Break the Glass They said, It will work They said…

Breaking the glass on a commercial door is not always an option.

Breaking the glass on a commercial door is not always an option.

Remember there are many huge disadvantages to breaking the glass out of a commercial storefront door.  You will also run into doors like the one above; this door has additional security measures attached to the door.  Gapping a commercial aluminum door can be challenging, especially if it has a deep set mortise lock.  One option is to start at the bottom and gap as much as possible to use a rescue saw.  You can cut the bolt but it will take a little while considering the hardened steel.  Another option is go through-the-lock.  Through-the-lock methods are often not understood or practiced due to a lack of training and understanding.  An educated firefighter can generally perform a through-the-lock method faster than a conventional forcible entry method on these doors.  If you are still one to say “Just Break the Glass”, then consider the other implications.  Not all doors that look like this have glass in them, some are lexan.  Many doors have either interior or exterior bars that will hinder your entry even if you do break the glass.  Finally, if you decide to take the glass you have just removed your shield of protection should the fire take a turn for the worst.  A wide open entry with no ability to shut the door can cause ventilation problems among other things.  If you were to break the glass on an interior entry, then you have dramatically effected your ability to create a barrier to hold back the fire’s progress.

About Matt Hinkle

Matt Hinkle is a Staff Instructor at the Mississippi State Fire Academy. He has over twelve years of experience in the fire service and has served in many positions throughout his career including; Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Training Officer and Instructor. He has designed local and state training curriculums, coordinated regional training events, and assisted in the development of national training programs. During his service Matt has received several awards including: Firefighter of the Year (Lafayette County Fire Department), Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (MS Burn Association), Medal of Valor (MS Burn Association), and a Letter of Commendation (City of Oxford). Matt has received over 2,000 hours of technical training in many disciplines including: NFPA 1001-I-II (Firefighter I-II), NFPA 1002 (Driver/Operator), NFPA 1041-I-II (Instructor), Hazardous Materials Technician I-II, Rope Rescue Technician I-II, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trench Rescue Technician, Vehicle Extrication I-II, Search and Rescue Technician I-II-III, EMT-B, and Cave Rescue I-II.

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