Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Toss Up Tuesday: How to (Properly) Kick Down a Door

Why would you ever need to kick down a door, you may wonder. Well, there are several reasons:
  • Your toddler has learned how to lock doors (my 2-year-old nephew has). He runs into a bathroom (or other room) and locks the door. You worry about him hurting himself and need to get in, but he's not listening and won't open the door.
  • A friend (or you) gets stuck in a room, shed, etc. and you need to get out.
  • You have reason to believe that a person (or more) on the other side is injured and unconscious or unable to get to/open the door.
The list goes on. Either way, when the time comes you should be prepared.

1. Stay calm. Anger and panic increase your chance of injury and may make you miss your mark.

2. If there are multiple entrances, select the door that seems it will most easily break on impact in comparison with other doors*. If all doors are the same, pick the one nearest to you. Make sure that it is a door that swings in - which is the same direction as the force of your kick. It will be more difficult to kick in a door that normally swings out and may take more than one try.

*Different door materials make a difference!

Hollow Core - These doors are usually inside doors with no insulation or security and require minimal force.

Solid Wood - These doors are made of hardwood and require an average amount of force. You can also use a crowbar, but it may not be necessary though.

Solid Core - The inside frame of this door is softwood with laminate on each side and a chipped or shaved wood core that require average force.

Metal Clad - These doors are softwood with a thin metal covering and require an average to above average amount of force. A crowbar may be necessary.

Hollow Metal - These doors are much heavier than other doors, have reinforcing channel around the edges and the lock mounting area, and some have insulating material. They require maximum force and a crowbar.

3. Focus your aim on the area a few inches below the door knob or lock. Take a deep breath.

4. Stand sideways a few feet away from the door, with your dominant foot facing toward it.  Your center of mass should be in front of your supporting leg. Do not lean away from the kick. Keep your body straight.

5. Execute a side kick, pushing from the heel of your base leg and driving your kicking heel into the door. If done correctly, you should feel as if you are falling into your target.

6. Repeat if necessary. Under no circumstances should you try to break the door down using your shoulder and momentum. You will not be targeting the week part of the door and will only damage yourself.

Remember: you may need it some day, so in addition to CPR and other first aid practices, you should always keep a copy of these steps somewhere.

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