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Thread: Make A Door ?

  1. #1
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Make A Door ?

    Does anybody have any experience with,or opinions about,making a window into a door for both interior ops or victim removal? I mean cutting down from the window to the floor on either side of the window INSIDE the supporting studs. I'm thinking this shouldn't cause too much structural instability.

    Discourse amongst yourselves...


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    It's an option...just another trick to have in the tool box, The only thing you would need to do is to cut the stud in the middle to make it a clean, but narrow doorway. Though, I don't see a reason to need to do it.
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    Firehouse.com HOSER303's Avatar
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    Like PFD stated it is an option to keep in mind. Personally I have never had to make one and probably never will. I really don't see a need to have to make one unless something happens to all other means of egress. Maybe somebody that has a little more personal experience with this will post and we can all learn a little more about the need for one.
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    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    I really can't see a need to do this, but...

    In a frame structure with wood or composite siding, a vertical cut with a saw (a sawsall would be my tool of choice) from the window sill to the sole plate, made 2" to the inside the side jambs of the window will allow the entire section to be folded down and knocked out.
    DO NOT remove the jack studs to make the window opening wider...These are the studs that support the window header and the load it is bearing, i.e. the roof.

    That being said, here are a few of the hazards you will be faced with if you decide to do this:

    1. You are virtually guaranteed to have 110v wiring extending horizontally under the window. Is the power off? Are you absolutely certain?
    2. You are also guaranteed to have the framing nails that held the studs in place sticking up in through the sole plate.
    3. If the structure is on a slab, as most in my area are, there is a good possibility of encountering a 1/2" anchor bolt securing the plate to the slab. Not to mention any wind-load bracing (straps) that secure the wall to the plate. These have many nails on both sides of the stud and are extremely difficult to remove.
    4. Is there baseboard heating? That's a whole other can of worms. And if there is a brick veneer on the house, that will be a labor intensive chore to remove as well.

    Do you have the time and personnel that you would want to commit to this endeavor? Is it gong to be faster and/or more efficient to find an alternate means of ingress/egress?

    As I said, I really can't see a need to do this, but I may find I need to at my next call. I hope not though.




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    In RIT training we cut a hole below the window, but we did not cut the supporting cross studd. We used ithe hole to drag the FF out. Just one of those drills the instructor had us do. It was quick and very easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949
    I really can't see a need to do this, but...

    In a frame structure with wood or composite siding, a vertical cut with a saw (a sawsall would be my tool of choice) from the window sill to the sole plate, made 2" to the inside the side jambs of the window will allow the entire section to be folded down and knocked out.
    DO NOT remove the jack studs to make the window opening wider...These are the studs that support the window header and the load it is bearing, i.e. the roof.

    That being said, here are a few of the hazards you will be faced with if you decide to do this:

    1. You are virtually guaranteed to have 110v wiring extending horizontally under the window. Is the power off? Are you absolutely certain?
    2. You are also guaranteed to have the framing nails that held the studs in place sticking up in through the sole plate.
    3. If the structure is on a slab, as most in my area are, there is a good possibility of encountering a 1/2" anchor bolt securing the plate to the slab. Not to mention any wind-load bracing (straps) that secure the wall to the plate. These have many nails on both sides of the stud and are extremely difficult to remove.
    4. Is there baseboard heating? That's a whole other can of worms. And if there is a brick veneer on the house, that will be a labor intensive chore to remove as well.

    Do you have the time and personnel that you would want to commit to this endeavor? Is it gong to be faster and/or more efficient to find an alternate means of ingress/egress?

    As I said, I really can't see a need to do this, but I may find I need to at my next call. I hope not though.




    Kevin
    Sure can see a reason to do this.....or two or three. Your partner weighs more than you can drag, or is trapped under a pile of crap and is running out of air(does Phoenix ring any bells). You find a large victim that you cannot easily temove...keep thinking. Sure, each point you raise is valid, but ill take my chances cutting through a measly 110v wire, or ill use any of the 20 or so tools we carry to beat, cut, destroy or otherwise relocate anything that gets in the way. And, for all you folks out there that forgot, firefighting is inherintley dangerous.

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    We used this method about a year ago the get a man out out of his house, because he would not fit through the doors, we looked at widening the door, but there was a support that was 5 studs together. but taking the window we didn't have to cut any studs, just the short one in the middle of the window. My advice is pull the sheet rock first and you can see any wiring.

    Ps this man had not been out of his house in 5 years, we took him to the hospital,for a heart attach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeJunkins
    Ps this man had not been out of his house in 5 years, we took him to the hospital,for a heart attach.
    Well, if it was disconnected, that could be the source of the problem
    FF/NREMT-B

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    This will not cause any problems with structural stability. A window is just like a door with a header above the opening, trimmer studs run from the floor to the header and are structural. The sill has no strctural properties other then framing the bottom of the window. Jack studs support the sill and run from the sole plate to the sill. They can be removed without a problem.

    Time would be my only concern, it is just another tool.

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    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    I've never done it, but I was taught that it works well for cleaning out heavily cluttered rooms for overhaul in Collyer's Mansion or "packrat" conditions.
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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    Forum Member Squad1LT's Avatar
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    WE have done it a couple of times once to get a large man out of a house like was stated before and also it has been done at a couple of fires where there were large heavy objects that needed to be moved out of the room. It works good for that. I havent used it for a RIT or rescue application but that is the primary use of the technique. If you use your vent saw just remember to take off the depth wheel if you have one so you can make a deeper cut easier.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Did it once during a drill, used a chainsaw. Wires/nails weren't a problem.
    "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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    Cutting ONE stud out of a wall will not cause the wall to fall, even on a load bearing wall. I have punched through with an axe and knocked a stud out. Typical studs are 16" on center. Taking one out gives you 32" of clearance. If you need to get out, I would take the quickest and easiest way, and this way doesn't take long at all.

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    We've done this many times in RIT training in Upstate NY. This is easily done if you make the right cuts in order. Use of a chainsaw is very helpful.
    1. remove all glass from window. This will help vent and give better visability.
    2. cut down the left or right of a window to the floor.
    3. **cut across the floor now**. If this cut is not done now and is cut last, the weight of the wall being removed will cause the chainsaw to get "pinched" and not be able to cut.
    4. cut acroos bottom of window sill to determined size.
    5. cut down to the floor that is already cut.
    6. with a pike pole, haligan ect..pull down to ground. Remember the wall does not have to be totally removed...You want to get them out as fast as possible. The wall can merely hang there touching the ground.


    Some pointers.....
    1. when making the floor cut....go longer than you need. This will help if you need to make the enlarged opening any bigger.
    2. Older double hung windows will have the old steel counter weights in them. A chainsaw WILL NOT go through these. This goes back to size-up. You may have to adjust your cut.
    3. Watch out for plumbing pipes and of course electrical.
    4. If possible..have a ff inside to guard against a victim being cut by a blade. Remember alot will be happening if this is going on. This may even be happening on a second story window.
    5. If possible...have two chainsaws available. In case one fails or gets dull fast.
    6. Watch out for the old cast-iron water heaters. Especially if you are the rescue firefighter bringing a victim or downed ff to a window. Feel before you call for a cut.
    7. This technique really works well if there is only one ff (I know we work in pairs..you never know could be your partner) by themselves and have to raise a Heavy vic/ff from the floor to an elevated window. Hate to bring up the past, but remember the Denver Drill?

    Coming from the North East, The cut can be very usefull in ranch style homes where the bottom of bedroom windows are at least 5-6 feet from the ground. Also chuches. These windows can be very narrow and can also be 5-10 feet from the ground. This is just something we should all be aware of and when we could use it. I'm trying to get some pics from a RIT drill we did to show series of cuts. If I find them I'll post them.

    For more information on this check out Rapidintervention.com
    Last edited by ves9102; 12-15-2005 at 12:39 PM. Reason: added few more pointers

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    Our Department teaches this technique to all of our companies, It works well, as the Officer on a Squad if we are RIT one of our procedures is to size up the windows should this procedure take place. VES 9102 gave some great pointers, practice this technique and you will find it's not hard at all with the proper equipment and placement of your personnel. We have trained on this technique numerous times and not one time have we had a wall to collapse. As for your Utilities, power should be secured at the Main disconnect as soon as possible. STAY SAFE.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    Depending on your size up you may be able to get by with 2 quick cuts. Take the glass out and cut right through the sill to the floor. Grab the sill with a hook and you can usually pull the remaining wall section under the window right down and out. Once the sill is gone there is no integrity left in the window, grab the sashes with a hook at yank them out too. You are left with a 3 sided window frame and the opening underneath.

  17. #17
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I'm thinking we will practice this with our RIT training next time. I'm with Halligan in that the two downward cuts should do it, then rip it to the ground. Real fast way to get people out of a sticky one.

  18. #18
    Forum Member IronsMan53's Avatar
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    I was on a fire where this was done. The victim was rather large and there was limited manpower. It only took a few seconds for the two cuts with the chainsaw and it was opened up and ready. The victim then could be removed much easier than if the interior crew would have had to lift him up over the window sill. Unfortunately the victim did not make it, but the rescue went quite well operationally.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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