6: Pull the lock away
from the gate to grasp
the body of the lock.
7: Place the teeth of the
wrench firmly and
squarely on the
body of the lock.
8: Exert pressure
on the handle,
when we pull up first due to a well-secured commercial
building with heavy smoke showing at 3:00 a.m. Now what?
FORCIBLE ENTRY AND VERTICAL VENTILATION
In the scenario mentioned above, the most critical initial
operations are going to be forcible entry and vertical ventilation.
We are going to have to force entry to the roll-down security
system to facilitate extinguishment while simultaneously vent-ing the roof to improve conditions and prevent a potential
backdraft. It becomes quite obvious in this scenario that saws
are going to be at a premium early on in the operation.
One school of thought would be to switch out the blade to
perform the forcible entry and then return the wood blade
to cut the roof. While this is certainly an option, it can be
quite time consuming and may lead to a significant delay in
the completion of both of these critical operations. When
confronted with this very scenario, what options do we have
that allow us to complete these tasks in a simultaneous manner? A couple of simple and affordable tools carried on the
apparatus may come in handy when these rare occasions arise.
The duckbill lock breaker and a 24-inch pipe wrench with a
breaker bar are two examples of conventional lock breakers
that I am going to examine in this article (photos 1 and 2).
DUCKBILL LOCK BREAKER
The duckbill lock breaker is a commercially available tool
designed specifically to force padlocks typically found on
commercial buildings. It is a solid steel tool with an 18-inch
handle and an 18-inch tapered end used to spread the shackle
away from the body of the lock. The operation requires two
firefighters, one holding the duckbill and the other holding
either an eight-pound ax or a 10-pound sledgehammer. The
tip of the duckbill is placed between the shackles of the lock
and the tool is set once resistance is met (photo 3).
Once the tool is set, the second firefighter strikes the surface
of the tool with the ax or the sledgehammer, driving the
wedge downward (photo 4). As the wedge is driven farther
into the shackle, it forces it from the body of the lock. It is
important to continue striking the surface of the tool until
there is substantial separation of the shackle from the body of
the lock. As most high-quality padlocks have a heel and toe
3: Setting the duckbill. 4: Forcing the lock. 5: A severed hasp.