BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates generally to security devices. More specifically, it relates to a device functioning as a combination door or window stop and alarm.
Various means have been proposed to provide alarms in the event of an unauthorized attempt to enter a room in a home, office or other commercial establishment. Some of these attempts have included the use of containers of pressurized gas actuating sound generators and connected by cables or similar devices to a door or window so as to be actuated when the door or window is opened. Such devices are typified by those shown in the U.S. Pats. to Leve et al. No. 3,451,369 and Gantt U.S. Pat. No. 3,690,286.
It has also been proposed heretofore to provide a combination doorstop and alarm wherein movement of a door depresses a bar carrying a pin engaging an actuator on an alarm bell. The U.S. Pat. to Zukor No. 1,453,058 shows a device of this character.
It is believed, however, that a novel and more useful security device is obtained by the provision of a combination of a door or window stop and alarm which utilizes a container of pressurized gas and a sound generator to serve both the role of the stop and the alarm.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a novel security device in which the elements providing an alarm also function to prevent the unauthorized opening of a door or window.
It is another object of this invention to provide a novel security device which is relatively compact and light enough so as to be portable and yet is sufficiently strong so as to prevent unauthorized entering to a room.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a novel security device which is economical so that cost is not a deterent to its use at all possible places of entry.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel security device which may be used with a wide variety of door and window arrangements to provide both a stop and an alarm.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The foregoing and other objects are achieved by the provision of a container of pressurized gas having a sound generator mounted on its discharge end and movable toward a valve actuator on that discharge end so as to release gas from the container to actuate the sound generator upon movement thereof. Mounting means are provided for attaching one end of the device to a movable surface such as a door or window so that it can extend between that movable surface and a fixed surface to cause actuation of the sound generator upon movement of the door or window and to simultaneously limit or prevent opening of the door or window.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention illustrating how it may be attached to a door;
FIG. 2 is a side view of a further embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a side view of still another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a side view of a still further embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 5 is an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention illustrating the essential components of the sound generator;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the valve and valve actuator forming a part of a container holding pressurized gas;
FIG. 7 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention mounted on a window so as to prevent unauthorized opening thereof;
FIG. 8 is a side view of one portable embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 9 is a side view of still another portable embodiment of the invention .
Referring first to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the invention includes a container 2 for holding a quantity of a pressurized gas. Such a container may be constituted by a conventional container holding a pressurized gas. Such containers are readily available from commercial sources and are used to hold aerosols to dispense shaving cream, food, cosmetics and the like. The gas, of course, could be air or Freon or any other suitable pressurized gas.
Provided at the top of the container 2 is a normally closed valve 4, the purpose of which is to maintain the pressurized gas in the container until the valve is actuated to an open position. A valve actuator in the form of a plunger 6 engages the valve stem, and, as will be described hereinafter, is normally urged upwardly by a spring. The plunger 6 engages a bottom of a sound generator 8, the upper end of which is attached by a pivot pin 10 to a generally U-shaped mounting bracket 12. The bight portion 11 of the bracket 12 is attached by any suitable means to the lower surface of a door 14 so that in an operative or first position the assembled sound generator 8 and container 2 extend downwardly at a slight angle to the surface of the door with the bottom of the container engaging the floor 16. The floor, of course, constitutes a fixed surface while the door provides a surface which is movable with respect thereto.
By virtue of the pivoted connection between the sound generator and the bracket 12 the security device may be rotated about its pivot in a clockwise direction as shown in the drawing so as to assume an inoperative or second position as shown by the dotted line illustration in FIG. 1.
The operation of the device is such that when it is desired to prevent opening of the door 14 the device is pivoted to its first position wherein the bottom of the container 2 engages the floor 16 as shown in the drawing. In the event that there is an unauthorized attempt to open the door, the device pivots slightly about the point of engagement of the container 2 with the floor 16. The sound generator 8 moves downwardly causing the plunger actuator 6 to move downwardly so as to open the valve 4 whereby the pressurized gas stored in the container may enter the sound generator thereby providing an audible alarm. At the same time, the sound generator 8 and the container 2 in combination constitute a relatively rigid column between the pivot 10 and the floor to function as a doorstop so as to limit the movement of the door 14 to a very small amount.
The sound generator itself may be formed of plastic or metal, it being important, of course, that whatever material is used have sufficient mechanical strength to withstand the force being applied by someone attempting to open the door. As is well known, gas containers are formed of metal so that these two elements in combination provide a stop of substantial mechanical strength.
When it is desired to inactivate the stop/alarm device, it is merely rotated as shown in the drawing from its first position to its second position as shown in dotted lines.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, in order to provide increased mechanical strength a cover 18 encompasses the sound generator 8 and the container 2. Openings 19 in the cover provide for the escape of sound and gas from the container. In this embodiment, the device is pivotally mounted on the bracket 12 by means of a pivot pin 10' extending through matching openings in the cover and the legs 20 of the bracket (only one of which is shown). The pivot pin extends across the top of the sound generator so as to push the sound generator downwardly against the force of the biasing spring (not shown in this drawing) when the door is attempted to be opened. A wedge-shaped base pad 22 is fitted into the bottom of the cover retaining the container 2 inside and providing by virtue of its base a more extensive engagement with the floor or other fixed surface.
In order to retain the device in position in either its first or second positions, the cover is provided with a rounded top having a pair of relatively sharp edges 24 and 26. These edges engage the juncture 28 of a pair of leaf spring segments 30 and 32. The leaf spring segments 30 and 32 are part of a leaf spring wherein the segments 30 and 32 stand off from the bight portion of the bracket 12 by means of portions 34 and 36. The entire leaf spring assembly itself is mounted on the bracket by tabs 36 and 38 engaged under elements 40 and 42 struck outwardly from the bight portion. The spring segment 32 is formed so as to exert a bias in a counterclockwise direction while the spring segment 30 extends a bias in the clockwise direction so that the juncture 28 is biased outwardly from the bight portion of the bracket 12. When the device is in its first position the edge is pushed outwardly by virtue of its engagement with the juncture 28 to its second position, and the leaf spring moves inwardly to permit that rotation until the edge 26 is engaged in the juncture 28 at which time the device is then locked in the dotted line position shown in FIG. 1.
In FIG. 3, the cover 18', as may be seen, extends over only a portion of the unit and as with the cover 18 of FIG. 2 is provided with openings 19' so as to permit sound and spent gas to escape from the sound generator.
In the embodiment of FIG. 3, in order to eliminate the possibility that an intruder could force something under the door or window and raise the stop/alarm out of its operative position a locking wedge 50 is provided. The locking wedge is slideably mounted between the bight portion of the bracket 12' and a leaf spring 52 secured at one end to that bight portion and extending outwardly and biased so as to exert a force against the edge 24' or 26' depending upon the position of the stop/alarm. The wedge 50 is provided with a tab 54 movable in a slot 56 provided in the leaf spring 52 and thus may move upwardly or downwardly as shown in the drawing. Thus, when the stop/alarm is moved to its downward or engaged position, the wedge 50 moves downwardly by force of gravity to occupy the space between the point of engagement of the wedge 50 with the bight portion of the U-shaped bracket so that if an attempt is made to rotate the stop/alarm about the pivot point 10 its movement will be prevented because the leaf spring would be unable to yield because of the wedge behind it.
When it is desired to move the stop alarm to its raised position, the wedge is moved upwardly by the use of the tab 54 so as to clear the space between the edge 24' and the bight portion of the bracket. With the spring 52 now freed for deflection the stop/alarm may be rotated clockwise to its out of the way position. Thus, in its operative position with the wedge in its most downward position any effort to slide something under a door or window to rotate the stop/alarm out of position would be rendered impossible.
Very frequently a householder wishes to open a door a slight distance in order to see who is on the other side of that door before opening it completely. This can be achieved with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, a tube 60 is slideably mounted on the bottom of the container 2 and carries the wedge-shaped base 22' at its bottom to engage the fixed surface or floor. The tube 60 engages the sides of the container 2 with a slight friction fit so as to offer a moderate resistance to movement. Additional resistance to motion between the tube 60 and container 2 may be provided by a coil spring 61 mounted between the bottom of container 2 and the bottom of tube 60 and normally urging the container outwardly.
It is contemplated that the longitudinal dimensions are such that a user wishing to see who is on the other side of the door and yet at the same time not open it completely may, after the door has been unlocked, open the door slightly causing the container 2 to move downwardly in the tube 60 a distance of perhaps two to three inches permitting the door to open slightly but to go no further for the bottom of the container would then be resting on the top of the wedge support 22'. If the person on the other side of the door were to attempt to force the door further, he would be prevented from doing so by the stopping action of the device and any further movement of the door would be effective to release the gas causing the alarm to sound. If the user wishes to admit the person through the door after having an opportunity to see that person, the stop/alarm can be rotated out of the way as previously described and at the same time the tube 60 can be reset in its extended position by pulling it outwardly against the slight frictional force by which it engages the sides of the container.
FIG. 5 of the drawing illustrates a stop/alarm in accordance with the invention wherein the various parts have been exploded in order to illustrate an embodiment of a sound generator. The embodiment thus illustrated includes a sound chamber housing 65 provided with a bottom 66 having an opening 68 therein to permit passage of gas from the container 2 into the sound chamber. The bottom 66 rests on the valve plunger 6 with the opening 68 in communication with a passage 70 in the plunger 6 so that when the plunger is depressed by downward movement of the sound generator gas passing through the passage 70 may enter the sound generator through the opening 68. A sound reed 72 is supported inside the housing 64 in such a fashion so as to permit it to move or vibrate when gas from the container 2 impinges thereon. It is retained in position by a retaining ring 74 spaced slightly above it when assembled. The arrangement is such that when gas from the container 2 enters the sound generator the reed 72 is vibrated and generates a sound to provide the audible alarm.
FIG. 6 illustrates a valve which may be used in an embodiment of the invention. The valve is constituted by a housing 80 provided with a chamber 82 housing the valve structure. A passage 84 connects the chamber 82 to the interior of the container 2 while the valve is held in position by a shoulder portion 86 to which the top 88 of the container is crimped.
The actual valve mechanism is constituted by a deformable gasket 90 encompassing the vlave stem or actuator 6. A sealing flange 92 is formed on the actuator 6 and is normally maintained in sealing engagement with the gasket 90 by a coil spring 94 engaging between a shoulder formed in the bottom of the chamber 92 and the flange. One or more openings 96 are provided in the bottom of the passage 70.
As may be seen, the openings 96 are normally not in communication with the remainder of the chamber 82 because the sealing flange 92 engages the gasket 90. However, when the actuator 6 is depressed against the force of the spring 94, a passage is provided when the flange 92 moves away from the gasket 90 so as to permit communication with the interior of the container through the passage 84, chamber 82 and the space between the flange 92 and gasket 90 to the openings 96 with the passage 70. In this manner, the pressurized gas stored in the container is released to the interior of the sound generator 8.
It has been previously stated that a stop/alarm in accordance with the invention may be used with either doors or windows, it being important only that the bracket 12 be attached to a movable surface while the bottom of the device is supported on a relatively fixed surface. FIG. 7 illustrates how a stop/alarm in accordance with the invention may be mounted on double-hung windows to provide a stop and an alarm. In this figure, the upper sash of a window is indicated by reference numeral 100 while the lower sash in indicated by reference numeral 102. As may be seen, the bracket 12 is secured to the upper sash 100 while the wedge base 22 rests on the upper surface of the bottom sash 102. If any unauthorized relative movement between the upper sash and lower sash is attempted, as before, the sound actuator will move relative to the container 2 so as to sound the alarm and after the limited relative movement further movement will be prevented.
FIG. 8 illustrates a first portable embodiment of a stop/alarm in accordance with the invention. In this embodiment a generally L-shaped clamp 104 is attached to the bracket 12' and extends downwardly. A horizontal portion 106 is dimensioned to extend under a door 14 in the space between the door and the floor 16. The clamp is provided with a finger 108 extending upwardly from the portion 106. A thumb screw 110 is threaded through an opening in the vertically extending portion 112 of the clamp 104 and as may be seen in the figure bears against the surface of the door.
In the event that a user is traveling and desires protection beyond that which may be provided in the usual motel or hotel room a stop/alarm in accordance with the invention may be secured in position at any time the room is occupied. This is accomplished by loosening the thumb screw 110 so as to permit the clamp 104 to be positioned on the door as shown. The thumb screw 110 is then tightened in order to securely clamp the bracket to the door. The clamp 104 may be made of spring material biased so as to exert a holding force at 108 when it is attached to a door.
In FIG. 9 a pair of suction cups 114 and 116 are mounted on the bracket 12' and the stop/alarm assembly may be secured to the surface of a door 14 by the use of such cups.
A number of embodiments and variations in design have been shown and described. Obviously, it is possible to provide still other variations in design and applications beyond those indicated. It is intended by the claims to cover all such variations as fall within their scope.