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Publication numberUS3171109 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1965
Filing dateJul 21, 1961
Priority dateJul 21, 1961
Publication numberUS 3171109 A, US 3171109A, US-A-3171109, US3171109 A, US3171109A
InventorsAndrew L Appel
Original AssigneeAndrew L Appel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined flashlight, fire alarm, and distress signal
US 3171109 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 23, 1965 A. APPEL 3,171,109

COMBINED FLASHLIGHT, FIRE ALARM, AND DISTRESS SIGNAL.

Filed July 21. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet l H's HTTaRA/EY Feb. 23, 1965 A. APPEL 3,171,109

COMBINED FLASHLIGHT, FIRE ALARM, AND DISTRESS SIGNAL Filed July 21. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTaENEY United States Patent 3,171,109 COMBINED FLASHLEGHT, FIRE ALARM, AND DISTRES SIGNAL Andrew L. Appel, St. Louis, Mo. (Rte. 1, Box 55, Old State Road, Ellisville, Mo.) Fiied .iuly 21, 1961, Ser. No. 125,857 3 Claims. (Cl. 340-427) The present invention relates to the novel incorporation in a conventional flashlight, of a fire alarm, and a distress signal mechanism. The flashlight would be operable in the usual well known manner, and would include the customary elongated hollow casing, lens, bulb, batteries, compression spring, and so on.

In accordance with the concepts of the present invention however, the customary end cap would be omitted.

It would be replaced by a housing that would not only serve to function in ordinary end cap capacity, but in addition, would also serve to enclose and support the novel fire alarm and distress signal mechanism of the present invention.

The numerous advantages inherent in an operable flashlight are well known and need not be described at length. Flashlights are useful in a home, outdoors, in an oflice, in a garage, for changing automobile tires at night, and so on as is well understood.

The combined flashlight, fire alarm, and distress signal assembly contemplated by the present invention, does not in any way alter the customary use of the flashlight mechanism thereof, as will be apparent. Furthermore, the incorporation of the fire alarm and distress signal mechanism of the present invention therein will not materially change the external appearance of an ordinary flashlight.

The primary objective of the invention is to provide a novel flashlight assembly that is not only adapted to function in its customary capacity, but is likewise adapted to automatically function in a fire alarm capacity, and is furthermore adapted as will appear, to function in a distress signalling capacity.

In other words, the novel flashlight assembly of the present invention combines light producing mechanism, fire alarm mechanism and distress signal mechanism in a unitary device having an overall appearance that is generally simulative of conventional flashlights.

The light producing mechanism is controlled by the manual longitudinal shifting of a conventional switch assembly in the customary and well known manner. The fire alarm mechanism is automatically operable responsive to ambient temperature conditions, and includes means whereby the automatic operation thereof may be controlled. The distress signal mechanism is manually operable, and is comprised of the fire alarm mechanism in combination with a push button that is slidably mounted and readily accessible as will appear.

The electrical energy for effecting the functioning of the three mechanisms aforesaid, derives from a pair of conventional storage batteries that are normally maintained in abutting relationship within an elongated cylindrical casing by means of a conical compression spring. In an ordinary flashlight assembly, this compression spring has its largest end convolution anchored to a screw cap that is removably secured to the threaded extremity of said cylindrical casing. In accordance with the concepts of the present invention, such spring would 3,171,109 Patented Feb. 23, 1965 have its largest end convolution anchored within a metallic housing element, that similarly to the cap aforesaid, is likewise removably secured to the threaded extremity of the flashlight casing. Means are provided within said housing for grounding the spring to the casing, so that the flashlight mechanism would operate in normal fashion.

The housing element is substantially cylindrical, and the fire alarm and distress signal mechanisms are mounted therein. The major components of these mechanisms are a signal device, a resilient switch blade, and a stationary contact.

The signal device comprises a horn of conventional design that is available on the open market, wherefore it per se forms no part of the present invention. The switch blade is comprised of bimetallic material, and is adapted to warp into engagement with the stationary contact under certain ambient temperature conditions, as will appear. The switch blade is anchored at one end, and means including an insulated wire, a contact annulus, and a contact strip are provided for connecting said blade into the power source comprised of the two storage batteries. The stationary contact is mounted adjacent the free end of the switch blade, in position to be automatically engaged thereby when warping of said blade is effected, and to be intermittently engaged thereby in response to manipulations of the distress signal push button referred to hereinbefore. An insulated wire connects the sound producing mechanism of the horn with the stationary contact, so that as soon as switch blade engagement with the stationary contact is effected, the sound producing mechanism will operate.

Consequently, as will be more fully explained hereinafter, whenever the bimetallic switch automatically engages the stationary contact in response to an abnormal temperature condition, the sound producing mechanism will begin, and will continue to diffuse a constant warning signal in siren fashion so long as the abnormal temperature condition exists. However, whenever the push button included in the distress signal mechanism is properly manipulated, the sound producing mechanism of the horn will diffuse a succession of intermittent signals or horn blasts in staccato fashion.

Normally, the switch blade is not in engagement with the stationary contact, so that the flashlight mechanism would function in the usual manner just as though the fire alarm and distress signal mechanism were not incorporated in the assembly. It will be appreciated that when the fire alarm mechanism is in operation, the flashlight would not be in use. When the distress signal mechanism is being operated however, the flashlight mechanism may be simultaneously caused to function.

Means are provided for adjusting thebimetallic switch blade so that it will close the alarm circuit responsive to a selected high temperature condition. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings that accompany this specification, the bimetallic switch blade may be adjusted to become effective at any selected degree ranging from degrees to degrees Fahrenheit. This novel adjustment feature is an important one, and will be elaborated on in the operational description hereinafter.

The distress signal mechanism comprises another novel feature of the present invention, and provides many advantages. By means of this mechanism, a person re- 3 quiring aid or rescue may indicate his whereabouts even when trapped for example in debris, provided only that such person is physically able to manipulate the push button of the mechanism. Additional uses of the distress signal mechanism will also be more fully expalined in the operational description hereinafter.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated on two sheets of drawings that accompany this specification. A more comprehensive understanding of the objectives and inherent advantages of the invention may be had from the detailed description to follow with reference to said drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a combined flashlight, fire alarm, and distress signal assembly constructed in accordance with the concepts of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the FIGURE 1 assembly, an intermediate portion being broken away to illustrate the abutting relationship of a pair of storage batteries;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged right end elevational view of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a reproduction of FIGURE 3 on a further -enlarged scale, this view however illustrating a ninety degree counterclockwise disposition of the parts appearing in said FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 isa sectional view on an enlarged scale, taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 6 is a similar view taken on the line 66 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 7 is a transverse sectional view on an enlarged scale, taken on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 8 is a framentary sectional view taken on the line 88 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 9 is a side elevational view of an angular positive contact strip that is disposed in the casing of the assembly comprising the present invention;

FIGURE 10 is a left side elevational view of a circular contact spring retainer included in the mechanism of the invention, said retainer being formed of electrically nonconductive material;

FIGURE 11 is an edge view of the retainer appearing in FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a right end elevational view of the housing element that is removably threaded onto the casing of the assembly, and forms the supporting means for the fire alarm and distress signal mechanism of the invention;

FIGURE 13 is a face view of a disc element included in the components of the invention;

FIGURE 14 is a face view of the positive contact an- .nulus of the invention, illustrated as it is stamped out in manufacture, that is, prior to its incorporation into the assembly of the invention;

FIGURE 15 is a view of a collar fabricated of insulative material that is pressfitted onto the circular neck portion of the FIGURES 10 and 11 retainer, whereby to maintain the FIGURE 14 annulus in fixed position;

FIGURE 16 is a right end elevational view of the ring member, fashioned on non-conductive material, that supports the alarm and distress signal blade of the invention and the cooperating contact thereof; and

FIGURE 17 is a fragmentary left end elevational view of the circular end closure plate of the invention, this view being included to demonstrate the semicircular protuberance integral with said plate, that serves as a guide in the assembling of the invention.

The combined flashlight, fire alarm, and distress signal assembly of the present invention is designated in its entirety by the numeral 20 in FIGURES 1 and 2. As should be at once apparent, the configuration of the assembly 20 is substantially similar to that of many conventional flashlights, it being observed that, as viewed in the drawings, only the right hand end of said assembly is somewhat different.

It is believed apropos at this point, to note that in the .interest of descriptive clarity herein, such terms as right,

left, upper, lower, horizontal, vertical, forward, rearward and the like, have reference only to the presentation of the invention in the drawings, it being obviously understood that no precise disposition of the assembly 20 may be or can be ascribed thereto.

It is further to be noted, that elements considered to be included in the present inventive concept are, as a rule, designated by numerical reference characters, whereas conventional elements are designated by alphabetical reference characters.

Accordingly, with attention focused for the present on FIGURES 1, 2, and 5, the there exemplarily disclosed flashlight structure is generally designated A. Included in this structure is a pair of storage batteries B, and an elongated hollow cylindrical casing C wherein the said batteries would ordinarily be disposed in contiguous relationship to one another, and wherein the forward battery would be biased against the contact button D of a conventional light bulb supporting and reflector housing, generally designated E.

The housing E is provided with an outstanding circular flange F, said flange being in position to be engaged by the switch blade G of a manually reciprocable operating assembly H, in customary fashion. Indicated by broken lines is the bulb K, it not being deemed necessary to illustrate its mounting means. A lens L is maintained in position by the housing E in conjunction with an inwardly extending annular flange provided on the forward end of the casing C, said end of the casing being threadedly secured within the reflector enclosing housing M in the conventional manner as shown. The usual ground compression spring included in flashlight assemblies is designated N.

The fire alarm and distress signal mechanism of the present invention is indicated as a whole by the numeral 21. It includes among its major components a metallic housing generally designated 22; a signal device in the form of a horn 24; a circular retainer generally designated 26; a disc 28; a resilent bimetallic switch blade 3d; a ring member 32 for mounting said blade and a therewith cooperating stationary contact 34; a circular end closure plate 36; a knob 38 and a push button 40 mounted in the plate 36; split retainer rings 42 and 44; a positive contact strip 46; a longitudinally slit insulative sleeve 48; an elongated generally arcuate insulative segment 50; a contact annulus 52; and a collar 54.

The housing 22, as best seen in FIGURES 6 and 8, is comprised of a main body portion 56, a diametrically reduced adjoining concentric section 58, and a further diametrically reduced concentric forward extension 60. A first vertical shoulder segment 57 connects the main body portion 56 and the adjoining section 58 of the housing. A second vertical shoulder segment 59 connects the section 58 and the extension 60. The extension 60 is provided with screw threads 62 designed to cooperate with the usual threads formed on the rear end of the casing C, so that the housing 22 may be removably secured to said casing in the same manner as the ordinary end caps of flashlights.

With particular reference also to FIGURE 12, the housing 22 has formed therein a series of longitudinally extending, preferably semicircular grooves, that serve as keyways or guides for positioning most of the elements included in the fire alarm and distress signal mechanism 21. Circularly, these grooves are spaced one hundred and twenty degrees apart, and longitudinally they are extruded or pressed outwardly to thus extend beyond the peripheral surfaces of the housing. Consequently as will become apparent, the grooves serve in addition to their primary functions, to facilitate the removal and applica tion of the housing 22 to the rear or right end of the casing C.

The grooves referred to are identified in the drawings by the numerals 64, 66, 68, and 70. The grooves 64 and 66 are in longitudinal alignment, the first named groove being extruded from the inner periphery of the main body portion 56, whereas the groove 66 is extruded from the inner periphery of the adjoining section 58 of the housing. The grooves 68 and 70 however are continuous,

3 and extend from the right or rear edge of the housing main body 56 to a point near the forward end of the housing section 58. The main body portion 56 of the housing has furthermore formed therein an annular groove 72 adjacent the right end thereof. The groove 72 is also extruded, and intersects the grooves 64, 68 and 70.

The signal or sound producing device 24 is comprised of a commercially available horn assembly, that includes an enclosing casing provided with an outwardly extending annular flange 74, and a U-shaped bracket 76. The bracket 76 is metallic, and terminates at one end in a lug segment 78 that lies along the periphery of the horn casing as shown in FIGURE 6. It is not deemed necessary to illustrate nor to describe the internal mechanism of the horn assembly, inasmuch as the horn is conventional and of the type commonly associated with bicycles and the like. Sounds produced by the internal mechanism of the horn are emitted therefrom via an opening provided therefor in one end wall of the horn casing. The opening appears only in FIGURES 3 and 4, where it is designated by numeral 79.

The element 26 has been designated a retainer ring primarily because it serves to retain the spring N when the housing 22 is unscrewed from the casing C. The retainer 26, shown per se in FIGURES and 11, is preferably formed of plastic material, and includes a central main body portion 80 integral with an outwardly extending annular flange portion 82. Numeral 84 designates a conical opening in the main body portion 80. The opening 84 surrounds the progressively larger diametered right end convolutions of the spring N, said spring having the usual conical contour shown. At its left or forward end, the main body 86 of the retainer 26 terminates in a neck segment 86 that projects from the front face 88 of said body. Diametrically opposed lugs 96 that are integral therewith, project rearwardly from the annular flange 82, and a through longitudinal opening 92 is provided in the main body portion 80, for reasons to appear.

The disc 28 is metallic, and appears per se in FIG- URE 13. Formed in the disc 23 are a central circular opening 94, a pair of diametrically opposite apertures 96, and a circular opening 98, all of said openings being in alignment as shown.

The switch blade 30, as noted hereinbefore, is bimetallie, and is adapted to warp toward the stationary contact 34 when it becomes heated above a determined degree. Rigidly mounted in the free lower end extremity of the blade, is a pointed contact element 190 of highly conductive material, having a head portion 101.

The ring member 32 is of nonconductive, preferably plastic material, and appears per se in FIGURE 16. Integrally formed therewith, and projecting inwardly from the annular main body 102 of said ring member, is a pair of diametrically opposed lug segments designated 104 and 106. Formed in the rear or right end face of the lug segment 104, is a rectangular recess 108. This recess merges into a bevelled portion 110 provided along the inner extremity of the lug segment 164. A threaded aperture 112 is provided in said lug segment for the reception of a cap screw 114, the shank of said screw passing through a circular opening in the upper or contact element opposed end portion 116 of the blade 30 into engagement with said aperture. The width of the blade 30 corresponds to that of the recess 108.

One terminal of an insulated wire 118 is interposed about the shank of the cap screw 114 between the head thereof and the adjacent portion 116 of the blade. With the cap screw 114 tightened as understood, the blade 30 is thus anchored and cannot shift out of alignment with the stationary contact 34, the recess 108 preventing such shifting.

A threaded aperture 120 is provided in the lug segment 106 for the reception of the stationary contact 34. The contact 34 is in the form of a headed screw, and the terminal end of an insulated wire 122 that leads from the horn 24, is anchored about the shank of the screw contact 34 between the head thereof and the adjacent face of the lug segment 106.

The described normal disposition of the blade 30, and its upper end anchorage to the lug segment 104 of the ring member 32, are clearly illustrated in FIGURE 8, as is the mounting of the stationary contact 34. As there shown, the free end of the bimetallic blade 30 that incorporates the contact element 100, is dependingly biased rearwardly away from the stationary contact 34, so that a gap is existent between the pointed extremity of said contact element and the head of said stationary contact.

Formed in the right end face of the ring member 32 is a pair of notches designated 124 and 126, and a longitudinally extending semicircular guide rib 128 is formed in the external periphery of said member for reasons to be explained. It is to be observed that circularly the notches 124, 126, and the guide rib 128 are spaced one hundred and twenty degrees apart, in correspondence with the spacing of the grooves in the housing 22.

The circular end closure plate 36 is also of nonconductive, preferably plastic material. It includes a face portion 130 and a flange portion 132 integral therewith. Formed in the external periphery of the plate is a longitudinally extending semicircular guide rib 134, as best seen in FIGURE 17. A plurality of openings is provided in the face portion 132, wherethrough sounds emitted from the horn 24 via the opening '79 would be diffused. These openings may obviously be of any desired configuration, but are illustrated in the drawings as elongated slots, and are designated 136.

A graduated heat range dial 138 is imprinted or stamped on the right end surface of the closure plate face portion 130, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. The dial 138 is disposed for cooperation with the knob 38, said knob including an integral pointer segment 146), and a finely threaded stem 142. The stem 142 extends through a finely threaded circular opening provided therefor in the face portion 134), and as best seen in FIGURE 8 terminates in a conical tip segment 144 that controls the rightward bias of the blade 30.

The push button 40 is also of nonconductive, preferably plastic material. It includes a stem 146 that is slidably disposed in a circular opening provided therefor in the face portion 130, and an enlarged head 148 against which the head 101 of the pointed contact bears.

As shown in FIGURES 6 and 8, the split retainer ring 42 is interposed in the housing 22 between the annular flange 74 of the horn casing and the ring member 32. This retainer ring has what will be termed an undulant contour, and this thus compressible as should be apparent.

The split retainer ring 44 is rigid, and seats in the circular groove 72 of the housing main body portion 56, hearing against the face portion of the closure plate 36.

The contact strip 46 appears per se in FIGURE 9, and is of conductive material. It consists of an elongated horizontal main body 150 that merges at its forward end into a vertical segment 152, and at its rearward end into an upwardly offset segment 154. The tip of the segment 154 is designated 156, said tip being preferably curved slightly as shown.

The sleeve 48 is fashioned of insulative material. It has a length somewhat greater than the main body 150 of the strip 46, as may be observed with reference to FIGURES 5 and 6. As best seen in FIGURE 7, an end to end slot 158 is formed in the upper periphery of the sleeve, this slot being provided to facilitate reciprocal movements of the flashlight operating assembly H, particularly the blade G thereof.

The arcuate segment 50 is also fashioned of insulative material, and has a length coextensive with that of the main body 150 of the contact strip 46. As seen only in FIGURE 6, the offset segment 154 of the contact 7 strip 46 is separately encased in insulation 160, the tip 156 however, remaining exposed.

As clearly illustrated in the drawings, the main body 150 of the strip 46 is disposed, diametrically opposite the slot 153, between the sleeve 48 and the arcute insulative segment 50, these parts being adhesively or otherwise integrated. Consequently it should be apparent that said sleeve 48, segment 50, and contact strip 46 form a unitary assembly, that may be readily inserted into the flashlight casing C and removed therefrom when the assembly 21 is not in place, as is understood. It should further be apparent that with the described arrangement, the contact strip 46 is insulated both from said casing and from the storage batteries B.

The contact annulus 52 is shown per se in FIGURE 14, and is made of highly conductive material. Prior to its incorporation in the assembly 21, the annulus is flat.

A circular opening 162 is formed in the body of the annulus, and a narrow integral finger 164 projects from said body and across the opening 162 as shown. When however, said annulus has been incorporated in the assembly 21, the finger 164 will have first been bent at right angles to the body of the annulus, and thereupon at right angles to itself, as illustrated in FIGURE 6, and as will be more fully explained. Rigidly secured to the thus formed vertical end of the finger 164, is the other end of the insulated wire 118. a

In accordance with the concepts of the invention, four circular openings would be provided in the horn bracket 76. These openings would be in alignment and spaced in precise correspondence with the four openings provided in the disc 28 shown in FIGURE 13. Accordingly, the bracket 76 has formed therein: a threaded central opening 166 corresponding to the opening 94; a pair of diametrically opposite apertures 166 corresponding to the apertures 96; and a circular opening 170 corresponding to the opening 98. Reverting at this point to FIG- URES and 11, it will be observed that the diametrically opposed lugs 90 are also located in accordance with this pattern, as is the through longitudinal opening 92.

Extendingthrough the opening 94 and into threaded engagement with the opening 166, is the shank of a screw 172. The lugs 90 extend through the aligned pairs of openings 96 and 168, and the finger 164 extends through the aligned openings 92, 98 and 170, all as illustrated in FIGURE 6.

From the foregoing description and an inspection of the drawings, it should be apparent that all of the fire alarm and distress signal mechanism, except the contact strip 46 and its associated insulative elements 48 and 50, is contained within the housing 22. In consequence of this novel arrangement, the housing and its contents may be readily unscrewed from the casing C, should battery replacement be requisite, in the same manner as the end cap of an ordinary flashlight.

v As best seen in FIGURES 1 and 2, the beads resultant .on the exterior surface of the housing 22 in consequence of the extruded grooves aforesaid, provided gripping for- .mations that facilitate rotary manipulations of said housing. Inasmuch as the spring N is maintained in the conical opening 84 of the retainer 26, said spring will expand but remain in place when the housing is unscrewed, just as though it were anchored in the ordinary flashlight end cap. The vertical segment 152 of the contact strip 46 is disposed against the contact button D of the light bulb supporting housing E, as illustrated in FIG- URE 5. When the housing 22 with its enclosed fire alarm and distress signal mechanism, together with a pair of storage batteries are in place, the biasing force of the compression spring N serves to maintain the contact button D, the segmnet 152, and the forward one of the two abutting batteries B in contiguous relationship relatively to one another.

Although it is not deemed necessary to elaborate on the procedure, a general explanation of the manner where in the various elements are assembled into the housing 22 will be given.

Thus, with the previously described openings of the disc 28 and the bracket 76 in registry, the screw 172 would be tightened. Thereupon, the retainer 26 would be applied with the lugs extending through the apertures described. Next, the compression spring N would be twisted into the conical opening .84 of the retainer main body portion 80, it being noted that the largest convolution of said spring seats against the disc 28.

The finger 164 having been bent at right angles to the body of the annulus 52, said annulus would be positioned against the front face 88 of the retainer main body portion, with said bent finger projecting through the registering openings described above. Thereupon the collar 54 would be pressfittedonto the neck segment 86 of the retainer 26. After the projecting end of the finger 164 had been bent upwardly, the forward exposed terminal end of the insulated wire 118 would be appropriately secured thereto. The opposite exposed terminal end of the insulated wire 118 would then be secured in place by the cap screw 114 as illustrated and described. Thereupon, the exposed terminal end of the insulated wire 122, that leads from the sound producing mechanism within the casing of the horn 24, would be secured in place by the stationary contact screw 34. The notches 124 and 126 not only facilitate positioning of the terminal ends of the wires 118 and 122 respectively, but also tend to keep said wires in proper position.

It will of course be appreciated that the thus far recited assembly steps would not necessarily be undertaken in the precise sequence described, but at the same time, they would be completed independently of the housing 22, as should be understood.

Thereupon, with the retainer ring 42 placed betwe n the flange '74 of the horn casing and the forward edge of the ring member 32, the thus far described assembly would be inserted into the housing 22. The parts would be so aligned that the lug segment 78 would ride forwardly in the groove 66 while the guide lug 128 would ride forwardly in the groove 64. The wire 118 will of course have been positioned to ride forwardly in the groove 70, whereas the wire 122 will have been positioned to ride forwardly in the groove 68. Forward movement of the assembly would continue until simultaneously arrested by the annular shoulders 57 and 59. Next the end closure plate 36 would be inserted, with the lug 134 riding in the slot 64, thus insuring the proper disposition thereof. Finally, the split retainer ring 44 would be forced into the circular groove 72 against the resistance of the undulated retainer ring 42, thus maintaining the entire assemblage firmly in place inside the housing.

When the housing 22 with its thus incorporated mechanism is screwed onto the threaded end of the casing C, the contact spring N will be compressed, thus biasing the batteries B into contact with one another, and the forward battery into contact with the segment 152 of the contact strip 46. Furthermore, the annulus 52 will be brought to bear against the curved extremity 156 of said strip, it

being observed that, as shown in FIGURE 6, when the application of the housing to the casing has been properly completed, the contacting engagement of the extremity 156 therewith, will flex the adjacent region of the annulus rearwardly.

Use

The manner in which the present invention attains its objectives, is believed to be manifest in view of the foregoing description and the drawings. However, a comparatively brief further explanation will be given, it being assumed that a person in possession of the combined flashlight, fire alarm, and distress signal assembly 20 of the present invention is the owner of a home, an automobile, and a garage or the like wherein said automobile would usually be parked when not in use. It

will furthermore be assumed that this person spends weekends away from home, camping outdoors, hiking and so on.

In and about the home and garage, when taken along on an automobile trip, in-camp and so on, the flashlight structure A would function in customary fashion responsive to manipulations of the operating assembly H. In this connection, it is noted that the presence of the contact strip segment 152 between the bulb supporting reflector housing E and the forward battery B, does not interfere with the operability of the flashlight circuit, grounding being bad via the spring N, plate 28, horn bracket 76, its lug segment 78, and horn casing flange 74, to the hous-I ing 22.

With respect to its fire alarm functioning, it will first be assumed that the assembly 20 were being kept in the home. During summer months, the knob 38 would be manipulated to a setting approximately thirty degrees above the average high temperature in the area where the home is situated. In other words, assuming for example that the temperature in a given area generally rose to 90 degrees during daytime, and dropped to 80 degrees during nighttime, then the knob 38 would be manipulated to an indicated daytime setting of 120 degrees and nighttime setting of 110 degrees. Consequently, should a fire condition develop so that the temperature rises above the indicated setting, the bimetallic blade 30 would automatically warp forwardly until the pointed contact 100 engaged the stationary contact 34, thus energizing the sound producing mechanism of the horn 24. As long as the heat continues or rises, the blade will remain warped and the sound will continue in siren fashion.

During winter months, most homes are heated to a degree somewhere between 70 and 85 degrees, wherefore the blade would accordingly be adusted so that the contacts 100 and 34 would automatically close when the temperature reached 100 degrees or more.

The foregoing examples are believed adequate, inasmuch as the same or similar procedures could be followed irrespective of whether the assembly 20 were in a home, in a garage, in an automobile, or in a tent. The invention would of course be particularly eifective should a fire break out during the night.

The distress signal would have many uses in addition to that previously described. Thus for example, it could serve to alert neighbors or passers-by in the event of a broken leg or other injury. It could serve to alert others of a hiking or camping party in the event the owner became lost, or required help for any reason whatever.

In view of the foregoing description and the drawings, it is believed that an adequate disclosure has been presented for a comprehensive understanding of the present invention and its many uses.

What I claim is:

1. In combination with a conventional flashlight mechanism mounted in the forward end portion of an elon gated cylindrical casing and energizable by a pair of contiguously disposed storage batteries responsive to manipulations of a switch assembly, a fire alarm and distress signal assembly of the character disclosed comprising:

a metallic housing removably threaded onto the rear end portion of said casing;

an alarm mechanism mounted in the housing, said mechanism including a sound producing device, a stationary contact, and a therewith associated bimetallic switch blade that is anchored at one end with the free end portion of said blade biased away from the stationary contact;

means for varying the distance obtaining between said free end of the blade and the stationary contact; means providing a normally open circuit for energizing the sound producing device, said means comprising a strip of conductive material extending within said 10 casing but insulated therefrom for passing current from said batteries to the stationary contact;

a pointed contact element of highly conductive material mounted in said free end portion of the bimetallic blade; i

and manually operable means for eifecting engagements of said stationary contact and said pointed contact to close the open circuit aforesaid whereby to cause said sound producing device to diffuse alarm signals in staccato fashion;

said bimetallic switch blade being adapted to automatically close said open circuit in consequence of abnormal ambient temperature conditions whereby to cause said sound producing device to diffuse an alarm signal in continuous fashion.

2. The fire alarm and distress signal assembly structure recited in claim 1,

wherein the metallic housing is provided with an end closure plate having a plurality of openings therein;

wherein said anchored end of the bimetallic switch blade is seated in a rectangular recess provided therefore in a lug segment diametrically opposite the stationary contact, said lug segment being integ ral with and projecting inwardly from a ring member of non-conductive material that is mounted in the metallic housing adjacent the sound producing device;

wherein the means for varying the distance obtaining between said free end of the blade and the stationary contact comprises a rotatable knob having a finely threaded stem that is mounted in said end closure plate, said stem terminating in a pointed extremity engaging against a portion of said blade;

and wherein the manually operable means for eflfecting engagements of said stationary contact and the point ed contact of the blade comprises a push button including a stem portion slidably mounted in said end closure plate, and a head portion in engagement with said free end of the blade.

3. In a fire alarm and distress signal mechanism as disclosed, the combination of:

a pair of storage batteries in a flashlight casing;

a metallic housing removably attached to one end of the casing;

an end closure plate for the housing, said plate having a plurality of openings formed therein;

compression spring means for maintaining said batteries in contiguous disposition;

-a sound producing device mounted in the housing;

a normally open circuit for energizing the sound producing device when said circuit is closed, said circuit including a current conductive strip insulated from the flashlight casing and leading from said batteries to an annulus of highly conductive material, an insulated wire connecting said annulus with the anchored end of a bimetallic switch blade, a stationary contact, an insulated wire connecting said sound producing device and the stationary contact, and a pointed contact element fixed in the free end portion of said blade;

means including a ring member of plastic material for anchoring said blade and said stationary contact at diametrically opposite locations within said housing;

a rotatable knob including a pointer segment and having a stem threadedly mounted in said end closure plate, said stem terminating in a pointed segment engaging against a portion of the bimetallic switch blade;

a heat range dial associated with said pointer segment provided on the end closure plate;

a push button slidably mounted in said end closure plate and having an enlarged head disposed against the free lower end aforesaid of the bimetallic blade;

and means for first positioning and thereafter main- References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Howe.

Fetter 200-138 Zimmerman 340-227 X Valenti 200-138 10/57 Millerwise 200-138 7/59 Meyers 340-321 X 11/59 Wortman 340-321 9/60 Gould 340-227 1/62 Rubin 340-283 X FOREIGN PATENTS 10/60 Germany.

6 NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3540023 *Feb 13, 1967Nov 10, 1970Potoroka Walter SrFisherman's water temperature locating apparatus
US3794791 *Jun 29, 1972Feb 26, 1974Thomson PPersonal defence device
US3798667 *Mar 5, 1973Mar 19, 1974Polaroid CorpTemperature responsive switch for use in a self-developing camera
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US4695829 *Jan 9, 1985Sep 22, 1987Robertshaw Controls CompanyTemperature level indicating device and method of making the same
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US5274358 *Sep 18, 1992Dec 28, 1993Egis Personal Safety SystemsPersonal safety device having microprocess control and method for operating the same
US5746492 *Jan 17, 1997May 5, 1998Tai; Tzu HsiungEmergency light having smoke proof mask
WO1982003936A1 *Apr 28, 1981Nov 11, 1982Lincoln M ZonnAlarm device
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Classifications
U.S. Classification340/586, 337/362, 340/594, 337/376, 362/802, 340/321
International ClassificationG08B15/00, G08B5/38, F21V33/00, G08B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V33/00, G08B17/005, G08B17/00, F21L7/00, Y10S362/802, G08B5/38
European ClassificationF21L7/00, G08B5/38, F21V33/00, G08B17/00F, G08B17/00