what you are looking for. I will guess that if possible stay away from glass sidelights. The other being a position above the doorway on a stairs where if fire blows out of the open doorway we would be subjected to the flames and heat with no clear safe escape route.


    Even prior to opening the door what danger may exist in the immediate area we are occupying?

    If the wall that houses the doorway is a partition wall only and doesn't go all the way up to the actual structural members above you could fire over your head in the void space. I have actually seen walls between apartments built this way. they are not even a fire stop between apartments as fire can pass over the wall in the void space of the ceiling.

    Okay Paul, how did I do?
    Last edited by FyredUp; 04-11-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: horrendous spelling on my part...yepper I probably missed something else too!!

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    Have the line charged before opening the door!! . Sounds crazy but it happens.
    As was mentioned, controling the door is very important. Some companies by me keep a 4ft or so piece of rope with a small loop at the end in the Rabbit tool bag. They put it on the doorknob of steel doors being forced with the Rabbit tool. If there's no self closing hardware on the door,or it's broken, the door can fly wide open. Holding the rope prevents this. Cheap rope is fine in case it gets lost or burns up.
    Someone other than the nozzleman to open up is also important. He doeesn't have to be up the officer/Forcible entry guys ***** but can be 3-4-5 feet off to the side. This leaves room for the guys at the door to scamper out of the way or flatten out while the nozzleman opens up if fire does blow out the doorway at you. He needs to protect the F/E crew at the door before advancing.
    Popping a ceiling tile inside the doorway as FyredUp said is a good idea. BUT.. Even if you have a TIC you should still do this especially in commercial/high rise buildings. I spent a year and a half in a company with many high rises in my first due area. We saw in many that the space above the ceiling tiles are 3-4 feet. A/C duct work, plumbing, wires, all kinds of crap. Older commercial buildings converted to condos that have 12-14ft ceilings now have been dropped to 10-9-8 with tiles. TIC's have limitations. Old school still works.
    High and suspended ceilings can give a false feeling of nothing being wrong. Definately a real danger. Don't get tunnel vision with a TIC. When you scan an area don't just look side to side, also look up. Guess I got a bit off subject but I was on a roll.

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    From Fyredup..Even prior to opening the door what danger may exist in the immediate area we are occupying?
    If the wall that houses the doorway is a partion wall only and doesn't go all the way up to the actual structural members above you could fire over your head in the void space. I have actually seen walls between apartments built this way. they are not even a fire stop between apartments as fire can pass over the wall in the void space of the ceiling.


    This is very common in frame dwellings built late 1800's early 1900's. Also ran into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    From Fyredup..Even prior to opening the door what danger may exist in the immediate area we are occupying?
    If the wall that houses the doorway is a partion wall only and doesn't go all the way up to the actual structural members above you could fire over your head in the void space. I have actually seen walls between apartments built this way. they are not even a fire stop between apartments as fire can pass over the wall in the void space of the ceiling.


    This is very common in frame dwellings built late 1800's early 1900's. Also ran into it.
    In the village I volly in this construction is used in apartment buildings that were built in the 1980's. We would never have known except we had a fire in one of the apartments and we pulled ceilings and there it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Okay Paul, how did I do?
    Well Don ... I always knew you would hit the main points.
    1. I think we can put some water up into the overhead in the room even in situations where the fire has NOT gained complete control of the room. This is a preventive action taken to lessen the likelihood that the fire may do so.

    2. I do not think that it is necessary to vent the room in order to allow water vapor to escape. I would base my decision to vent upon fire conditions and an objective to advance in to complete suppression. This would be venting ahead of the hose-line advance and the decision to vent must be strongly (completely) influenced by the nozzle team here. Small amounts of water into the overhead will likely dampen the fire development; cool the gases and reduce ignition potential.

    3. Yes, on opening the six inch gap in the door we should be looking at fire or smoke conditions and we MAY get some appreciation of location. Most importantly we need to see if there is a Neutral plane in the smoke (at the door) where smoke exits and air enters. What level from the floor is this located? How fast is the smoke leaving and the air entering? High velocity smoke is dangerous. Also as you rightly say, what color is the smoke? Dark smoke may warrant more concern but certainly, 'boiling' black smoke is of even greater concern because it is most likely ready to ignite as it meets with air.

    4. You got the hazards of the stairway door spot on ... but how many times has this caused a tragedy or a near miss ... I can speak from personal experience here.

    5. Ceilings breached by fire can lead to void spread; backdraft hazards; fire spread over and behind us; and sometimes the inrush of air into the room can cause fire to intensify up into the second floor and then head straight back down the stairs in a violent heat rush.

    6. Dangerous places outside the fire room (or even in it) are near walls. If we are about to make entry in this way, try to keep away from walls because if the fire comes out and gases ignite above ourt heads, they will head along the ceiling and down the first wall they meet, possibly to to the floor. I knew of a firefighter who was terribly burned (killed) when this occurred in a large volume structure.

    7. Before we open the door ... look up ... is there a heavy smoke layer in the area above our heads? If so this may be within it's flammable range and awaits that ignition source as we open the door. This smoke needs venting or dispersing/cooling with some water before we open up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Okay I am prepared to take a pounding for what I advocate but here goes anyways.

    Door opens towards me.

    I place my foot about 6 inches or so back from the door, making it a door stop. Check the door for heat. I open the door to my foot and if flame or heat comes out I can close the door in relative safety until we are ready to enter with a hoseline. I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator so they can be in position and ready to flow water if necessary.

    Door opens away from me.

    Hook a short section of chain, dog chain or swingset chain, on the door knob. Check the door for heat. Short choke the chain so the door will only open 6 inches or so. Open the door and check for flames or heat. If necessary you can pull the door shut in relative safety. As above I prefer the door opener to be someone other than the nozzle operator.


    Controlling the door is the key. Being able to close the door can be critical if conditions are beyond your initial capabilities.
    I don't know why you would take a pounding... this is the way I was taught.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    European firefighters training in 'live fire' door entry procedure ....
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    The same simulation without door entry procedure ....
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    European firefighters training in 'live fire' door entry procedure ....


    European,you mean some great people in Belgium for example?lol.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchfireball View Post
    European,you mean some great people in Belgium for example?lol.
    Belgium .... Holland .... UK .... Germany .... France ... Spain .... Sweden .... same procedure etc

    Belgium is in Europe right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    Belgium .... Holland .... UK .... Germany .... France ... Spain .... Sweden .... same procedure etc

    Belgium is in Europe right?
    yah,but i was thinking that maybe in pics,it was your famous friend who is flashover instructor in Belgium.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    Is that sarcasm? I have colleagues and friends in just about every european country who work as CFBT instructors. E-mail me if you want to discuss this further ... PaulG@fire2000.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    Is that sarcasm? I have colleagues and friends in just about every european country who work as CFBT instructors. E-mail me if you want to discuss this further ... PaulG@fire2000.com
    nah this is not sarcasm it is because i know one of your friend who has a great site about flashover: http://www.flashover.fr/index.php

    sorry if i offended you with my posts,it was not my goal.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    My apologies to you .... no you didn't offend me I wasn't sure what you were implying by using the term 'famous' (it sounded sarcasm). I know Pierre Louis yes. These images are not of his training in Belgium though.

    Take care ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    My apologies to you .... no you didn't offend me I wasn't sure what you were implying by using the term 'famous' (it sounded sarcasm). I know Pierre Louis yes. These images are not of his training in Belgium though.

    Take care ....

    do not worry for me,i know i ask so many questions even if i'm just civilian,i'm a real PITA with my questions,lol.

    when i used the word "famous" i was not sarcastic at all,just PLouis is "famous" on his site and in what he does.just my 2 cents.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchfireball View Post
    just my 2 cents.
    Stick to Euros brother .... its a far better exchange rate

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    Door Entry Procedure

    • Select the right door to enter by
    • Is this entry point the fire-side or the non-fire side?
    • What direction is the wind, if any?
    • Does the entry point serve logical escape routes?
    • Does the entry point provide the best access to all parts of the
    structure, e.g., basement?
    • Get a quick visual of B-SAHF indicators (see 10.20)
    • Are there adjacent windows that may provide hazard warnings?
    • Feel the door with the back of a hand to ascertain thermal layering
    • If its warm or hot, or if there is fire/smoke suspected behind the
    door, follow the door entry procedure –

    1. In most cases, don’t enter without a charged hose-line at the door
    2. All firefighters under air (SCBA)
    3. If this is an interior door either serving or near to a stair-case, is the stairway and immediate area above free of firefighters and occupants
    4. Position forcible entry firefighter at door
    5. Attack team on hose-line in crouching position
    6. Apply a brief burst of fine water-fog above the door or vent the area you are in of smoke, and then;
    7. Immediately open the door to six inches maximum (150mm)
    (if the door opens inwards use a strap to retain the door in a partially closed position; if the door opens outwards place a foot six inches from the door as a safety stop)
    8. Observe the smoke movements (volume/color/velocity/pulsations)
    9. Apply a brief burst (1-2 seconds) of water-fog into the
    overhead by placing the nozzle tip at 45deg to the floor, just inside the door
    10. Immediately close the door fully and wait for 15 seconds
    11.Repeat the process, each time feeling for heat reduction; observing the smoke movements; and comparing to the previous cycle
    12. Where conditions are improving, or where there appears no fire or heavy smoke movement behind the door, make full entry and advance the hose-line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    Stick to Euros brother .... its a far better exchange rate
    yeah right for the Euro, but i'm not a bro,or well,just a minute,i check:i'm just a woman,lol.

    and i hijacked your thread,ah,women,they are impossible.lol!
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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