Television programs often portray characters effortlessly breaching doors in high-adrenaline scenes. Shows like Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire use different door-breaching techniques that might make it seem easy, but is it really as easy to kick in a door as it is on TV?
In Chicago P.D., characters often resort to the brute force method of kicking in doors when pursuing suspects, although sometimes they bring a small handheld battering ram to do the job. In Chicago Fire, firefighters use specialized tools like the Halligan bar to breach doors during rescue operations. A Halligan bar, which has a claw, a blade, and a tapered pick, can quickly breach many types of locked doors.
Shoulders Make Lousy Battering Rams
Attempting to kick in a door with just the force of your body isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Many believe that using your shoulder to bust open a door is effective, but this technique may result in a dislocated shoulder, not to mention a still-closed door. The human shoulder can’t withstand such forceful impacts, making it a poor choice for door breaching.
The most effective approach involves kicking near the doorknob or executing a mule kick toward the lower corner. These methods apply force to the weakest parts of the door, increasing the chances of successful entry.
Door and Frame Materials
The type of door can significantly influence the ease or difficulty of breaching. Hollow core doors with wooden jambs are generally easier to kick in due to their relatively weak structure. On the other hand, solid doors with reinforced jambs or steel security doors are almost impossible to breach without the right tools or considerable force.
Why Kick in a Door?
Why would you ever need to kick in a door? In emergency situations, such as a fire, forced entry might be the only option. However, forced entry should be a last resort, and you should avoid it unless you have a justifiable reason, as it can result in property damage and potential legal consequences.
While television shows like Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire may make it look easy to kick in a door, the reality is more complex. The technique used, the type of door, and the reason for breaching all play crucial roles in the process. Also, trying to kick in a door can lead to personal injury if not done correctly, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.