A few years ago, my father-in-law accidentally locked himself out of our house.
My 2-year-old son was inside. He tried not to panic but, he admitted, he freaked out. After taking a couple deep breaths (and trying all the other doors and windows) he realized he needed help. He thought about breaking down the door but didn’t want to have to explain the damage, pay for the damage and possibly damage my kid by freaking him out.
Thankfully, he locked himself out with his cell phone in his pocket. He called my wife. She worked only a few miles from the house. She raced home and unlocked the door. My son was in the living room playing and hadn’t even noticed his grandfather was gone.
While breaking down the door wouldn’t have been the best option in his situation, there may come a time that it’s the only course of action. In some older homes, the interior doors are as thin as paper. One force blow and it should go toppling (or at least a kick will put a hole through it and unlocking it would be no sweat.) Some homes have doors as thick as metal.
In any scenario, it’s in your best interest to know the best way to break a door down. It doesn’t involve your shoulder.
Here’s a good demonstration of how to kick a door down from some of the participants on the show One Man Army.
Notice how the one contestant realizes right away that using his shoulder to break down a door is a bad idea.
Here’s what you want to do when kicking down a door.
How To Break Down Door
1. Assess the door: Figure out which way the door swings. If the door swings inward, you’re in luck. If it swings outward, or towards you, don’t waste your time. You won’t be able to kick it in and you could end up breaking your foot, or worse, if you tried.
2. Find the weak spot: Every door has a weak spot. Examine the door to figure out which part of the door is weakest. Sometimes it’s right in the middle (usually doors in the home without much material in the middle) but often it’s right around the doorknob and near the lock. If the frame is the weakest part, aim for areas around the frame.
3. Plant yourself: Use your dominant foot, plant the other firmly on the floor.
4. ALWAYS kick it down: Again, no shoulders. Use the heel of your foot and not the toes. It’s a door, not a soccer ball. Drive the other heel into the ground.
5. Lean into the kick: While bending at the knees, lean into the kick as though you’re trying to go through the door with your body.
6. Don’t use a jump kick: You’re not Jason Statham. You get more power if you stay grounded. And no running starts!
Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where breaking or kicking a door down is necessary. Calling the locksmith is always the best idea.
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