How to Kick a Door Down

In our daily lives, we rarely anticipate a situation where we would need to forcefully gain entry through a closed door. However, emergencies do happen, and being armed with the knowledge of how to effectively and safely kick a door down could mean the difference between a disastrous outcome and a sigh of relief.

How to Kick a Door Down

Whether you’re a first responder, a concerned citizen, or simply someone eager to equip themselves with practical skills, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn the proper and efficient way to kick a door down, minimizing potential injury to yourself and maximizing the chances of achieving your objective. So, let’s dive into this and learn more about this article on how to kick a door down.

Why You Need to Kick a Door Down

There are numerous scenarios where knowing how to kick a door down can be crucial. An immediate one that comes to mind is a situation where a fire has broken out and someone is trapped inside a room. In such instances, time is of the essence, and waiting for the fire department to arrive might not be an option.

Another scenario could be when a child has accidentally locked themselves inside a room and is panicking or in danger. The ability to kick a door down could be the difference between a frightened child and a traumatic event.

Moreover, in urgent medical situations like someone having a heart attack behind a locked door, swift action can be life-saving. Also, for law enforcement officers or first responders, this skill is indispensable during emergencies or in scenarios where they have to apprehend criminals who might have barricaded themselves.

Lastly, even in less life-threatening situations, such as losing your house keys, being able to kick down your own door can save you from the inconvenience and cost of a locksmith. Therefore, while it’s not a skill you’d use daily, knowing how to kick a door down can prove invaluable in crisis situations.

Considerations Before Kicking a Door Down

Before you resort to force, it’s essential to consider a few important points. First, always check if the door is actually locked. It might seem obvious, but in high-stress situations, this simple step can be overlooked. Second, is there another way to gain entry without damaging property, such as an open window or a spare key?

How to Kick a Door Down

Furthermore, ensure that kicking the door is legal and justified—doing so without due cause can lead to legal repercussions. Finally, be aware of the potential hazards on the other side of the door; broken glass or falling debris could cause injury. Remember, safety should always be your priority.

8 Step-Step-Step Guide on How to Kick a Door Down

Step 1: Assessment

Before you kick a door down, it is essential to assess the situation. Survey the area and determine if there are any hidden dangers or risks that could harm you or others if you proceed with breaking in. If you feel uncertain about continuing, contact emergency services for help.

It’s also important to consider the type of door in question; some are easier to kick down than others. Also, consider the materials used in making the door and the hinges; a wooden door is likely to be much weaker than a steel one.

Step 2: Positioning

Position yourself properly by standing between two feet away from the lock of the door. Place your dominant foot behind you and bend at your knee. Make sure your foot is pointed towards the lock of the door and that you have a firm footing.

Step 3: Focusing Your Energy

Focus all your energy on kicking the lock of the door with maximum force. To do this, take a deep breath to concentrate all your strength on your legs by tucking in your stomach muscles while exhaling.

Step 4: Contacting The Lock

Once you have composed yourself to exert maximum power, drive your foot towards the lock of the door with all the strength and speed you can muster. Make sure that as you kick, your leg remains straight and that the point of contact is close to where the latch meets the frame.

Step 5: Maintaining Control

It is essential to maintain control of your body and the direction you are kicking in. Aim for the frame of the door, preferably within 3 inches from where it meets the latch. Kick hard but not too hard since overexerting yourself can cause injuries.

Step 6: Timing Your Kicks

How to Kick a Door Down

Timing your kicks is essential to achieve the desired results. Be sure not to rush your kicks and keep a steady rhythm as you go along. Aim for two or three hard strikes, take a short break, and then resume with another set of two or three strikes until the lock gives away.

Step 7: Repeated Kicking

If the lock doesn’t open after three sets of kicks, pause for a few moments and then start again with another set of three strikes. You can also try to adjust your angle of attack by shifting your body slightly towards either side to kick at different spots on the frame.

Step 8: Breaking Through

When the lock finally gives away, the door should swing open. If this doesn’t happen, use your hands to push or pull the door until it opens fully. Once you have achieved entry, check that everyone is safe and secure before leaving the area.

Safety Tips While Kicking a Door Down

Even though the ability to kick a door down can be life-saving, it’s crucial to proceed with caution to avoid injuring yourself or others. Here are some safety tips to bear in mind:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: If time allows, put on sturdy shoes and gloves for protection. Barefoot kicking can result in injuries, and gloves can defend your hands if you need to remove debris or broken glass.
  2. Check for Hazards: Before attempting to kick the door, check for any visible dangers like electrical equipment or fire behind the door. If it’s too risky, it might be safer to wait for professional help.
  3. Proper Form: Use proper form to avoid injuries. Kick with your dominant foot and aim for the lock, keeping your standing leg slightly bent to absorb the impact.
  4. Don’t Overexert: Kick hard, but not so hard that you lose balance or strain a muscle. It’s better to apply consistent force over multiple kicks than to risk injury with a single all-out effort.
  5. Be Ready for Recoil: Doors can rebound after a kick, potentially knocking you off balance. Be prepared for this and brace yourself to prevent falls.
  6. Clear the Area: Once the door is open, ensure the area is safe before proceeding. Debris or broken glass could cause injury, so clear the path as much as possible.
How to Kick a Door Down

These safety tips will help reduce the risk of injury when kicking a door down. Remember, the goal is not just to gain entry, but to do so safely.

Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Kick a Door Down

Despite the best intentions, people often make mistakes when attempting to kick a door down. Here are some common ones:

  1. Kicking the Wrong Part of the Door: Many people instinctively aim for the center of the door. However, the most effective spot to kick is near the lock, as it’s usually the weakest part of the door.
  2. Poor Body Positioning: Standing too close or too far from the door can result in ineffective kicks and potential injuries. The ideal distance is about two feet away from the door.
  3. Using the Wrong Foot: It’s best to kick with the dominant foot for maximum force. Some people mistakenly use their weaker foot, resulting in less effective kicks.
  4. Not Wearing Protective Gear: Neglecting to wear sturdy shoes can result in foot or ankle injuries. Similarly, failing to wear gloves can lead to hand injuries from broken glass or debris.
  5. Failure to Assess the Situation: Some individuals rush into kicking down the door without properly evaluating the situation. There might be other, safer ways to gain entry or potential hazards behind the door that one should be aware of.
  6. Overexertion: Attempting to break the door with a single, all-out kick often leads to strain or injury. It’s better to apply consistent force over a series of kicks.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase the effectiveness of your kicks and decrease the risk of injury. Remember, always prioritize safety and consider whether kicking down the door is truly necessary and legal before proceeding.


Kicking down a door is a skill that can be invaluable in emergency situations. However, its execution requires careful consideration and correct technique to avoid injury and optimize effectiveness. From proper body positioning and focusing your energy to timing your kicks and wearing protective gear, every element plays a crucial role.

Avoiding common mistakes such as overexertion, poor body positioning, or neglecting safety precautions can also significantly increase your chances of success. Ultimately, the process should be approached with a safety-first mindset.

It’s important to assess the situation carefully, consider legal implications, and even seek professional help when necessary. Remember, the ultimate goal isn’t just to gain entry, but to do so efficiently and safely. Thanks for reading this article about how to kick a door down.

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