View Poll Results: Chocking the doors when using the Knox Box keys on AFA's

24. You may not vote on this poll
  • I don't chock the doors, unless it's a working fire.

    1 4.17%
  • I normally chock all keyed doors we pass through.

    20 83.33%
  • I might start to chock the keyed doors from now on.

    1 4.17%
  • I will start chocking doors only if I start to smell smoke.

    2 8.33%
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ffmedcbk1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Default Poll: Knox-Boxes and Chocking the Doors

    Event: You are dispatched to a AFA and it has a Knox-Box system and you are part of the investigation team on the first due.

    Question: Do you chock the doors as you go inside?

    From the reporting website:
    Responded to an automatic fire alarm. The occupancy was a renovated grade/middle school building that now housed the local Park District offices and the area headquarters for a State Representative. Building was of brick and block construction with large windows. Still-alarm assignment consisted of 2 Engines, 1 Tower Ladder, with Shift Commander aboard, and 1 Ambulance. First in Engine's lieutenant and (department specific name deleted) #3 firefighter entered the building leaving the engineer with the rig. Ambulance crew finished donning SCBA and gathered tools and staged. Both the lieutenant and firefighter had portable radios and the #3 firefighter had irons. Crew located the annunciator and found it indicating a smoke alarm, 2nd floor. Lieutenant radioed command and advised him that it smelled like paper burning, "like a trash can." Command acknowledged and requested to be advised of developments/needs. Crew proceeded to the 2nd floor and upon gaining the landing reported "light haze of smoke" at the ceiling. Again, command acknowledged. Lieutenant and firefighter began searching numerous offices and cubicles in the State Representative's office area. Second-due Engine arrived and requested orders. Command ordered the lieutenant and #3 firefighter to enter the building from the "C" side and meet up with initial crew to assist in search. Hearing this order via the radio the first-due lieutenant sent his #3 firefighter down to the rear entrance to open the door for the second crew as the Knox-box was on the front of the building and had already been accessed to enter the building. Not long after the #3 firefighter left, the lieutenant, alone on the second floor, radioed Command stating that conditions had deteriorated greatly, with thick black, hot smoke. Command acknowledged. This was then followed by another transmission from the lieutenant that, "It's getting hot up here and I can't find the door." Command then exited the Tower Ladder dressed only in his bunker pants and coat, entered the building to attempt to locate the lieutenant. He did not remain inside long. When he did emerge, he finally radioed our dispatch center to upgrade to a full-still and then a general alarm. In the meantime the second due engine crew along with the first-due #3 firefighter were attempting to retrace steps back to the lieutenant's last location. The doors in this government office, however, automatically locked upon closing. About this time the lieutenant made a third radio transmission repeating that it was "hot up here." Command acknowledged and reported that a crew was on its way up to get him. The second-due crew never reported to command the trouble they were encountering with the locked doors. The lost lieutenant eventually made his way out of the office on his own after locating a receptionist's desk and remembering that the door was just in front of it. He emerged into the hallway as the second-due Engine along with his #3 firefighter were coming down the hall. The lieutenant suffered no injuries as a result of this incident. The fire eventually went to a 2nd (alarm - department specific name deleted).
    Lesson Learned
    Lesson 1: An AFA can still be a fire. Treat every one like it is. Lesson 2: There are very few things on the fireground that can safely be done alone. Lesson 3: Be aware of building construction and features i.e. doors that lock behind you. Lesson 4: Locate second and even third exits when you enter a space. If there is only one way in and out ensure you know where you are in relation to that at all times. Lesson 5: Call the MAYDAY early and give as much information as you can as to your whereabouts. Lesson 6: Command is just that, command. He or she is not a line-participant. Lesson 7: Communicate your needs/difficulties/assessments to command so that other plans can be made if needed. Lesson 8: Complacency kills. This incident was the exception.
    Last edited by ffmedcbk1; 05-20-2009 at 09:38 AM.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    It is a good practice to chock open all doors you either force open or unlock.

    Chocking does not have to mean the door is chocked wide open.

    But some measure should be taken to see that it doesn't close or re-lock behind you

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Lusby, MD


    I've been caught going back to let others in the building before and learned my lesson. If it's an alarm, I will take the time to unlock the door and check it, otherwise I chock the door enought to keep it from latching.

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