We have all been taught to control the door. I have watched countless firefighters try to kick in doors, bulldoze their way through them along with every other tactic that does not include a set of irons.  Here is one reason why control in forcing doors is so important.

This door is in a city hall that my son was practicing in. The area that the door is in used to be a balcony that goes all the way around the gym with two doors that lead to the main floor of city hall.  Over the years, as they ran out of space, they began to make office space on that balcony.  

The door is almost always locked and access to this area is likely to be searched during a fire.  The hazard here is obvious, but the lesson for any situations: control.

By using proper forcible entry techniques with a set of tools, you can control the door and be cautious about what is behind it.  A fall from this door could be disasterous. We have to be ever diligent to master the basics.  A lack of basic forcible entry skills could result in a Mayday and RIT situation which makes a hazardous situation even more so.

Be smart, know your area and train hard. Master those basic skills and require it of your crew if your the boss. Stay safe and thanks for reading.



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Wow I'am surprised the building department did not make them remove the door and make that a solid wall .
Jason it's not just situations like this that makes controlling the door a much better idea. We had structure fire a while back where someone had cut a hole in the floor of the house on the inside of the front door. Upon our arrival the door was locked and when forced the crew making entry almost fell in the hole. The hole was a 4x5 if memory serves. Had the crew not sounded the floor and found there was no floor or not controlled the door it could have ended much worse. I always control the door and sound the floor of each room I enter that way I'm less likely to recieve a suprise trip to the floor below or the basement.
Great example! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.
Nice photo and excellent post, Jason!

I can vouch for the need to use tools and to control the door based on personal experience and a serious injury to a good friend.

In the pre-bunker pants days, a firefighter on one of my previous departments kicked a front door at a house fire lost his balance, and ended up in a basement fire, sans nozzle or line. He was badly burned, but was later able to return to firefighting.

As a new officer, I saw my nozzleman kick a 2nd-floor garden apartment door that was tougher than expected. He bounced off the door, hit a railing, flipped over the railing, and landed supine on his SCBA cylinder. Fortunately, he wasn't seriously injured, but he didn't contribute a lot to that fire attack.

In another case, I was the backup firefighter on a heavily involved split-foyer SFD with the downstairs living area and 50% of the upstairs well off. We tried the front door but were unable to enter due to the volume of fire from downstairs. We relocated the line to the garage doors on the basement level, forced one and propped it open, then fought our way through mounds of "stuff" (think Collyer's Mansion/hoarder here) to the door into the basement playroom that was the seat of the fire. The nozzleman stood and was preparing to kick the door in when the door literally disintegrated into a wall of flame. (We later found out that the door was two thin layers of wood veneer over cardboard honeycomb - yes, cardboard) Needless to say, the nozzleman (a MUCH bigger guy than I) lost his balance and the nozzle. I was able to pull the line back and open the nozzle to protect us from the fire while we fought our way out of the garage, over the mounds of stuff in the way.

I am a big fan of the irons and controlling the door based on those experiences. No YouTube neccessary for me on this one.
Ben thanks for sharing that story. Great experience that others hopefully will learn from.
Take care and thanks again,
We had a guy doing a ground right-hand search training exercise in a house simulator. He didn't sound the floor coming around the corner and rolled down the stairs. He ended up with a broken arm and a 14 hour wait in the E.R. before he was released. Glad to see this example. It just goes to show that you really never know what is behind any door. Thanks for posting this stark reminder.

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