Halligan Tool 2023 – The Most Recognizable Tool in the Fire Service

The Halligan tool is one of the most used and recognizable tools in the fire service. Invented in 1948 by Hugh Halligan of the New York City Fire Department, this tool can open virtually any door.

Designed to be a hybrid of the Kelly and Claw tools, the Halligan tool is one of the most used forcible entry tools in the world. It’s also a common tool married with a flathead axe to form what is called the “Irons” or the “Married Set.”

What is a Halligan tool used for?

The Halligan tool is a forcible entry tool used by firefighters to gain entry into locked buildings and vehicles. It is considered one of the most effective fire ground tools for this task, and it is based on an earlier tool called a Kelly tool.

In 1948, FDNY Fire Chief Hugh Halligan noticed many disadvantages with the two tools most fire departments carried at the time: the Claw tool and the Kelly tool. He felt that he could design a better tool, which would be lighter, easier to carry, and safer to use.

The original Halligan bar was a cross-drop forged piece of steel with a fork (claw) at one end, and an adze and pick set at a 90 degree angle to the other end. This allowed the adze to be used as a wedge, while the pick could be used to punch through cylinder locks. The adze and pick were welded to the shaft, so they did not slip or come loose.

Why was the Halligan invented?

The Halligan tool was invented by Hugh Halligan, a First Deputy Fire Commissioner in the New York City fire department. Chief Halligan was looking for a new forcible entry tool that would be light enough to carry but strong enough to handle and not break during heavy usage.

He found two tools that were already in use that he thought could be improved upon. One was a claw tool with a circular claw on one end and a fork on the other, the other was a Kelley tool with a straight drive and a sweeping claw (photo 3).

In 1948, FDNY Chief Halligan began work on creating a new tool that would combine the best features of both of these tools. He used trial and error to get a tool that would be easy to use, strike, and would not break under heavy use.

In the years that followed, FDNY Lt. Bill McLaughlin approached Halligan with his plans to market his improved Halligan bar. The FDNY firefighter gave his approval and the Pro-Bar was born. It is still in production and a popular tool among firefighters around the world.

What are the 3 parts of the Halligan bar?

The Halligan bar is one of the most widely used hand tools in fire fighting. It can be used for multiple purposes on the fire ground, including forcing a door, clearing windows, and searching rooms.

The tool consists of a cylindrical bar with a two-pronged claw fork on the lower end, and an adze and picks set at a 90deg angle apart on the head. The adze may be used as a wedge to pry opens a door, while the pick can be used to punch through cylinder locks.

A Halligan bar can be paired with a flathead axe to form what is called a married set, or a “set of irons.” This combination of tools is typically used in the fire service and is considered a standard within the trade.

There are many different types of bars on the market, from single forged to 3-piece. Some are thicker in the forks than others, and some have a bevel on the adz to create a thinner tip. Some even have depth gauges on their adz and fork, eliminating the need for guesswork when using the tool for forcible entry.

What is the size of Halligan bar?

A Halligan bar is a prying tool that looks like a pickax firefighters use to open doors in an emergency. It’s the most popular tool used by fire departments and has been since the early 1980s.

Its size makes it a good choice for firefighters to carry in the field because it doesn’t fatigue them when using it. It also is lightweight and can be carried in one hand.

Unlike other tools, the Halligan bar is one piece of drop forged steel, which allows it to be made to a precise length and shape. This ensures that the tool is durable and won’t break or crack.

The Halligan bar’s forks and adze end are designed to offer maximum leverage when using them during forcible entry. This is called mechanical advantage, or MA.

Generally, the more curved the adze end is the greater the MA that can be achieved when moving it up or down. But, if the adze is too curvy it may not allow as much contact against a door and will have more deflections than a straighter adze.

How heavy is a Halligan tool?

Halligan tools are considered one of the most effective forcible entry tools available to firefighters. They were invented in the late 1940s by FDNY Fire Chief Hugh Halligan.

The Halligan combines a claw or fork, a blade (or adz) and a pick to quickly breach many types of locked doors. The adz end of the Halligan is also a handy tool for breaking into a vehicle door and window glass.

Designed and made with feedback from firefighters, these heavy duty Halligan tools were created to help you get the job done faster and more efficiently. They include a duckbill, long, smooth incline to force windows and interiors doors, a pike, long, sharp, tapered and gently curved to fit a lock or latch and machined groved non-slip grips.

Who designed the Halligan?

The Halligan tool is one of the most popular tools for firefighters in all areas of the world. It is also considered one of the most versatile because it can be used for many different purposes on the fire ground.

It is a multipurpose tool that was designed by Hugh Halligan, a New York City Fire Department first deputy chief in 1948. It was based on the Kelley tool and is a very versatile tool for prying, twisting, punching or striking.

A Halligan has an adz end on the end of the bar and a fork end. The adz can be used to break through latches on swinging doors and the fork can be used to force the bar into door jambs or other locking devices.

A Halligan can be paired with a Denver tool or a flat-head axe to form what is known as a married set of irons. This is a very useful combination of tools for forcible entry and emergency demolition, as well as other tasks that require fast, efficient use of the tools.

How do you carry a Halligan tool?

If you’re a firefighter who uses a ladder, the most efficient way to carry your Halligan tool is by laying it inside the beam of the ladder. This will allow you to easily grab and throw the hook and halligan off the ladder once it’s deployed without fumbling around in your hands or dropping them into the grass.

A firefighter who doesn’t use a ladder can still carry their halligan tool by placing it in the airpack strap at their shoulder. This makes it easy to sling the tool around their shoulder and drop it off the ladder once it’s deployed.

Another way to carry a Halligan tool is by marrying it up with a flat-head axe. This is one of the most common striking tools in the fire service and can be very effective if used properly.

To make this marriage work, you’ll need to find the right spacing between the Halligan forks and adz end. This can be tricky and requires a lot of practice to get it right. Generally, the Halligan forks will be about six inches long and the adz will be about eight.

How do you clean a Halligan?

The Halligan tool is one of the most popular forcible entry tools in the fire service. It is also used by law enforcement officers.

This multifunction tool allows the user to twist, pry and punch with a single piece of equipment. It was invented by a former New York City firefighter and has become standard-issue for many fire departments worldwide.

To prevent your Halligan tool from rusting or oxidizing you should clean it after each use. You can do this by spreading a thin coat of any light weight oil on it (see photo 2 below) and wiping the tool down with a towel.

You can also wrap your tool with hockey tape to decrease hand fatigue and create confidence in your tool. This is best done with a braid criss-crossed up and down the handle (see photo 3 below).

Most firefighters will carry a flat head axe and a Halligan bar together, or as part of what is called a married set or set of irons. The axe should be at least eight pounds, and the Halligan bar about 30 inches long.

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