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Commercial Storefront FE: Don’t Just Break the Glass

These common doors may have a variety of seen or unseen reinforcements.

While it can safely be said that every response area in this country has unique challenges, the commercial storefront is one that is present in almost all areas.  Forcible entry into these buildings is not necessarily difficult, but present some unique considerations and thinking points.

Just break the glass.  That seems to be a lot of firefighter’s first thought on getting inside.  This simplistic approach will certainly create an opening from the outside to the inside, but not necessarily the way we want.  Consider the following:

  • It may not be glass.  In many areas it will be Plexiglas, lexan, plastic, or similar materials.
  • It may be reinforced by either impregnated or aftermarket “chicken wire”, have metal strips spaced across, or have other security measures to prevent you from getting in even if the glass is broken.
  • You still have to content with the crossbar or panic bar, which adds additional time and can be more difficult to remove than it looks.  You will likely end up having to contend with the scenario of eager FF’s wanting to crawl in under the panic bar – an obvious FF safety concern.
  • You will still have the lip of the door frame around the opening.  This will likely still contain glass shards that can easily rupture a hoseline.  It can also create a trip hazard that may delay rapid egress should conditions deteriorate.  This occurred in a similar scenario recently resulting in critical burn injuries to several firefighters who were unable to quickly exit when a “dog pile” occurred at the exit.

    Even the door is telling you not to try…

For all the discussion points on the potential hazards and pitfalls of “just breaking the glass”, probably the most compelling reason not to break the glass is just that if you have practice and plans in the proper techniques it is simply faster and easier to just open the door.  Take a look at the following videos:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHwIVuKUnKc&feature=player_embedded

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpPtmHjSqC8&feature=player_embedded

It’s easy to see that whether you want to cut the lock or go through-the-lock, either are quite fast and eliminate all of the possible problems of breaking the glass.  Consider these options next time you are presented with the glass commercial storefront.  Discuss this issue with your crew members and practice on the techniques for defeating the “Adams Rite Lock” both manually and with a saw.  Stay safe, and stay Combat Ready.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Tips & Skills, videos | Posted on 17-12-2012

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Video Tip: Cutting the Adams-Rite Lock

We’ve done a bunch of talking about the Adams-Rite lock and forcing entry to storefronts, partly because it’s a forcible entry challenged found almost anywhere and everywhere.  Like all things firefighting, the key to success is having not just “Plan A” – but multiple plans.  Depending on your scenario, one may be preferable than another at one fire and less preferable at the next.

Once option for forcing entry at these fires is of course to cut the throw of the lock.  Check out this quick video tip:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHwIVuKUnKc

  • What is your “go to” technique for these doors?  Why?
  • What circumstances would cause you to move this cutting technique to the top of the list?

Let us know your thoughts, and check out these other related articles on the topic.

 

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 12-03-2011

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Thru the Lock with your Channel Locks

We’ve talked a few times on here about going thru-the-lock on Adams-Rite style locks.  I think this is an important skill as this style of lock is found on almost every glass commercial storefront in the nation, so it’s something found in almost everyone’s first due.  Further, due to various associated challenges we’ve discussed in past posts, I think that going thru-the-lock in this scenario is likely our fastest option and will ultimately provide us with the most egress.  You can see some of the reasons I make this statement in this previous post.

Adams-Rite locks are found on almost any storefront. Remember additional security may also be present.

This video demonstrates using a pair of modified channel locks to remove the lock cylinder and open the lock (click the link to learn how to make your own).  Of course a K-tool, A-tool, or other lock puller could be used to remove the cylinder more quickly as well.

For a picture step-by-step on unlocking these with your key tool or channel locks, check out our previous post here.  And let us know – what are your experiences and thoughts with this scenario?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpPtmHjSqC8

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, Uncategorized, videos | Posted on 27-07-2010

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Truck Company Ops in Brunnerville, PA

While some members of the Traditions Training staff boarded a plane for FDIC 2010, Instructors Dan Doyle, Scott Kraut, Mike Stothers and Joe Brown were with the volunteers of Brunnerville for Truck Company Operations. Although the Brunnerville Volunteers do not have a Truck, the officers and members understood the need for traditional truck company duties on the fireground. The 2 day class covered such skills as:

  • 27069_1363961617050_1171912233_31001466_2417685_nForcible Entry Techniques
  • Street Smart Ground Ladders
  • Through-the-lock
  • Primary Search Techniques
  • Vent Enter Search
  • Victim Removal
  • Tool Selection
  • Crew Management

For day 2 the Truck Company from Lititz VFD was on hand to enhance their close working relationship on a first due Brunnerville fire. Students learned the importance of thinking of the fireground in terms of duties to be completed instead of the apparatus styles they arrived on. Drawing from their previous Traditions Training class on engine ops, the double engine house quickly adapted to multiple scenarios and arrival positions, including splitting their crews and completing both initial engine and truck ops effectively and without delay.

An abandoned school provided plenty of scenario options for day 2 as the Traditions staff tested the newly acquired skills of the Brunnerville Volunteers. Scenarios closely mimicked possible situations the students may find themselves in, from arriving together and finding fire and multiple people trapped to arriving alone for a fire alarm and requesting additional units for a discovered fire. Crews where faced with multiple forcible entry challenges, traveling smoke, search obstructions and multiple victims just to name a few. The Traditions Training staff had a great time and look forward to their next trip to Brunnerville.

26986_10150173814195571_114240140570_12058188_6246429_n IMG00765

To learn more about this or other Traditions Training classes, please click here or contact us.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 26-04-2010

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Enrollment open for Forcible Entry Academy in Claymont, DE – June 5!

8-hours of high-intensity, hands-on, real-world forcible entry skills!

DSC04350Searching for victims, getting a line on a fire – all require that we first get inside!  Join our experienced instructors for 8-hours of essential information for getting YOU though the door.  Firefighters must practice forcible entry to polish their technique.  Each attendee will force doors MULTIPLE times to gain this needed experience using their existing and newly acquired skills.

This 8-hour hands-on program is highly-interactive and dynamic, focusing on giving you multiple options – using different tools, techniques, with or without a partner. Never find yourself out of ideas at the door again!

Saturday, June 5, 2010 – Claymont, DE.  Enrollment is limited! See below for more information...

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, news, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 08-04-2010

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Forcible Entry Academy in Fort Washington, PA

This past Saturday, January 20, Traditions Training staff traveled back to Philadelphia for a “Forcible Entry Academy” program with the Fort Washington Fire Company.  This 8-hour program was entirely hands on and allowed students to practice numerous forcible entry skills through out the day.

Students cut actual roll-down gates.  For added realism we even "tagged" them.

Students cut actual roll-down gates. For added realism we even "tagged" them.

Some of the skills included were:

  • 1 and 2 firefighter techniques for conventional FE.
  • Roll-down security gates.
  • HUD Windows.
  • Window bars & gates.
  • Thru-the-lock techniques.
  • High-security padlocks.
  • Size-up and tool selection.

A primary focus of the day was the capabilities of various hand tools and the importance of having multiple techniques and plans for attack.  With forcible entry you cannot always rely on “plan A” – when it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, your next move better be on deck!

Using a variety of real-world props, each student got the chance to put their hands on the tools and transfer their “theory” on how they might attack and obstacle into actual “experience” with a variety of new skills and techniques.  Each student was encouraged not only to try “our” ideas, but to take the opportunity to try new ideas and techniques – training is the time to experiment with these things, not the front door of the fire building.

It was another excellent day for instructors and students, as both walked away with some new experiences and skills.  Thanks to DFC Clauson of the Ft. Washington Fire Company for setting up another excellent training opportunity!

795023123_a34HY-M 795023956_6Z9X6-M IMG_0969

Click here for some more photos!

To learn more about how you can host or attend this or other Traditions Training classes – click here to contact us!

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 23-02-2010

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Adding a Key-Tool to your Channel Locks

522154177_KfZNi-O.jpgA popular tool in firefighter’s pockets is a pair of Channel Locks, useful for a variety of things – turing off gas, water, etc.  They are also useful for removing certain lock cylinders, one such lock is an Adams-Rite lock, found on many storefronts.  But, once we remove the cylinder, we still have to unlock the lock.

Below… I’ll show you how to easily transform the handles of your Channel Lock Pliers into a Key-Tool that can be used to unlock Adams-Rite, and other type locks.

18644_1314264863142_1426305763_857449_8138088_n photo

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, Truck Company | Posted on 12-01-2010

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Enrollment Open: Forcible Entry Academy in Lancaster, PA – 3/20 & 3/21

8-hours of high-intensity, hands-on, real-world forcible entry skills!

DSC04350Searching for victims, getting a line on a fire – all require that we first get inside!  Join our experienced instructors for 8-hours of essential information for getting YOU though the door.  Firefighters must practice forcible entry to polish their technique.  Each attendee will force doors MULTIPLE times to gain this needed experience using their existing and newly acquired skills.

This 8-hour hands-on program is highly-interactive and dynamic, focusing on giving you multiple options – using different tools, techniques, with or without a partner. Never find yourself out of ideas at the door again!

(more…)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, news, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 10-01-2010

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Storefronts & Adams-Rite Locks

3439620842_5287eee802Smoke is showing from a storefront and we must make entry.  Most of us are familiar with the traditional storefront door – glass in a metal frame… Pull handle on the outside, push bar on the inside, typically secured with an Adams-Rite style lock.

For many, the first forcible entry inclination is simple – break the glass!  But is that really our most efficient, or expedient, method?  I wager no…

Read on for why, and for a great how-to on Adams-Rite locks sent to us by Erik Eitel from the Robinsville (NJ) Fire Department.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Tips & Skills, Truck Company | Posted on 08-10-2009

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Thru-the Lock Entry: "7-5" and "5-7"

The Adams-Rite lock is a mortise lock common to commercial occupancies, particularly store-fronts or “taxpayers”.  It’s a relatively formidable lock; the throw is about 1.5″ of solid metal into a metal frame – very difficult to force conventionally.  Further, the door is often glass – which may or may not be covered with some type of security bars or mesh.  For a whole lot of reasons, I think breaking the glass is your WAY last resort.

adams-rite-dead-bolt-mechanism 522154177_kfzni-ojpg

Fortunatley, this is a VERY easy lock to quickly open “thru-the-lock” – provided you have a little know-how and “use the clock” (everyone like how that rhymed?)….

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Tips & Skills, Truck Company | Posted on 11-05-2009