WO2006085099A1 - Apparatus for retaining safety equipment - Google Patents

Apparatus for retaining safety equipment

Info

Publication number
WO2006085099A1
WO2006085099A1 PCT/GB2006/000478 GB2006000478W WO2006085099A1 WO 2006085099 A1 WO2006085099 A1 WO 2006085099A1 GB 2006000478 W GB2006000478 W GB 2006000478W WO 2006085099 A1 WO2006085099 A1 WO 2006085099A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
safety equipment
means
locking device
locking
signal
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2006/000478
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
David Cowie
Original Assignee
David Cowie
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B17/00Fire alarms; Alarms responsive to explosion
    • G08B17/10Actuation by presence of smoke or gases automatic alarm devices for analysing flowing fluid materials by the use of optical means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00182Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with unidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A62LIFE-SAVING; FIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62CFIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62C13/00Portable extinguishers which are permanently pressurised or pressurised immediately before use
    • A62C13/76Details or accessories
    • A62C13/78Suspending or supporting devices
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C2009/00753Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys
    • G07C2009/00769Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys with data transmission performed by wireless means
    • G07C2009/00793Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by active electrical keys with data transmission performed by wireless means by Hertzian waves
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C2209/00Indexing scheme relating to groups G07C9/00 - G07C9/02
    • G07C2209/08With time considerations, e.g. temporary activation, valid time window or time limitations

Abstract

A locking device for releasably securing safety equipment comprising locking means, input means and reactivation means, wherein the locking means is operable to release the safety equipment in response to a signal received by said input means, the reactivation means being operable to automatically reactivate the locking means, thereby to resecure the safety equipment. The reactivation means may not reactivate the locking means whilst a signal is being received or until a period thereafter, the period may be calculated or predetermined. The reactivation means may automatically reactivate the locking means after a preset period of time which preferably is adjustable.

Description

APPARATUS FOR RETAINING SAFETY EQUIPMENT

This invention relates to apparatus for releasably retaining safety equipment, for example a fire extinguisher.

A fire extinguisher is generally kept in a locked cabinet to preclude its misuse. It is known to link the lock to a fire alarm, or smoke detection system or other such system so the lock is released only when the extinguisher is needed. It is also known for the lock to be maintained 'on' by electrical power so as to give a failsafe effect. However, known locking devices require the system to be reset after an alarm has been activated.

It is a non-exclusive object of the invention is to prevent casual and unauthorised interference with fire extinguishers, thus precluding an unnecessary requirement to refill or replace the fire extinguishers. A further non-exclusive object of the invention is to ensure fire extinguishers are available in fully functionable condition at the time of need to ensure legal requirements are met.

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a locking device for releasably securing safety equipment comprising locking means, input means and reactivation means, wherein the locking means is operable to release the safety equipment in response to a signal received by said input means, the reactivation means being operable to automatically reactivate the locking means, thereby to resecure the safety equipment. Preferably, the reactivation means may not reactivate the locking means whilst a signal is being received or until a period thereafter, the period may be calculated or predetermined.

Additionally or alternatively, the reactivation means automatically reactivates the locking means after a preset period of time. More preferably, wherein the preset period of time is adjustable.

Optionally, the locking means comprises an electrically operable lock. Preferably, the safety equipment is released when the lock is in a de-energised state, for example in the event of a loss of power.

The input means may be linked to a fire alarm or smoke detection system, said signal being provided by the fire alarm or smoke detection system.

The locking means is preferably manually overrideable.

The locking means is operable to release the safety equipment at a preset time.

The locking device may further comprise illumination means for illuminating the locking means and/or surrounding area.

Optionally, the locking device further comprises a voice synthesizer or recorded message player for providing information and/or instructions. According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of releasably securing safety equipment comprising releasing the safety equipment in response to a signal and automatically re-securing the safety equipment.

Preferably, safety equipment is automatically resecured after a preset period of time. More preferably, the preset period of time is adjustable.

The safety equipment may be released in the event of power loss.

Optionally, the signal is provided by a fire alarm or smoke detection system.

The method may further comprise releasing the safety equipment at a preset time.

It is a legal requirement that every business has adequate means for extinguishing fires. This is generally provided in the form of portable fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers must be kept in good condition and must be fully prepared and freely available at the point of need. Fully prepared refers to the extinguisher being full and charged, undamaged, safely operable and safely stowed.

Available at the point of need refers to the extinguisher being easily accessible when required for use.

Established fire safety procedures require an alarm to be raised, in the event of a fire, prior to attempting to extinguish the fire. The fire may then be attended to only if it is safe to do so. The present invention encourages this good practice by making the extinguishers available only after the fire alarm has been sounded.

Furthermore, since the extinguisher may not be tampered with or removed unless the alarm is sounded, the extinguishers will always be in place, fully charged and ready for use. Furthermore, having the extinguishers secured also eliminates the bad (and illegal) practice of propping fire doors open by using fire extinguishers.

The invention preferably comprises a rectangular cabinet in which a fire extinguisher can be kept and having a lockable door. When the door is opened the fire extinguisher becomes available for use. The cabinet can be made of glass reinforced plastics or of wood or metal. A glass or Perspex™ front may be provided.

Alternatively, the fire extinguisher may be retained by straps against a panel fixed to the wall, the straps being in place by a locking device (not shown).

The primary function of operation is to be secure either actively or passively to prevent interference.

In the case of a hard wired system, the fire cabinet securing the fire extinguisher will open on activation of a fire alarm, making the fire extinguishers available for use at the point of need.

For this to be effective the extinguisher cabinet lock will have to be wired to the fire alarm system, smoke/heat detection system or other means of raising the alarm system which on activation will release the lock and make the fire extinguisher available for use. In the case of a stand alone system, the fire cabinet securing the fire extinguisher will open on the activation of a fire alarm making the fire extinguishers available for use at the point of need.

For this to be effective the extinguisher cabinet lock will have to be operated by means of radio signal, infra red, vibration, noise or other non directly wired means which will activate the lock and make the fire extinguisher available for use.

An optional smoke/heat detector may be provided as a failsafe to activate the lock on the detection of sufficient quantities of smoke/heat.

An optional emergency light may also be provided within the fire cabinet being operated by either activation of the fire alarm or mains power failure.

Alternatively, or additionally, lighting may be provided either permanently on or on activation of an emergency powered illuminated emergency exit sign.

Additionally, a break glass point may be provided within the cabinet. When the glass is broken the fire alarm is activated and the unit becomes available. As a failsafe system, this also allows an opportunity for the activator of the alarm to put their hand in to manually turn the handle opening the cabinet thus ensuring the extinguisher is available at the point of need.

This will ensure wheelchair users have access to means of raising the alarm. Preferably, all systems have failsafe mechanisms including indications of low batteries or low batteries or failing to safety on power failure.

Alternative means of powering the lock or maintaining the charge in the batteries including solar power and alternative charging/power sources can be used. The cabinet should be accessible for battery changing.

There needs to be an override facility for maintenance and fire safety checks. The override may be via a hand held ultra sonic, infra red etc. unit (such as is found in car door remote access locks), or a key override.

Another option may be that on activation of the unit a call is sent to a mobile phone.

Each fire extinguisher could be secured behind a glass door flush with the wall of a building causing the extinguisher to be recessed into the wall. The door will be securely held until the fire alarm is activated and will release to make the fire extinguishers available.

Preferably, each embodiment will have a time delay over which the doors will be held open prior to self re-locking.

Each embodiment can have an override mechanism to allow for testing or can be programmed to open on a time delay, i.e. once every 7 days for testing purposes.

The cabinet may have a pre-programmed verbal information message identifying in the local country's main language the type of fire extinguisher and what it can and can't be used for, i.e. of a CO2 extinguisher is removed or the cabinet door is opened, a pre- recorded voice will say 'this is a CO2 extinguisher safe to use on electrical fires or words to that affect.

The voice will be activated through a contact on the door on the hook the extinguisher is placed upon or other such means. As the door is opened a pre-programmed message will be played.

In order that the invention may be well understood, it will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figures 1 is a simplified diagram of a first embodiment of the locking device of the invention;

Figure 2 is a simplified circuit diagram of a second embodiment of the locking device of the invention;

Figure 3 is a simplified diagram of a third embodiment of the locking device of the invention;

Figure 4 is a simplified diagram of a fourth embodiment of the locking device of the invention;

Figure 5 is a simplified circuit diagram of a further embodiment of the locking device of the invention;

Figure 6 is a simplified circuit diagram of a further embodiment of the locking device of the invention; and Figure 7 is a simplified circuit diagram of an LED lamp.

Figure 1 shows a simple lock directly activated by a fire alarm. When there is a fire, the fire alarm panel 1 provides power to an input (not shown) thereby to energise the lock 2 and the door 4 of the cabinet 3 opens. This requires a cable 5 to be installed between the fire alarm panel 1 and the cabinet 3. It also assumes that the fire alarm panel has an auxiliary output (not shown) that is capable of energising the lock 2.

In Figure 2 the cabinet 3 has its own internal power supply 6. This supplies the power to energise the lock 2. The signal from the fire alarm panel 1 may be at a low current and simply indicate that there is a fire. The control board 7 uses a simple device such as a relay or transistor to turn on the power to the lock 2 to a valid signal from the fire alarm panel 1. The complexity could be increased to make the system more reliable.

The signal from the fire alarm panel 1 could be present (asserted) when there was no fire and not asserted when there was a fire. Implementing this scheme would mean that if there was any damage to the cable 5 and the signal was lost, the lock 2 would failsafe and open. Another possibility is that the fire alarm panel 1 could send a series of pulses when there was no fire thus if the fire alarm panel 1 malfunctioned or the signal was corrupted so that it remained high or low the lock 2 would again failsafe.

This again assumes that the fire alarm panel 1 is capable of generating the appropriate output An alternative would be to use the signal that is used to operate the alarm sounders (not shown), i.e. connect the lock 2 in parallel with the alarm sounder (not shown). This would make installation easier as there would generally be a sounder close to the desired location for the extinguisher (not shown). This may be possible in the case of simple alarm systems where the alarm panel 1 simply turns on for the sounder (not shown). A number of options exist for the power supply. The cabinet could be powered from the mains via a linear or switch mode power supply unit 6. However, this would present a problem in the event of a power failure, it would not be possible to open the cabinet door 4. A battery could be used and this would overcome the supply failure problem but would require replacing on a regular basis.

Consequently, the preferable option would be to use a combination of mains and battery supply. Under normal conditions the mains would power the cabinet 3 and keep the battery charged. If the mains supply failed the battery would take over. A useful feature would be to monitor the battery voltage and if this dropped tod far open the cabinet door 4 before the supply failed completely.

If the cabinet 3 includes its own power supply 6 it would also be possible to provide other features such as a light (not shown) within the cabinet 3. This would enable the extinguisher (not shown) to be located more easily when required.

In the embodiment of Figure 3, one external power supply 16 is used to supply several cabinets 3. This reduces the power supply costs but increases the wiring and installation costs as cables 15 would have to be run from each cabinet 3 to the power supply 16.

In the embodiment of Figure 4, there is no cable connecting the fire alarm panel 1 to the cabinet 3. Instead, communication is made via a radio transmitter 9 and receiver 8. To improve the reliability of communication a coded series of pulses 18 is transmitted. The pulses are generated by the coding circuit 10. The radio signal 19 is received by the receiver 8 in the cabinet 3. This reproduces the series of pulses 18 which are then interpreted by the control board 7. Using the coding method makes the system less likely to be interfered with by noise or other devices using the same radio frequency.

Radio communication is inherently more unreliable than using a cable 5. For this reason it is advisable to build a failsafe mechanism. Under normal circumstance, i.e. when there is no fire, the transmitter 9 should transmit a signal 19, for example, once per second. Then, if the receiver 8 does not receive a valid signal within more than, for example, five seconds, the lock 2 would be opened. This would allow for equipment malfunction or difficulties with the radio signal 19 propagating in the building. The transmitter 9 and receiver 8 used would operate on one of the unlicensed bands such as 433MHz.

An infra red link (not shown), is a possible alternative to radio but this is limited to line of sight and so will not work around comers or through walls and so is of limited value. A more realistic alternative is sound detection.

The sound produced by the alarm sounder (not shown) could be detected. The mechanism for this could be based on the sound level and frequency (or frequencies in the case of a multi tone sounder). Some adjustment would probably be required to work with different sounders. A level adjustment may also be required to allow for different sound output levels and the placement of the cabinet with respect to the sounder. The sound produced by the sounder when the fire alarm was activated would trigger the detector circuit and open the cabinet door 4. This has the advantage of requiring no connection to the fire alarm system.

The cabinet 3 could detect the fire itself using its own smoke detector (not shown). Again, this has the advantage of requiring no connection to the fire alarm system. However, to work effectively the smoke detector (not shown) would probably need to be mounted on the ceiling and so would have to be remote from the cabinet 3 and connected via a cable (not shown). The cabinet 3 would not open when there was a fire in another part of the building.

Moreover, a further option would be to incorporate a break glass button (not shown) into the cabinet 3. When this was operated it would open the cabinet door 4 and also trigger the fire alarm (not shown). The button would have to be compatible with the fire alarm system and also meet all requirements for fire alarm equipment.

Figure 5 relates to an embodiment with several cabinets (not shown) linked to an alarm panel (not shown) via input 50. A signal 51 is supplied to a PIC12C microcontroller 52 and this supplies inputs to light emitting diodes 53 via resistors 54, and also to transistors 55 via resistors 56. The transistors 55 are driven by the microcontroller 52 and, via the drive coils 57 of respective electro-mechanical relays 58, control the output contacts 59 of the relays. The contacts 59 are connected via connector block 60 to the locks (not shown) serving respective ones of the cabinets.

Figure 6 shows another circuit to control a motorised electronic lock for a fire extinguisher enclosure. The enclosure is connected electrically to a fire control panel (not shown). The electronic lock automatically opens in the event of the fire panel being activated. The enclosure illuminates on activation. In the event of power supply failure the lock unlocks.

The circuit of Figure 6 comprises the following: • Power supply 70 for control circuit; • Battery charger 71 to float charge a gel battery used for standby and emergency operation.

• Control circuit and logic 72.

• Motive power control 73 for the locking mechanism.

• Input and protection circuits 74.

Motive power control 73 is provided to the mechanical locking device in the form of a DC electric motor. The motor is switched on by relay K1 and can run clockwise or counter clockwise as require by the lock (locked or unlocked). Relay K2 is used to control the direction. Transistors T1 and T2 switch the current for the relay coils. Flywheel diodes D2 and D1 prevent back EMF destroying the transistors. Two FETS Q3 and Q2 switch a bank of red LED's showing warning status for the device.

The control logic 72 is based around a microprocessor controller. The controller looks at the various inputs and makes decisions on how to control the outputs.

The circuits 74 comprise three optical isolators which connect inputs from the mechanical lock and the input for a fire panel.

The power supply 70 consists of an external transformer (not shown). The transformer supplies 15Vac to the bridge rectifier B1 this is in turn fed via a blocking diode D8 to a smoothing tank capacitor C1. The voltage is regulated to 5vdc for the control logic. Capacitors C1 , C2 are placed around the supply to decouple the voltage regulator and filter any noise etc. One arm on the transformer is connected to diode D3. The output from diode D3 is taken to an optical isolator OK4 and indication D4 via a current limiting resistor R8. The capacitor C6 holds a small amount of charge to keep the optical isolator input steady. The output of the optical isolator provides the control logic with a power supply status from the mains supply.

The battery charger 71 is a constant voltage supply that can be adjusted by R12. The charger consists of regulator IC3, adjustment resistors R9, R10 and R12 and a current limiting resistor R11. In the event of the mains power failing, the battery supplies the circuit power for operation. The voltage provided by the power supply is around 20V normally. The battery voltage is 12-13 volts, so no current flows from the batter when the supply is on. If the supply fails, the battery voltage exceeds the supply and the blocking diode D6 conducts current to the control circuits.

Figure 7 shows a lamp made up of a series of light emitting diodes D1 to D8, the lamp being usable in conjunction with the cabinet of Figure 6.

Claims

1. A locking device for releasably securing safety equipment comprising locking means and reactivation means, wherein the locking means is operable to release the safety equipment in response to a signal received thereby, the reactivation means being operable to automatically reactivate the locking means, thereby to resecure the safety equipment.
2. A locking device as claimed in Claim 1 , wherein the reactivation means may not reactivate the locking means whilst a signal is being received or until a period thereafter
3. A locking device as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the period is calculated or predetermined.
4. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the reactivation means automatically reactivates the locking means after a preset period of time.
5. A locking device as claimed in Claim 4, wherein the preset period of time is adjustable.
6. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the locking means comprises an electrically operable lock.
7. A locking device as claimed in Claim 6, wherein the safety equipment is released when the lock is in a de-energised state, for example in the event of a loss of power.
8. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the input means is linked to a fire alarm or smoke detection system, said signal being provided by the fire alarm or smoke detection system.
9. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the locking means is manually overrideable.
10. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the locking means is operable to release the safety equipment at a preset time.
11. A locking device as claimed in Claim 10, wherein the preset time is adjustable.
12. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, further comprising illumination means for illuminating the locking means and/or surrounding area.
13. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, further comprising a voice synthesizer or recorded message player for providing information and/or instructions.
14. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the signal comprises a radio signal.
15. A locking device as claimed in any preceding Claim, further comprising a smoke detector, wherein the signal is provided by said smoke detector.
16. A method of releasably securing safety equipment comprising releasing the safety equipment in response to a signal and automatically re-securing the safety equipment.
17. A method of releasably securing safety equipment as claimed in Claim 16, wherein the safety equipment is automatically resecured after a preset period of time.
18. A method of releasably securing safety equipment as claimed in Claim 17, wherein the preset period of time is adjustable.
19. A method of releasably securing safety equipment as claimed in any one of Claims 16 to 18, wherein the safety equipment is released in the event of power loss.
20. A method of releasably securing safety equipment as claimed in any one of Claims 16 to 19, wherein the signal is provided by a fire alarm or smoke detection system.
21. A method of releasably securing safety equipment as claimed in any one of Claims 16 to 20, further comprising releasing the safety equipment at a preset time.
PCT/GB2006/000478 2005-02-11 2006-02-13 Apparatus for retaining safety equipment WO2006085099A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0502852.7 2005-02-11
GB0502852A GB0502852D0 (en) 2005-02-11 2005-02-11 Apparatus for retaining safety equipment

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2006085099A1 true true WO2006085099A1 (en) 2006-08-17

Family

ID=34356155

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB2006/000478 WO2006085099A1 (en) 2005-02-11 2006-02-13 Apparatus for retaining safety equipment

Country Status (2)

Country Link
GB (1) GB0502852D0 (en)
WO (1) WO2006085099A1 (en)

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3725939A (en) * 1971-06-07 1973-04-03 Sure Lock Syst Inc Vehicle security system
US4814748A (en) * 1987-11-09 1989-03-21 Southwest Laboratories, Inc. Temporary desensitization technique for smoke alarms
JPH09177395A (en) * 1995-12-26 1997-07-08 Miwa Lock Co Ltd Lock automatic release device for fire extinguisher
US5942985A (en) * 1995-07-25 1999-08-24 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Automatic locking/unlocking device and method using wireless communication
US20030029579A1 (en) * 2001-07-10 2003-02-13 Overhead Door Corporation Automatic barrier operator system

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3725939A (en) * 1971-06-07 1973-04-03 Sure Lock Syst Inc Vehicle security system
US4814748A (en) * 1987-11-09 1989-03-21 Southwest Laboratories, Inc. Temporary desensitization technique for smoke alarms
US5942985A (en) * 1995-07-25 1999-08-24 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Automatic locking/unlocking device and method using wireless communication
JPH09177395A (en) * 1995-12-26 1997-07-08 Miwa Lock Co Ltd Lock automatic release device for fire extinguisher
US20030029579A1 (en) * 2001-07-10 2003-02-13 Overhead Door Corporation Automatic barrier operator system

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1997, no. 11 28 November 1997 (1997-11-28) *

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