Forcible Entry Door Prop

We all have learned forcible entry techniques dating back to fire school, the key is to stay proficient in your trade.  Firefighters regularly blow apart residential doors with a boot, the irons, or the baseball swing, but one obstacle that many firefighters do not get much practice in is commercial door forcible entry.

For about $250 worth of steal, 3 old Oliver plow springs (from brother firefighter & farmer Josh Goetz in Carroll Township (OH)), and some time I was able to weld together a forcible entry prop that can take the abuse over and over.  There are some commercially made and other homemade props like this around the country, but here’s my variation. 

A moveable, but fortified door jam is tensioned by bolts and the Oliver plow springs.  This tension produces resistance that simulates commercial doors and challenges even the most seasoned firefighters.

The prop simulates a commercial door on one side and a residential door on the other.  2×4’s ripped in half and then cut into foot long pieces that are secured with wedges represent the lock.

There are also several brackets on the side of the prop at varying heights to secure rebar for K12 work while holding the saw in different positions.

Firefighters will learn the importance of working together and the gap / set / force techniques.  Understanding your tools (and there capabilities), tool placement, locating the door stop, and staying balanced are aspects of this task that will improve.

This is another creative training evolution to sharpen skills and getting the crew to work together.

oliver plow springs used for tension

side view of 3 spring sleeves

vertical rebar cut station

horizontal rebar cut station

overhead cut station

commercial side



fork size matters

  • vic silverfish

    Mate, you need to put up enough detail so I can build one of these!

  • Send me an email and I will send a few more pictures and more on the jam. I havn’t had a chance to draw up plans yet.

  • Martin Fournelle

    Hello Paul would be possible that you send me the plan of your prop with photo, I want to make one in my station. Thanks!

  • Jesse Baughman

    Hi Paul I recently found your artical on the forceble door if you have any moor detail plans I would appereciate it if you could e-mail them to me thanks Jesse

  • Danny Clayton

    I know this post is older but hope you still monitor it. Is there any way you can email me more pictures and or blue prints for an up coming instructor.
    Danny Clayton

    • Working on preliminary process of building a couple more. Will be getting plans drawn up if and when that happens.

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  • Andrew

    Hey bro, enjoyed the article but like everyone else I’d appreciate some more details on the construction. Can you send me the specs or some more info?



  • Jonathan Birdsong

    I know this is an older post, but if anyone could send me more pictures and the blue prints I’m an instructor here in arkansas and this would be perfect for us
    Jonathan Birdsong

    • Hey Johnathan,
      I don’t have blueprints. Maybe someday. If you type in forcible entry in the search box at the top of the page several posts with pictures will come up. If you need something specific let me know. I have 5 classes this month so watch the blog for more. Someday I would like to make another and draw plans up.