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  1. #1
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    Question How do you mark searched room doors?

    My Dept. is looking at updating several of our S.O.G.s. How does your Dept. mark doors to let others know they have been searched in hotels, mult-family dwelling with common hallways, etc.

    I've heard of some Depts. marking doors with chaulk. Do you mark it once when a primary search had been completed then mark it again when a secondary has been completed?

    I've also seen Depts. use do not disturb signs on door knobs to indicate they have been searched.

    Any suggestions would help. Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    My dept uses the "do not disturb" style door knob hangers. They are a blaze orange w/ scotchlite strips on them. We also have several long ones that have two hooks that can be used to stop doors from locking behind us. They work well and are usually visible in smoke conditions.
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  3. #3
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    one foot section of pink surveryor tape tied around the door knob.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb Room Searches

    How do your Depts,. distinguish the difference between the room being searched during a primary or secondary? Do you just advise command that a primary or secondary has been conducted?

    Some of the members of our Dept. have suggested we mark the doors with chaulk make one mark on the door to show a primary was conducted then make a second mark making an X on the door to show a secondary has been conducted. We have even discussed making this X mark low on the door (so it can be seen in smoke conditions). And also using two pieces of chaulk one pink (for white doors) and one white for every other color.

    I like the idea of the do not disturb type markers, for the reason you just touch the door knob to know if it's been searched. But they don't show that a primary or secondary has been conducted.

    Thanks for for all your suggestions.

  6. #6
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    In our area, we generally use a used inner tube that has been cut. The rubber has two holes, one one the top and bottom. While we finish the primary search, the rubber is hung on the door knob on one hole. After completing the secondary search we also put the second hole one the knob. The difference being, we can feel the rubber and if it is hanging we know the primary was done,and if it is up on the knob with both holes around the knob we know the secondary was completed.

    We can also stretch it around the inner knob and outer knob and prevent the door from locking if it is accidently closed. But, we usually block it with wood wedges that we also use for sprinkler shut offs.

    Cheap and effective for years.

    KEEP DOING IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    some depts use the chalk mark with one slash showing that primary search has been completed and a second slash forming an "X" marking the secondary search has been completed.

    what ever system you go with is better then no system at all.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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  8. #8
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by old timer
    While we finish the primary search, the rubber is hung on the door knob on one hole. After completing the secondary search we also put the second hole one the knob.
    This can be done with the pre-made ones I linked to above, if you get the double version. Plus they're brightly colored, easier to feel, and less likely to allow the door to close than a rubber strap. They're pretty cheap.

    SEARCH IN PROGRESS
    - Around both knobs so door can't close

    PRIMARY SEARCH COMPLETED
    - Hanging on one hole on outer knob

    SECONDARY SEARCH COMPLETED
    - Double-up the tag, hang from both holes on outer knob

  9. #9
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    Resq14, you are right, the other ones are brighter, and yep the ones we use are cheap. Just never had any problems with them though.

    KEEP DOING IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
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    For a less messy alternative to chaulk, try using construction lumber crayons.

    I carry a construction crayon, and several strips of rubber cut from an old truck inner tube to control door latches. I've tried the commercially made door markers and although they did work well, I found them too cumbersome to carry in my gear. A department where I used to be a member carried a bag of the commercial door markers on the ladder to be used at apartment buildings, dorms, etc. It was a good idea, but never seemed to make it out of the compartment.

  11. #11
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    Depending on the BC, we either use chalk with the slash to X system or some BC's still prefer the "turnover method". This is when you search the room depending on occupancy you would turnover a piece of furniture. ie: bedroom turnover the mattress to a different angle, or in a bathroom pull down the shower curtain. I personnally prefer the chalk method.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

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  12. #12
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    Post door markers

    i the new buildings that we have to deal with , the owner of the building has put a peice of rigig plastic that you turn over the door knob when room is searched, upon exiting the room the firefighter turns it over the knob. If door is re oppened the marker falls... i think it is an excellent method.

  13. #13
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    I like Resq14's idea, sounds like an easy system to me. Old Timer's system sounds cheaper though.
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death."

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  14. #14
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    We have many garden style apartments in our area. We used bright orange door knob hangers when possible. However, when you have to check 10 - 20 separate apartments we depend on our dirty finger. If the doors are smoke-stained simply write "primary done" or "2nd done" on the door. If the door is not stained you can write this with your dirty finger. I will agree that the marker system is a pretty good method. Somehow I'd lose the damn thing.

  15. #15
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    Post MARKING DOORS

    in new york city when doing an extended search containing many doors we use a piece of 2" by 6" piece of plastic that has a cutout in it that can be hung on the door. if you get fancy you could put your unit number. remember the only time the marker is hung on the door is when the search of that room is finished. individual firefighters carry their own door markers. stay safe

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