Forcible Entry Tools Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Firefighter Exams
Forcible entry tools are designed to break and pry locks and locking devices to gain entry into buildings and fenced-in areas during fire and emergency operations. These tools are also used for forcibly opening and entering doors, windows, and roof openings, as well as for striking, pulling, prying, and removing building material components (roofing, plaster, drywall, wood lath, brick, masonry, tile) in search of hidden fire.
Halligan tool—Originally designed by Deputy Chief Hugh Halligan of the Fire Department of New York in the 1940s, the halligan tool is a metal bar tool that has on one end a spike (for ripping and prying) and an adz (for chopping, prying, and cutting) at right angles to each other and at the opposite end a fork (for prying and cutting). Traditionally it is nested with the axe to form a firefighter's set of forcible entry "irons." It is used for forcing open doors, windows, and locks.
Flat Head Axe—A flat head axe consists of a six to eight pound steel head attached to a long wooden or fiberglass handle. The head has a flat poll side designed for striking as well as receiving hammer blows and an axe blade for cutting. It is "married" to the halligan tool for forcible entry work or used separately for cutting floorboards, roof boards, and windowsills.
Pick Head (Fire) Axe—A pick head (fire) axe has a six to eight pound head attached to a long, wooden handle. The head has a square, pointed pick on one end and an axe blade on the opposite end. The pick end is designed for enhanced penetration through and prying of floor and roof boards.
Kelly Tool—One of the original firefighting forcible entry tools, the Kelly tool which was designed by FDNY Captain John Kelly of Ladder Co.163, is a metal bar tool with a fork end and an adz end that protrudes into a hammer head for striking and receiving hammer blows. It is designed for lock breaking.
Claw Tool—Another original firefighting forcible entry tool, the claw tool is a metal bar tool having a hook (claw) at one end and a fork at the other.
T-N-T (Denver) Tool—A multipurpose, forcible entry hand tool. The T-N-T, or Denver, tool is designed to perform the work of an axe, pry bar, ram, pike pole, and sledgehammer. It is used on automobiles and inside buildings.
Maul/Sledgehammer—A heavy, long-handled hammer having a head with two flat striking surfaces, the sledgehammer is used for forcible entry and breaking up walls and flooring consisting of drywall, concrete, tile, brick, and masonry.
Battering Ram—A battering ram is a heavy metal bar designed to be used by two or four firefighters for pushing in heavy doors and breaching walls.
K-Tool—A square (three inches by three inches) steel block with a sharp-edged K-shaped notch on one side. The K-tool is designed to be slipped over cylinder locks to remove them. The other side of the tool has a U-shaped flange for prying when used in conjunction with metal bar tools.
Automatic Center Punch—A metal, hand-sized spring-loaded pointed tool, an automatic center punch is used by firefighters to break tempered glass in vehicles during extrication emergencies.
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