1. #1
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    Default Forcing the Hood

    Received a question from a NJ fire department officer regarding using a power spreader to force open a hood.

    "My question is with regard to using a hydraulic spreader to force the hood of a car fire. One of our Chief officers seems to think this a great technique, but there is disagreement about that. I thought I would ask you."

    My reply to this tool for this technique is.....
    One effective hood forcible entry technique is to force the hood up along each side by the hinges and firewall. With the hood bowed up slightly, the hinges are exposed just underneath the hood. To open the hood, rescuers just cut each hinge and then tilt the hood forward like a sports car. This is a more effective and actually a more efficient technique than trying to force open a hood at the latch.

    Now as to what tool you want to use to force a hood, that's your call. All that is needed for prying up at the hinges is a Halligan bar. The cutting is done with a recip saw or a power cutter. I don't normally use the power spreader for forcing the hood although there's nothing wrong with that. It just ties up a big tool that may be neede somewhere else. If the only job you're doing is forcing the hood, then the spreader is OK if you want to get it out and get it fired up.

    The bigger question is that you have to be good at opening hoods in multiple ways. Prying up at the front latch is not a reliable place to pry from anymore.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    Assuming that there is no damage to car the car and this is strictly a car fire......

    I can think of 2 simple methods off the top of my head. Maybe I am off the boat with this, but here it goes:

    1) Assuming again that the hood release in the compartment is missing or damaged, you could use pliers (which there is always someone carrying them in their gear these days) and use them to pull on the release.

    2) break out the front section of the grill with a Haligan Bar and then using the froked end grab the cable release and twist the cable between the forks till it release.

    After the release is free then you can reach in and trip the second lock.

    I have used this on several occasions and it has worked well. There was no need to force the hood with tools.

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    1) when dealing with an engine compartment fire, and if you can get to it, try to pull the hood release. sometimes we forget the whole work smarter not harder concept.

    2) k-12 it. make a V cut around the grill area. and remember, on 99% of car fires, the car is totalled. cut a decent sized V, then flip the hood up

    I've tried using the spreaders to pop it. it will work, but that latch is one hard sucker to break. just remember, it's designed to be strong enough to prevent the hood from flying up while you are driving.

    always try to get to the hood release in the patient compartment if at all possible.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Are we no longer worried about bumpers releasing? Have we forgotten to try to avoid the front of the car and always work from the side when possible?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    If the car is a "goner" and it is just the engine compartment, why not use a piercing nozzle to avoid exposing yourself to the struts and other hazards lurking under the hood? We had a case where the strut blew off after getting the hood up and buried itself into the wood carport wall behind us. Just a thought.
    YGBSM!
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    Bumpers are still a fire launching potential and a good reason to stay away from the front of a vehicle even if you think the fire is knocked down.

    But what is becoming more and more common and really just as dangerous however during engine compartment fires are those pressurized struts. They either serve as hinges or boost the hood (Bonnet for some of you guys) when it is open. There have been several well-documented launches of these struts during fires. One case in LA City actually impaled in the leg calf muscle of a city firefighter. A friend of mine in NY State recently got hit in the nuts while watching a vehicle fire attack. He was just in the "audience" watching when the strut "BLEVE" occurred.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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    Is it safe to assume, MOST of these struts will be facing front to back and not side to side?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Is it safe to assume, MOST of these struts will be facing front to back and not side to side?
    In my experience yes, front to back. Have only seen one, and that was a hood strut that cooked off and was launched through the radiator, grill, and had enough energy left to cause a bruise on the FF who was hit standing 20 ft in front of the car.

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    Unhappy

    Originally posted by rmoore
    There have been several well-documented launches of these struts during fires. One case in LA City actually impaled in the leg calf muscle of a city firefighter. A friend of mine in NY State recently got hit in the nuts while watching a vehicle fire attack. He was just in the "audience" watching when the strut "BLEVE" occurred. [/B]
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Daniel Furseth
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    Safe And Fast Extrication, Inc.
    www.besafeinc.org

    "Extrication is like jazz. Improvisation based on fundamentals"

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    OUCH!! Thanks for the pic, DFurseth. I've heard the story before, but never saw the pic. Odd angle that it entered at........ Looks like maybe it richocheted (sp??) off the ground, maybe??

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