As I mentioned last week, one of the tools used for forcible entry is the K-tool. This is used with a Halligan and ax(this combination is commonly referred to as “irons”) or with a maul(strong irons). The K-tool is a 3 inch square steel block about 1 inch thick with a K-shaped notch on one side.
This tool is used to remove a cylinder lock in a door. The notch is slipped over the lock cylinder. Using the flat side of an ax or the sledgehammer, it’s forced down. The Halligan is inserted into the U-shaped flange on the other side of the K-tool and used to pry the tool off the door. This pulls the key cylinder out, and the bolt can be removed from from the cylinder hole using a screwdriver.
This can be used on most styles of doors, but some have more shields in placethat may make this more difficult and time-consuming. That makes it sometimes faster to use the irons on a solid door. However, the K-tool’s benefit comes in when it would be more impractical or even dangerous to be more aggressive with a door, such as with plate glass windows, where flying shards could injure someone. Or in the case where there is only a suspected fire. A lock can be replaced much easier and cheaper than a whole door.
The Halligan bar was designed by Hugh Halligan in 1948. At the time he was the deputy fire commission for the FDNY. He’d served with the department for 32 years before that and another 11 after. He’d wanted to create a lighter and safer tool, rather than the claw tool firefighters were using at the time, resulting in numerous injuries. (Fire Engineering)
The Halligan bar has three workable ends; an adze, pike, and fork. All of these can be struck with an ax for gaining entrance to a structure. It can be used for prying, twisting, punching or striking. (Firefighter Nation
The pick can be used quickly to open many kinds of locked doors. The adze or fork end can break through the latch of a swinging door by prying the door and doorjamb apart. This is done by forcing it between the two then striking it with a flathead ax or even another Halligan. With the adze end paired with a K-tool(more on that next week), a lock cylinder can be removed from a door to gain entry. Halligans can also be used for vehicle rescue and knocking down walls.
A Halligan is often paired with, or married to a flathead ax. The blade of the ax fits into the fork of the Halligan. And the adze fits right over the handle of the ax. This is often referred to as a set of irons, and is quite useful as they’re often used together.