Interior Security Bars
We have shown interior security bars on the site before, but these are a bit different, they are actually being installed during the initial construction of the building. These bars were found and sent in by the crew of DCFD Engine Co. 27 (Firefighter J. Stapleton, Firefighter A. Pumilia, Technician D. Mungo and Lt. K. Kline.) Interior security bars pose an interesting hazard to our operations. It’s worth mentioning that the ones shown here may not actually be noticeable from the outside. They are set far enough inside the window that window blinds would obscure them. So it’s possible that the inside team may be the first to discover them. The issue with this particular instillation is that the window needs to be taken out before the bars can be attacked and removed. These bars don’t look to be too substantial, but they need to be discovered, and removed early in the operation.

*The picture below has a piece of plywood being held behind the bars to show contrast for the photo.


18 Comments so far

  1. Donovan June 16th, 2010 1:27 pm

    In my area we have seen these during construction to prevent the tools and supplies from disappearing. Then they are removed before construction finishes.

  2. Eric June 16th, 2010 5:56 pm

    I agree. I bet the come out before the rock goes in. Other wise it would be a nightmare for the construction crew to case the window, and to remove them, the home owner would have to take out the rock.

  3. FitSsikS June 16th, 2010 7:43 pm

    I agree, they’ll be gone when the work is done.
    Not too tough looking though, probably keep the local kids out and that’s about it.
    I guess it also allows for some ventilation during contruction without relying on flimsy screens for security.

  4. bulldawg June 16th, 2010 11:20 pm

    there’s something else you can learn from the picture, The piece of lumber being held up to show contrast looks like an “I joist” probably a piece of scrap left over from the construction….the floor wont last long if the place goes up!

  5. FitSsikS June 17th, 2010 9:28 am

    ….2×4 exterior walls and vinyl siding.
    Why bar the windows when you can walk through the walls?
    I assume it’s a bungalow or better yet an addition.

  6. DMAN72 June 17th, 2010 10:07 am

    I caught that too, bulldawg! I think everyone agrees, it won’t take much to defeat this. THE POINT is…you have to know that they’re there. Especially during a RIT activation you don’t need anything that’s gonna slow you down. During a FF emergency is not the time to play catch-up. So “RIT” team members, when you size a building up, actually get up and LOOK at stuff. Anyone can dress up in a RIT costume. OK, Im gonna say it…I would just donkey kick the bars outta the way.

  7. RSFDNY June 17th, 2010 10:32 am

    In your response area where security devices are in place such as above on first floor windows another option for us is to use the power saw and make verticle cuts through the bottom of the window frame down about 24 inches on both sides. Then making two horizontal plunge cuts 3/4 of the way down between your two verticle cuts. Then giving a good tug on it you create a “doorway” beneath the window. This can be added to RIT drills on vacant or acquired structures.

    In addition. Standing on the exterior of these while firefighters are trapped on the inside you must do something to help the brother trying to save his own life. Consider stretching the booster line as it take minimal manpower to do so. Alert EVERYONE operating that you are going to use the line to push the fire back off the trapped member from the exterior. Everyoen MUST know this is happening and interior firefighters must retreat to a safe area so as not to be over run by fire being pushed on top of them. Opening the line over the trapped members head will reduce the punishment he is taking inside and reduce the possibility of flashover from occuring.

    This is a desperate measure operation in order to preserve the brothers life and should only be done during a desperate situation.

  8. E1N1G June 17th, 2010 4:12 pm

    As FitSsikS said they do not look that tough and if sheet rock is put over them or they are installed after the sheet rock is on, a solid hit with a bar or flat head on all four corners should be enough to pry them from the frame. Love thinking outside the box, taking the wall is a great idea,but maybe with a couple solid hits the job can be accomplished and faster at that.

  9. A Kid June 17th, 2010 11:02 pm

    What are some thoughts on taking windows in order to remove these during fire opps? I understand that we would want to remove these for the guys inside, but in regards to “drawning” the fire to other locations ect?

  10. dave June 18th, 2010 7:22 am

    Tools queation- We’re looking at these toothed diamond saw blades for mixed cuts (UTSAR). A carbide toothed blade won’t cut the bars, an abrasive blade just makes a lot of smoke cutting the wood/plastic. This is pretty flimsy construction, nothing a little applied force wouldn’t overcome, but we have a lot of commercial/industrial properties to consider. Hard to justify the $$$ but will if there is a better way.
    K-12 is not the first tool off the truck, but we know where it is and how to use it.
    ***tried the donkey-kick, not NFPA approved!***

  11. Gilly June 18th, 2010 8:56 am

    Dave, check out the Power Twister Blade. We use them on on are saws on are rescues. Will cut Concret ( dry ) steel, all metals, plastic and its ok in wood. We have recently donr a some testing against other blades and the Twister blew them away.

  12. Tool Time June 18th, 2010 10:03 am

    This is most likely a home owner special the tarp covered yard debris in the rear gives it away. Most likely a garage with upstairs adult play room someone is building at there current home.

  13. brickcity1306 June 18th, 2010 5:56 pm

    There is something I have always wanted to try in an instance like this, when “softening the structure” is ordered take a saw and run down both verticals about 2” from the window and run to the floor. Then run across the bottom cut to cut finish at the top 1” above the window. I am told this will keep structural integrity and makes a big ass opening.. Any one try this in a light construction in real conditions?? I have done it at the drill ground and went easy..

  14. RSFDNY June 19th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Read my post brother. As you said, “went easy.” I have my guys make these doors out of windows as a pro-active move at difficult fires. Never had any lightweight building affected when doing this. Keep in mind that lightweight constructed occupancies also limit our interior fucntion time dramatically. Hence why this evolution may want to be considered early on in the fire as it will provide means of egress prior to the shit hitting the fan.

  15. brickcity1306 June 20th, 2010 6:52 am

    RSFDNY that move I have done,, Just walk out of a ranch style house and not realize it was a window 5 min ago..

    I was more referring to taking the whole mess out in one big chunk of crap,, Remember compliancy kills yea it is a light construction and a piece of crap but our bread and butter light construction kills more of us every year than any other structure we encounter..

    Stay safe

  16. Matt Thomson June 26th, 2010 10:40 pm

    Ran into these at a fire last shift except instead of being bolted into the frame the bars ran through the framing.

    2 Story mixed use, nightclub on the first floor, apartment under renovation on the second, balloon frame construction. Fire in the kitchen in the first floor rear. Smoke showing from windows and eaves on arrival.

    Windows on the A and B sides had bars on the inside.
    No doors or windows on C or D. Not many fire codes being followed in this joint.

    Managed to get the first set of bars with the halligan due to rotted wood. Spent some time with the halligan on the second set and finally went back for the diamond blade saw. Kudos to my partner for telling me when I’d been beat and encouraging me to go get it.

    Bars were small diameter but framed into the structure horizontally at two points on each side. I cut both points on one side and bent the whole set of bars out of the way enough to make a good exit point.

    Beacause I had to take the window first in order to get the bars, I was also working in the smoke and heat. Fortunately, the saw wasn’t affected.

    Lesson learned, if the first trick doesn’t work quickly, try something else!

  17. brickcity1306 June 27th, 2010 5:00 pm

    Matt,, this quote “Lesson learned, if the first trick doesn’t work quickly, try something else!” is something lost in our service. I try and drive this message it into my recruits every day, it is simple If it is not working have a plan B through Z.. I have seen so many times in rescue be it Fire fighting, vehicle, trench, or any other discipline we do, they have something stuck in there figgan head and are going to make it work come hell or high water. I have a timer in my head, if there is no progress In a amount of time that I like it is time to switch or have a fresh set of fire fighters move in..

    Stay safe

  18. Francis December 29th, 2016 1:44 pm

    Requesting quote for interior window, thanks

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