Much has been written in the previous article on the forcible entry tool called the Halligan bar, so now we will be presenting a comprehensive summary of advantages and disadvantages of the Halligan. Here the term forcible entry is defined as an act of gaining entry into a building or occupancy through a door, window, or even a wall by the use of force.
Advantages of the Halligan bar
The projecting point at the adze end is probably the most mysterious component of the Halligan bar, even for many of the seasoned firefighters, who often cut the point off without knowing it is what makes the Halligan tick.
As a multipurpose tool for forcible entry on the fire ground, the projecting point at the adze end is the Halligan’s most important competitive advantage over other pushing/pulling tools such as pike poles and closet hooks.
Some similar tools that fall into this category include crowbars, flat bars, pry bars, claw tool, the Kelly tool, and the pry ax. One of the great things is that these striking tools, in most forcible entry situations, can be used in conjunction with the Halligan bar to gain entry more easily and successfully.
Let’s focus back on the projecting point at the adze end of the Halligan. More precisely, this little component offers a wide range of options for forcible entry as well as other functions firefighters perform in the fire scenes. Ignorance of its capabilities leaves firefighters not only handicapped but also at a real disadvantage. Those advantageous options can be specified as follows:
- The point can perform whatever function the pick of an axe can, including removing roof deck and roof covering; opening floors and walls; and a number of overhaul tasks.
- The unbreakable steel shaft gives the Halligan an advantage over an ax whose wooden handle often breaks.
- Pulling the shaft of the Halligan toward the door after driving the point into the jamb near the lock a few inches can easily overcome the formidable challenge of steel doors with steel frames.
Disadvantages of the Halligan
Despite all the advantages of the Halligan bars described above, there are always complaints from firefighters who carry the Halligan tools on their engine nowadays. Some of them think using a large, heavy steel bar to batter a door down is a time- and energy-consuming task — thus, more often than not, getting them into a dangerous situation.
Unexpected danger from the Halligan is not uncommon though — for one thing, the falling hammer head, flying backward, might struck someone right behind. The other funny incident is that the hammer might go through the door not to be found with the door intact.
The Halligan bar in no doubt a great tool for forcible entry, but it is still just a tool that should be used properly. You don’t need a steel bar when you are feeding hose, raising a ladder, or relay pumping.