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The Stafford County, Virginia, Fire & Rescue Dept. Training Division recently tried out the Fat Ivan door chock in a variety of doors and situations. Here is what they found with it:
The Fat Ivan door chock works better than expected. We used the Fat Ivan on both residential wood doors and commercial steel doors. Both trials allowed us to advance hose, not worry about the door closing behind us, and kept the entry and exit point open during the exercise.
Interior and exterior doors have one thing in common, they have steel door hinges. We had at least two hinges on each door encountered that made the Fat Ivan deployment easy to secure through its built in magnets. Steel doors and steel door jambs were the easiest to chock. The Fat Ivan secured to all parts of the steel door assembly. Door closures are no match for the Fat Ivan.
The hook assembly was fast and easy to deploy. The Fat Ivan worked equally as well on the top hinge, the center hinge, the bottom hinge, and even at the base of the door.
We have one complaint that could easily be remedied; no illumination on the Fat Ivan that we used. The Fat Ivan did not make locating an open door easy in a darkened environment. The Fat Ivan was very hard to locate in the interior of a burned structure. It looked much like the interior furnishings that were burned. (editor's note: They were using the black-colored chock. There is also a yellow version available.)
........ Lt. Matthew Warren
Another Fat Ivan (the yellow model) was tested at a firehouse in Baytown, Texas, and this was their consensus:
We've played with the Fat Ivan around the station a bit and I'm satisfied enough that I've put it in my bunkers. I'm always circumspect when someone invents a better mousetrap that happens to cost several times as much as the old. I tend to think that most of our tools carry their forms for a reason and that it's only occasionally that one can be truly improved. The Fat Ivan is one of those.
It's definitely more reliable than an old wooden wedge and it's actually more compact and easier to carry. The only shortcoming is that it won't work on doors that don't open at least 90 degrees but that's a minor tradeoff for how firmly it holds those that do.
........ Lt. Patrick Mahoney
Please be sure to check out our Fat Ivan Door Chock, available here.