Title:
DEVICE FOR DETERRING UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS OF LOCKS ON FENCE GATES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate includes a first plate including at least one pair of holes and configured to be removably positioned on a first side of the fence gate covering a portion where the fence gate opens. A second plate includes at least one pair of second holes and is configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate. At least one chain passes through the holes and second holes, where the lock secures proximate ends of the chain, the first plate is retained against the first side, the second plate is retained on the second side, the fence gate is prevented from opening and dimensions of the first and second plate deter access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock.



Inventors:
Bray, Scott Wendell (Las Cruces, NM, US)
Application Number:
12/040860
Publication Date:
09/03/2009
Filing Date:
02/29/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D55/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20050193787Door lock lever holdSeptember, 2005Davis
20060150691Bicycle locks that connect together for convenient storageJuly, 2006Truss
20080295551Handlebar lock for a vehicleDecember, 2008Miyamoto
20070074553Self-locking pinApril, 2007Papaiz
20070113603Lock with a locking cylinderMay, 2007Polster
20040020249Overload safety device and method for the production thereofFebruary, 2004Battermann et al.
20070074548Cargo-lock systemsApril, 2007Lazarte-lovatoni et al.
20070062227Securement system for the doors of vehicles, trailers and containersMarch, 2007Thomsen



Primary Examiner:
BOSWELL, CHRISTOPHER J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dr. Scott Wendell Bray (Las Cruces, NM, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate, the device comprising: at least one plate comprising at least one pair of holes and configured to be removably positioned on a first side of the fence gate covering a portion where the fence gate opens; and at least one securing means passing through said holes, where when said plate is positioned on said first side with said securing means passing through said holes and at least the fence gate, the lock secures proximate ends of said securing means, said plate is retained against said first side, the fence gate is prevented from opening and dimensions of said plate deter access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock.

2. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of holes where said securing means passes through said holes and at least the fence gate.

3. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of holes, and further comprising a plurality of securing means passing through said holes and at least the fence gate and a plurality of locks securing proximate ends of said plurality of securing means.

4. The device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a second plate comprising at least one pair of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering said portion where the fence gate opens and said securing means passes through said second holes.

5. The device as recited in claim 2, further comprising a second plate comprising a plurality of pairs of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering said portion where the fence gate opens and said securing means passes through said second holes.

6. The device as recited in claim 3, further comprising a second plate comprising a plurality of pairs of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering said portion where the fence gate opens and said plurality of securing means passes through said second holes.

7. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said securing means further passes through a fence associated with the fence gate.

8. The device as recited in claim 7, wherein said fence comprises a chain link material.

9. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said securing means is a chain.

10. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said securing means is a cable.

11. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plate further comprises a sturdy, weatherproof material.

12. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plate further comprises rectangular dimensions.

13. A device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate, the device comprising: means for covering a portion where the fence gate opens; and means for securing said covering means on said portion where the fence gate is prevented from opening and said covering means deters access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock.

14. A device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate, the device comprising: a first plate comprising at least one pair of holes and configured to be removably positioned on a first side of the fence gate covering a portion where the fence gate opens; a second plate comprising at least one pair of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering said portion; and at least one chain passing through said holes and second holes, where when said first plate is positioned on said first side with said chain passing through said holes and at least the fence gate and said second plate is positioned on said second side with said chain passing through said second holes, the lock secures proximate ends of said chain, said first plate is retained against said first side, said second plate is retained on said second side, the fence gate is prevented from opening and dimensions of said first and second plate deter access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock.

15. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein said first plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of holes, said second plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of second holes and said chain passes through said holes and second holes.

16. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein said first plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of holes, said second plate further comprises a plurality of pairs of second holes and further comprising a plurality of chains passing through said holes, second holes and at least the fence gate and a plurality of locks securing proximate ends of said plurality of chains.

17. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein said chain further passes through a fence associated with the fence gate.

18. The device as recited in claim 17, wherein said fence comprises a chain link material.

19. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein said first and second plates further comprise a sturdy, weatherproof material.

20. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein said first and second plates further comprise rectangular dimensions.

Description:

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER LISTING APPENDIX

Not applicable.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office, patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to locks. More particularly, the invention relates to a device that deters unauthorized people from tampering with locks on fence gates.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Every night thieves steel valuable goods from the properties of others, and more often than not these thieves seek out easy targets. Locks such as, but not limited to padlocks are often used to secure gates or doors of fences, for example chain-link, solid, or other type of fences, from being opened by unauthorized persons; however, locks can be easily tampered with by unauthorized persons. Sometimes a lock is used in conjunction with a chain, which is inserted through holes in the fence and the gate, wrapped in a loop, and locked to itself. However, if the fence is chain-link, or if a gap exists between the edge of the gate and the fence, there is an opportunity for a person outside the fence to reach through the gap or hole, for example, with his hands or with some kind of device, in order to tamper with the lock. The person may reach through to tamper with the lock using devices such as, but not limited to, a lock-picking device, bolt cutters, a hammer, a stone, wire cutters, liquid nitrogen to freeze and then shatter the lock, etc. Bolt cutters can cut through a strong lock in a short amount of time, and an experienced user can remove a lock with lock picking tools in a few minutes. In many rural, urban and industrial areas, there are not enough people present at night to notice or report crime. Even when a break-in is reported to the police, response times may be slow. For example, without limitation, it may take hours for the police to respond to a report of a break-in in a rural area.

In addition to protecting property, locks are also used on fences to prevent injury or death. For example without limitation, locked fences or gates may block hazardous roads to vehicles, enclose swimming pools or lakes to protect people from falling in and drowning, enclose playgrounds to protect children from predators, etc. If these locks are tampered with, people may be injured, kidnapped or even killed.

In view of the foregoing, there is a need for improved techniques for providing a tamper-proofing device to protect locks in fence-gate applications from assault by outside persons.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate an exemplary lock tampering deterrence device in use on a fence, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a front perspective view, and FIG. 1B is a top view;

FIGS. 2 through 11 illustrate exemplary plates for use with lock tampering deterrence devices, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary plate that is one and a half feet in height, one and a half feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with two holes that are eight inches apart;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary plate that is three feet in height, two feet wide, and ¾ of an inch thick with two pairs of holes;

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary plate that is two feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with two pairs of holes near the center of the plate;

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary plate that is four feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary plate that is five feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes located near the center of the plate;

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary plate that is six feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes near the center of the plate;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary plate that is seven feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with four pairs of holes near the center of the plate;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary plate that is eight feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch wide with five pairs of holes;

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary plate that is two feet in height, three and a half inches wide and one and a half inches thick with four holes aligned vertically in the center of the plate; and

FIG. 11 illustrates an exemplary plate that is seven feet in height, four feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with twelve holes arranged in six pairs with three pairs on one side of the plate and three pairs on the other side of the plate.

Unless otherwise indicated illustrations in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve the forgoing and other objects and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, a device for deterring unauthorized access of locks on fence gates is presented.

In one embodiment, a device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate is presented. The device includes at least one plate including at least one pair of holes and configured to be removably positioned on a first side of the fence gate covering a portion where the fence gate opens and at least one securing means passing through the holes, where when the plate is positioned on the first side with the securing means passing through the holes and at least the fence gate, the lock secures proximate ends of the securing means, the plate is retained against the first side, the fence gate is prevented from opening and dimensions of the plate deter access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock. In a further embodiment the plate further includes a plurality of pairs of holes where the securing means passes through the holes and at least the fence gate. In yet another embodiment the plate further includes a plurality of pairs of holes, and further including a plurality of securing means passing through the holes and at least the fence gate and a plurality of locks securing proximate ends of the plurality of securing means. Yet another embodiment further includes a second plate including at least one pair of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering the portion where the fence gate opens and the securing means passes through the second holes. Still another embodiment further includes a second plate including a plurality of pairs of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering the portion where the fence gate opens and the securing means passes through the second holes. Yet another embodiment further includes a second plate including a plurality of pairs of second holes and configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering the portion where the fence gate opens and the plurality of securing means passes through the second holes. In various other embodiments the securing means further passes through a fence associated with the fence gate, the fence includes a chain link material, the securing means is a chain, the securing means is a cable, the plate further includes a sturdy, weatherproof material and the plate further includes rectangular dimensions.

In another embodiment a device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate is presented. The device includes means for covering a portion where the fence gate opens and means for securing the covering means on the portion where the fence gate is prevented from opening and the covering means deters access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock.

In another embodiment a device for deterring unauthorized access to a lock on a fence gate is presented. The device includes a first plate including at least one pair of holes and configured to be removably positioned on a first side of the fence gate covering a portion where the fence gate opens. A second plate includes at least one pair of second holes and is configured to be removably positioned on a second side of the fence gate covering the portion. At least one chain passes through the holes and second holes, where when the first plate is positioned on the first side with the chain passing through the holes and at least the fence gate and the second plate is positioned on the second side with the chain passing through the second holes, the lock secures proximate ends of the chain, the first plate is retained against the first side, the second plate is retained on the second side, the fence gate is prevented from opening and dimensions of the first and second plate deter access to the lock from a side of the fence gate that is opposite of the lock. In yet another embodiment the first plate further includes a plurality of pairs of holes, the second plate further includes a plurality of pairs of second holes and the chain passes through the holes and second holes. In still another embodiment the first plate further includes a plurality of pairs of holes, the second plate further includes a plurality of pairs of second holes and further including a plurality of chains passing through the holes, second holes and at least the fence gate and a plurality of locks securing proximate ends of the plurality of chains. In various other embodiments the chain further passes through a fence associated with the fence gate, the fence includes a chain link material, the first and second plates further include a sturdy, weatherproof material and the first and second plates further include rectangular dimensions.

Other features, advantages, and object of the present invention will become more apparent and be more readily understood from the following detailed description, which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is best understood by reference to the detailed figures and description set forth herein.

Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with reference to the Figures. However, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these figures is for explanatory purposes as the invention extends beyond these limited embodiments. For example, it should be appreciated that those skilled in the art will, in light of the teachings of the present invention, recognize a multiplicity of alternate and suitable approaches, depending upon the needs of the particular application, to implement the functionality of any given detail described herein, beyond the particular implementation choices in the following embodiments described and shown. That is, there are numerous modifications and variations of the invention that are too numerous to be listed but that all fit within the scope of the invention. Also, singular words should be read as plural and vice versa and masculine as feminine and vice versa, where appropriate, and alternative embodiments do not necessarily imply that the two are mutually exclusive.

The present invention will now be described in detail with reference to embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Embodiments of the present invention generally prevent intruders, trespassers, criminals, and other individuals from tampering with fence gate locks from outside the gate. The preferred embodiment comprises two plates that block holes and gaps in a fence or gate where an unauthorized person may access and tamper with a lock on the fence gate.

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate an exemplary lock tampering deterrence device 100 in use on a fence 105, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a front perspective view, and FIG. 1B is a top view. In the present embodiment, lock tampering deterrence device 100 acts as a tough-to-penetrate barrier that covers the gaps between fence 105 and a gate 125, and the holes in the chain link of fence 105 and gate 125. Lock tampering deterrence device 100 comprises two plates 110 and 115, which are cut to specific sizes, with holes 120 drilled in strategic locations. Holes 120 are located far enough from the edge of plates 110 and 115 to generally prevent unauthorized people from reaching a lock 130 on the inside of fence 105 when attached to a chain 135 inserted through holes 120. Plates 110 and 115 may be made of various sturdy, weatherproof materials including, but not limited to, wood, metal, plastic, etc. Embodiments of the present invention may come in various sizes and with various hole locations depending on factors such as, but not limited to, the size of the fence, the size of the lock, the amount of security desired, etc.

In typical use of the present embodiment, lock tampering deterrence device 100 is used in conjunction with fence 105, gate 125, lock 130, and chain 135. Chain 135 is inserted through holes 120 in plate 115, which is on the outside of fence 105 and gate 125, then through holes in fence 105 and gate 125 and finally through holes 120 in plate 110, which is on the inside of fence 105. Plates 110 and 115 are pressed firmly against fence 105 and gate 125. Chain 135 is locked to itself tightly with lock 130, on the inside of fence 105 and gate 125. Chain 135 is thick enough to generally prevent or deter an unauthorized person from attempting to cut through chain 135. In the present embodiments, holes 120 are large enough to accommodate the thickest chains available for use on property fences and gates. Alternate embodiments may include smaller or larger holes depending on the application of the device. Also, a user may wish to use multiple locks and/or multiple chains on the device for added security. Alternate embodiments may be implemented that use an object other than a chain to secure the plates such as, but not limited to, a thick cable, metal bands, leather belt, etc. In some embodiments a bell or other noise-making object may be added to alert the user of the device if an unauthorized person is attempting to tamper with the lock or the device.

With lock tampering deterrence device 100 in place, lock 130 cannot be tampered with from the outside of fence 105. Unauthorized persons may be able to climb over fence 105; however, climbing over fence 105 takes time and some risk. An intruder seeking an easy victim is most likely not going to expend this amount of effort. Embodiments of the present invention may be any thickness and made of any construction material such as, but not limited to, plywood, oak, maple, walnut, pine, plastic, tin fiberglass, etc. In alternate embodiments, the number of holes in the device may also be increased to allow for additional chains and locks. Some embodiments may comprise small metal strips on each end of the plates to generally prevent unauthorized persons from sawing their way through the lock tampering deterrence device.

The typical use of the present embodiment described previously is intended for a homeowner or property owner who is inside a fence at a gate; however, lock tampering deterrence devices may also be used from outside the fence when the property owner is away from the property. In an exemplary method for using lock tampering deterrence device 100 when leaving a property, plate 110 is placed on the inside of fence 105 and plate 115 is placed on the outside of fence 105 as usual. However, lock 130 is placed outside of fence 105 rather than inside fence 105. One method to accomplish this is to first insert each end of chain 135 through separate holes 120 on plate 115. Then the left end of chain 135 is placed through a hole in fence 105, then through the left hole 120 of plate 110, then through the right hole 120 in plate 110, and finally through a hole in gate 125. The ends of chain 135 are then brought together and tightened and lock 130 is placed on chain 135 between gate 125 and plate 115. To optimally deter tampering, lock tampering deterrence device 100 should be installed very tightly, and the tighter lock tampering deterrence device 100 is installed, the more secure the property. Furthermore, many intruders are lazy and seeing lock tampering deterrence device 100 on gate 125 will likely convince the intruder that the owner is home and deter the intruder from tampering with lock 130.

In the present embodiment, plates 110 and 115 are ¾ of an inch thick and one foot square, and chain 135 is three feet long in order to be flexible enough to be manipulated through holes 120 of plates 110 and 115. Those skilled in the art, in light of the present teachings, will recognize that in alternate embodiments lock tampering deterrence devices may be various different sizes, thicknesses and may comprise various numbers of holes to accommodate various numbers of chains and include various sizes of chains.

FIGS. 2 through 11 illustrate exemplary plates for use with lock tampering deterrence devices, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary plate 200 that is one and a half feet in height, one and a half feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with two holes 205 that are eight inches apart. FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary plate 300 that is two feet in height, three feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with two pairs of holes 305. FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary plate 400 that is two feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with two pairs of holes 405 near the center of plate 400. FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary plate 500 that is four feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes 505. FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary plate 600 that is five feet in height, two feed wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes 605 located near the center of plate 600. FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary plate 700 that is six feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with three pairs of holes 705 near the center of plate 700. FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary plate 800 that is seven feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with four pairs of holes 805 near the center of plate 800. FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary plate 900 that is eight feet in height, two feet wide and ¾ of an inch wide with five pairs of holes 905. FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary plate 1000 that is two feet in height, three and a half inches wide and one and a half inches thick with four holes 1005 aligned vertically in the center of plate 1000. In this embodiment two chains are used to secure plate 1000 to a fence: one chain in each pair of neighboring holes 1005. FIG. 11 illustrates an exemplary plate 1100 that is seven feet in height, four feet wide and ¾ of an inch thick with twelve holes 1105 arranged in six pairs with three pairs on the left side of plate 1100 and three pairs on the right side of plate 1100.

These embodiments are for demonstration purposes only. Embodiments of the present invention may come in any number of lengths, widths and thicknesses and various numbers of holes. Furthermore, embodiments of the present invention may comprise various different optional features such as, but not limited to, reinforcement bands, size of holes, reinforcement of holes, color, etc. In typical use of the various embodiments shown by way of example in the Figures, one chain and one lock is used for each pair of holes. However, in some applications longer chains may be woven through multiple pairs of holes so that fewer chains and locks may be used. Users may prefer to use the smaller embodiments for everyday use and the larger embodiments for securing a gate for an extended period of time as removing and reattaching these large embodiments is more difficult than removing and replacing the smaller embodiments.

Alternate embodiments of the present invention may incorporate a single plate rather than a pair of plates. These embodiments are secured to fence gates by placing a chain through the holes in the plate and holes in the fence and gate and tightly securing the chain to itself with a lock. In these embodiments the plate may be located on either the inside or the outside of the fence and gate to block the lock from unauthorized users with the lock on the inside of the gate.

Embodiments of the present invention may be used by various people and organizations, such as, but not limited to, home owners, industrial installations and areas, military installations around the world, schools, swimming pools, and playgrounds, nursing homes, churches, federal, state, and local government facilities, storage facilities after hours, agriculture and farming operations, rural, suburban, and urban fence owners, shipyard installations, drive-in movie theaters, summer camps, summer homes, summer amusement parks, road blocks, warehouses, garbage dump sites, power plants, factories, etc.

Having fully described at least one embodiment of the present invention, other equivalent or alternative methods of providing a device to deter unauthorized users from tampering with locks according to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The invention has been described above by way of illustration, and the specific embodiments disclosed are not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. For example, the particular implementation of the lock tampering deterrence device may vary depending upon the particular type of plates used. The plates described in the foregoing were directed to square and rectangular implementations; however, similar techniques are to use plates of varying shapes such as, but not limited to, round plates, irregularly shaped plates, etc. Non-rectangular implementations of the present invention are contemplated as within the scope of the present invention. The invention is thus to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the following claims.