Every so often I post a “What’s In Your District” when I find interesting challenges or things that may make “normal” firefighting procedures difficult. I hope it highlights the importance of getting out in your own district and find these things before the fire, or response.
Here are some Forcible Entry Challenges from a building in my district that could present some difficulties for even the most seasoned and trained fire departments and crews.
You can see from the interior view that the pad lock is present along with the rim lock that was indicated from the exterior with the presenting bolt heads. Is this an impossible door to force? Absolutely not! However it will require several different techniques in order to accomplish the task. Defeating the rim lock can be done multiple ways, more than likely it will be defeated with the initial gaping of the door, as the throw of the lock is minimal. You will still be unable to open the door once defeating the rim lock and will have to identify the additional lock and defeat it.
The interior view shows, a rim lock, a metal strip down the middle of the door trying to prevent prying tools from penetrating the gap of the door, and a chain style lock that keeps one side of the door assembly closed. Again not impossible but knowing this on the front end would allow you to attack the multiple bolt heads, or utilize other techniques in order to defeat the door instead of wasting time with techniques that will not work.
Racks and racks of auto part storage are behind all three of these doors, and as deep as the warehouse itself. The presence of these storage racks and the subsequent stock would severely hinder any stream getting into the occupancy, and could pose safety hazards for interior crews.
The point is to get out there and find these things BEFORE you respond, also when you find them tell people! Take pictures and send them to units that may have to respond to these buildings.
Then once you identify the hazards take it to the next level, drill on these problems, talk about adjusted tactics, place a hazard message in your dispatch system, circle the address in your map book, etc. Do whatever you can to get the information out there. When I found these things I immediately texted them to the guys on my shift, we are living in an age of technology lets make it work for us!
Make sure you get out in your district TODAY, what you find may surprise you.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!