Forcible Entry Demonstrations
Air-blast Resistant Window Systems
ladder while standing on the ground. Other standard techniques (axe or hooligan used
while standing on either a ground or aerial ladder)
The glass of the laminated and filmed panes generally remained attached to the laminate
and film, reducing the potential for injuries to firefighters from glass shards falling from
upper floor windows.
8. Conclusions and Recommendations
This section presents conclusions and recommendations drawn from the findings
presented above and from conversations with the participants and observers at the
The firefighters were able to enter all of the window mock- ups with conventional
firefighting tools such as axes, hooligans' tools, and pike poles. Though conventional
tools were equal to the job, updated techniques were required to efficiently break and
clear the windows.
Terminology used by firefighters and the building and air-blast communities can vary. It
is important to ensure that all parties understand terminology in the same manner.
Emergency firefighter egress may be affected by air-blast resistant windows. A typical
technique for emergency exit from an untenable interior atmosphere would be to stay as
low to the ground as possible and break a window by swinging a tool (i.e. axe or
hooligan) overhead. A concern raised by the firefighters participating in these
demonstrations was that this technique may not be possible due to the increased force
required to break, vent and clear the air-blast resistant window systems. The implications
should be understood by fire departments responding to buildings with air-blast-resistant
Films and lamination tend to hold glass shards together, which can allow firefighters to
more easily move the glass away from the operational area and may decrease the
likelihood of injuries associated with stepping on glass shards (slip, trip, and fall type
injuries). It can also reduce the hazard from falling glass to those working outside the
With the tempered glass with daylight film and the laminated glass, the lack of shards
remaining in the frame after the break reduces hazards to equipment (hose lines) and
personnel during operations.
The addition of a center seam on a four-sided mechanically attached film application did
not make a significant difference in entry times.
Additional Forcible Entry Tests
Hinman Consulting Engineers, Inc