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Title:
CHILD PROOF LATCHES
United States Patent 3780547
Abstract:
A child-proof latching apparatus for a movable door. Finger access from the exterior of the door is permitted through an entry hole adjacent to a latch engageable with a keeper on a stationary door frame member. An inwardly projected dog on the inside surface of the door is located intermediate the entry hole and latch to provide manual obstacle to latch access and to prevent latch operation by the relatively short fingers of young children. The latch is protected against jamming by articles located inward of the door by a shield extended alongside the latch at the side of the latch opposite to the finger entry hole when the door is in a closed condition.


Inventors:
DRUMHELLER K
Application Number:
05/185198
Publication Date:
12/25/1973
Filing Date:
09/30/1971
Assignee:
DRUMHELLER K,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/460, 292/107, 292/DIG.65, 312/209
International Classes:
E05B65/00; (IPC1-7): E05B65/06; E05C3/14
Field of Search:
70/78,DIG
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3109900Protective guard for actuating devicesNovember 1963Van Hook
3084965Door attachmentApril 1963Carosello
1686417Door catchOctober 1928Norman
1567629Window-sash lockDecember 1925Strom
1152404N/ASeptember 1915Eldridge
Primary Examiner:
Craig Jr., Albert G.
Claims:
In view of the newness, simplicity, and potential for the protection of the life and health of young children, I claim

1. A child-proof latching apparatus for a door having an inside surface and outside surface, said door being mounted within a frame for movement of one door edge toward or away from a stationary frame member during closing or opening of the door, comprising:

2. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein said inwardly projecting dog means comprises a shelf substantially perpendicular to both the inside surface of the door and to said one door edge.

3. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein said inwardly projecting dog means comprises a shelf substantially perpendicular to both the inside surface of the door and to said one door edge, said shelf extending inward from the inside surface of the door a distance substantially coextensive to the inward extension of the manually operable device of said latch relative to the inside surface of the door.

4. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 further comprising yieldable latch stop means mounted to the inside surface of the door and engageable by the manually operable device of said latch for preventing release of the latch until said latch stop means has been manually disengaged from said device.

Description:
My invention relates to improvements in latching devices which can be operated by adults but cannot be operated by children of substantially 5 years of age or less.

The object of this invention is to permit adults to store the hazardous chemicals in day-to-day use in most households in a manner which will provide convenient access to adults but will prevent accidental access to such chemicals by pre-school children.

Previous latches designed to permit operation by adults but not by children have not provided a difficult path to a probing device, have not provided secondary stopping means, have depended on adult strength, have depended on the use of two hands of an adult, have not provided means to prevent placing an article in the cabinet in the way of the passageway, or have not provided means for installing a latch with a more difficult path to a probing device than a simple hole in a plywood door on a plywood or other door of relatively greater thickness than sheet metal.

The analytical ability required to overcome a difficult probe pathway or a secondary stopping means against a probing device does not exist in a normal child five years of age or less.

Physical dimensions are a much more positive difference between adults and children than strength.

A device which requires two hands tends to decrease the utilization of the device because people frequently have something in one hand when they want to open a cabinet door.

The provision of means for simply installing a child proof mechanism in a plywood door, or other door of comparable thickness, will greatly improve the utility of the device since it can be applied in this form to existing cabinets or cabinets of any preferred dimensions.

The object of this invention is achieved by placing the operating device of a latch at the end of a shaped passageway at a location which can be reached by an adult finger but not by a young child's finger.

The latching device may be further protected from operation by means of a stop under the latch operating device which requires movement from under the operating device to permit operation. This makes operation by a hooked device which might extend the reach of an unusual child extremely difficult.

The latch operating device is protected against accidental blocking by articles within the cabinet by placing a shield in the area of the latch operating device. This shield may be tilted at an angle so articles cannot be accidently left on it. The shield also contributes to the complexity of the passageway and makes operation by a probing device more difficult.

The advantage of a more difficult probing path than a simple hole in a plywood door with an offset latch, U.S. Pat. No. 1,152,404, Frederick P. Elridge, Sept. 7, 1915, may be achieved by attaching the latching device to a relatively thin plate which can be attached to the plywood door.

Important advantages of my invention will be apparent from a reading of the following description taken in connection with the drawings, wherein for purposes of illustration I have shown preferred embodiments of the inventive idea. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exterior elevation view of a cabinet utilizing the invention, with the interior components of the cabinet and latching apparatus shown in dashed lines;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 2--2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 3--3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 4--4 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along 5--5 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 6--6 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, showing a second form of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along 8--8 in FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of the latching apparatus as seen along line 9--9 in FIG. 8.

The latch 2 is mounted to the inside surface of the door D adjacent to an edge of the door that moves toward or away from a stationary frame member of the cabinet C during closing or opening of the door. When the door D is closed, latch 2 is engaged over a keeper 7' mounted to the frame member of cabinet C in the path of the latch 2 during movement of the door D. Latch 2 is manually released in response to finger pressure on a manually operable device 7. The general view in FIG. 1 shows the passageway in the form of an open entry hole 5, latch 2, latch stop 3, and latch shield 4.

The entry hole 5 permits entry of a normal adult finger but does not permit entry of the hand of a child and limits the entry of probing devices. The dog 6 prevents operation of the operating device 7 of the latch 2 by a child's finger, and is short enough to permit operation of the operating device 7 by an adult. The dog 6 also provides more restriction to latch 2 actuation by probing devices than simple lateral displacement of the latch from a finger opening in the door. The latch shield 4 limits probing devices and prevents overfilling of the cabinet so an adult finger cannot be blocked from reaching the operating device 7. The latch shield 4 may be tilted at an angle to the horizontal so articles will not accidentally be placed on it. The stop 3 prevents operation of the latch operating device 7 until it is moved aside.

The stop 3 is made of an elastic material so it automatically moves back into place when it is released. The lower side 8 of the stop 3 is beveled so the latch operating device 7 will return to its latched position freely. An adult finger can readily move the stop 3 aside at the same time that it is depressing the latch operating device 7. For a child under five, who would have to use a hooked device to simultaneously move the stop 3 aside and depress the 0operating device 7 is almost beyond the realm of probability.

The distance from the outside edge of the passage way 9 along the inside surface of the passage way 10 to the operating device 7 is greater than the longest finger of a normal child of less than five years of age from the tip of the finger to the webbed portion of the hand.

In the example illustrated, the entry hole 5 is one inch in diameter, the distance from the outside edge of the passageway 9 to the inner edge of the dog 11 is fifteen-sixteenth inch and the distance from the inner edge of the dog 11 to the center of the latch operating device 12 is 1-3/16 inch. These dimensions can obviously be varied slightly without affecting the operability of the device. The illustrated cabinet C shown in FIGS. 1-6 is manufactured from sheet material and is illustrated as including an intermediate horizontal shelf S. The door D is hinged to the cabinet frame C by a vertical hinge H.

The latch on a mounting plate is shown in FIGS. 7,8 and 9. The latching mechanism is supported on a mounting plate 13 which can be installed in a simple cutout 14 in a wood door 15. The mounting plate 13 can be made in such a way that it is symmetrical about the center line of the entry hole 16 and the latch 17 can be installed on the mounting plate 13 in pre-drilled holes 18 or on pre-attached rivets to fit either a right hand or a left hand door. The latching apparatus is substantially similar to that previously described with respect to FIGS. 1-6. Access of a user's finger through entry hole 16 is controlled by an inwardly projecting dog 6' in the form of a shelf perpendicular to the inside surface of door D' and the door edge that closes adjacent to the cabinet frame C'. While the latch on a mounting plate is intended primarily for doors that are thicker than sheet metal, it can be used on sheet metal doors or other doors if such use is advantageous.

While the above description and the drawings show preferred embodiments of my invention, the principles described can be applied to other closures such as gates and doors to prevent children from gaining entry to undesired areas or exit from desired areas. The scope of my invention is not limited by the recited examples above, but only by the appended claims .