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Forcible Entry - which side of the door?

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  • Forcible Entry - which side of the door?

    Would appreciate feedback from some more experienced FF's. At a drill last night I was directed to open an outswinging door on the side opposite the hinges. The reason given for this was so that in the event of a flameover or backdraft I wouldn't get nailed by the door. I was taught the opposite of this previously, as the door gives some limited protection, but did it as directed so as not to rock the boat. How would you approach a door in this situation at a real fire?

  • #2
    Are you talking about actually making forcible entry, or making entry with the hoseline? I looked in my Essentials book (4th edition) and all that I could see that it said about it was to stay to one side or the other, and to have all firefighters on the same side of the door. Hope this helps you out.
    -Kris
    Driver/Engineer/EMT
    Walton County Fire Rescue
    Walton County Georgia
    IACOJ

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    • #3
      O.K. I'm up for an education here seeing as how we never have that much forceable entry to do - too rural (just step over what's left of the wall by the time we get there )

      I would tend to think that you force from the Knob/Latch Side ALWAYS.

      This way if anything happens (backdraft, etc.) an outward swing door will be swinging AWAY from you plus you should be protected (at least slightly) by the wall next to the latch and should also be able to retreat further away from the door opening along this wall for cover.
      As for an inward swinging door - depending on how far open it flew when you popped it - it may actually get blown closed thereby protecting you - however it may also get blown clean off and you, having to lean across the door opening to reach the latch from the hinge side or worse yet stand in front of it, will be right in it's path.

      I have also always been told to control the door whenever possible - i.e. tie a rope to the door knob so I could pull the door closed again if things went bad. I don't think this would be as big a concern on an inward swinging door, however if controlling a door in this fashion, I would NOT wrap the rope around any portion of my body.

      Well - that's my thoughts anyway - if there wrong then I'm sure some of the more experienced Truckies among us will set me straight (hope so anyway).

      Closing thought - NEVER NEVER NEVER stand directly in front of / over ANYTHING you're about to open (window, door, roof hatch, etc.)
      Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
      Stephen
      FF/Paramedic
      Instructor

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      • #4
        Door open towards you:

        Drive the Halligan's Adz between the locks. Push down on the tool as you pull it away from the door. This seperates the door and jamb as it prys the door outwards. I have found this to be the most effective method on an outward opening door, especially if I'm alone.

        Now, to answer the question:

        Doing this will force you to be between the knob and hinges as you start the process and be on the knob side as you finish.

        Each method used will put you in different positions. Depending on the door, fire conditions, concerns and wall configuration, you will have to choose you tool positioning. Your body's position will be dictated by the tool.

        I think the idea of staying to one side or the other of the door limits your choices of tool position.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. My question was about going in with a hoseline, and I guess not standing behind the door has benefits. My only concern was that if a backdraft occurred and I was on the wall side I would be more exposed than if I had the door to protect me when I opened it. Having said that its doubtful I would be going in with a hoseline to a building that has not already been ventilated somewhat - so maybe its a moot point. As has been suggested, one side or the other is OK - just not directly in front of the opening. Of course, if I'm using a halligan to pry I'll go wherever the tool takes me. Thanks again to all.
          Last edited by FairchildFire; 07-16-2003, 09:14 AM.

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          • #6
            another thing to consider...

            Once the door (if outward opening) is forced, bring your attack line in from the "lock side"... otherwise the hose has a tendency to get caught and pull the door shut behind you. I concur with E229LT's technique for the use of the Halligan.

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            • #7
              If your ventilation is going as it should, that will minimize the chance of a backdraft occuring at the point of entry in the first place. Learn to recognize the signs of a possible backdraft. Above all, don't just rush in.
              Member IACOJ

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              • #8
                force

                Force the door on the lock side but MAINTAIN the integrety of the door!..This meaning have a tool or rope ready to shut it quick. Another Tip before you force it TRY BEFORE YOU PRY.. Thanks folks

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                • #9
                  Regarding the Backdraft reaction, you must consider the individual situation.

                  The backdraft doesn't turn corners on it's own unless it is obstructed or redirected by an obstacle. Meaning: it will try to blow the door wide open and shoot straight out. If you are flush to the wall on the knob side, you will likely be in a small negative pressure zone where fresh air is actually being drawn towards the flare and then pushed out away from the building by the blast.

                  However, If the door looks like it may drag on the ground or snag an obstruction before you get it open fully, do not stand on the knob side or you will be in the path of the redirected flare.

                  As a general rule, definitely start on the knob/lock side, but be prepared to recognize and adapt to unique situations.
                  Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

                  IACOJ

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                  • #10
                    Huh?

                    I ALWAYS force the door from the side that I am standing on........ usually the outside.
                    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                    In memory of
                    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                    IACOJ Budget Analyst

                    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                    www.gdvfd18.com

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                    • #11
                      This is EXACTLY the kind of advice I was hoping for - especially mcaldwell's advice. Forewarned is forearmed etc. Thanks again to all - it's these types of things that make these forums so invaluable. Kudos to the people that set it up. I'm convinced! I'm definitely going to signup for the paid membership.

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                      • #12
                        Hey WebTeam.........

                        WT, Looks like we sold another one for ya, get our commission checks in the mail to us.
                        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                        In memory of
                        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                        IACOJ Budget Analyst

                        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                        www.gdvfd18.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think it depends on the situation. is the door at the end of a narrow hall or is it in the center of a long hall, either way I don't think either way is wrong, let the situation dictate

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