|Publication number||US3521936 A|
|Publication date||Jul 28, 1970|
|Filing date||Oct 25, 1968|
|Priority date||Oct 25, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3521936 A, US 3521936A, US-A-3521936, US3521936 A, US3521936A|
|Inventors||Coker Frederick T Jr|
|Original Assignee||Ilco Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (22), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
F. T. COKER, JR
DRUG AND MEDICINE CONTAINER July 28, 1970 Filed Oct. 25. 1968 3 3 ///7 K ////&//N /A I 5 Mm 7 wW w [M mm QM I 3i /Z m 3 l L F m M 2 film m W, x22 Y B 3 3 0 w, 4 2 \f m 2 w M ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,521,936 DRUG AND MEDICINE CONTAINER Frederick T. Coker, Jr., Boylston, Mass., assignor to llco Corporation, Fitchburg, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Oct. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 770,676 Int. Cl. A47b 81/00 US. Cl. 312209 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A universal medicine safe for use in conjunction with conventional medicine cabinets of a variety of sizes, the safe having means for preventing access to the contents while permitting visual inspection thereof.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention is in the field of medicine cabinets, and particularly those customarily installed in homes.
This invention relates particularly to a medicine safe capable of being readily installed within a wide range of sizes of conventional medicine cabinets, the safe pref rably permitting inspection of the contents while preventing unauthorized access thereto.
The prior art It is well known that many drugs, medicines and reagents conventionally stored in the home and totally harmless to some users are dangerous or even fatal, if ingested by others. Annually many deaths result from persons, notably children, obtaining and swallowing drugs stored in a medicine cabinet in the ordinary manner. It is not generally appreciated that even minor dosages of drugs considered to be innocuous, such as aspirin, may be harmful or even fatal, if swallowed by children. Since it is known that, by reason of their natural curiosity, children may extract and sample dangerous medicines, it is customary to store such medications in out of the way and inconvenient places, for instance, the highest shelves in a closet, etc. A drawback inhering in such practice is that an authorized person may experience difficulty and delay in retrieving the medication. Much time may be lost in searching for a drug, with consequent nuisance or even harm to the patient.
It has been proposed to provide locked enclosures, preferably to be located within a medicine cabinet. Such enclosures provide the advantages of storing of medicines in their logical location and preventing access to unauthorized persons. However, due to the wide variety of different sizes and shapes of medicine cabinets presently in use, no form of locked enclosures has heretofore been devised which has all the advantages of security and facile installation while providing visual access to the contents of the safe. Cabinets heretofore available require the removal of conventional shelves forming part of the medicine cabinet, thus greatly reducing the storage capacity of the medicine cabinet per se.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A locked medicine safe for installation within conventional medicine cabinets of a wide variety of sizes and shapes, providing security for the contents while permitting visual access to the interior of the safe. The device comprises a subenclosure having a rear wall which is disposed in abutting relation to the rear wall of the medicine cabinet. The device is preferably secured to the rear wall of the cabinet by fastener means, such as sheet metal screws, access to which screws is available only when the front door of the safe is open.
The side walls of the safe are each provided with vertically spaced-apart, forwardly and rearwardly directed slots, each of the slots providing a large vertical clearance area. The conventional shelves existing in medicine cabinets are sleeved through registering pairs of slots in the side walls of the safe. The vertical adjusting means conventionally provided in medicine cabinets are located along their support standards to position the shelves substantially centrally within the clearance areas defined by the slots.
By this means the existing shelves of a medicine cabinet also form the shelves of the safe, the spaces between the slots and the shelves permitting visual access to the interior of the safe. By disposing the shelves centrally within the spaces, removal of the contents of the safe through the slots is prevented, the shelves serving to subdivide and reduce the clearances.
Optionally, the front door of the safe may be formed of transparent plastic material so as to provide visual access to the front row of drugs and medications disposed within the safe, visual access to the rearwardly located medications being available through the sides, as noted above.
The front door, whether transparent or otherwise, is provided with locking means of any conventional sort.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a universal medicine safe which may be readily installed in any of a wide variety of different medicine cabinets, thus to reduce or eliminate the requirement for a vendor to stack a plurality of different sizes of safes.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a medicine safe of the type described having walls defining a series of vertically spaced-apart slots, through which slots the shelves of conventional medicine cabinets may be sleeved, to permit these shelves also to serve as the shelves of the safe, and thereby avoid ineflicient use of the space within the cabinet.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the type described wherein visual access to the interior of the safe is provided through a front door or wall portion which is preferably transparent and, additionally, through the spaces between the shelves and the slots in the side wall.
To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a medicine cabinet within which is installed a medicine safe of the type described;
FIG. 2 is a magnified vertical section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a magnified horizontal section taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings, 10 identifies an essentially conventional medicine cabinet of the type which includes vertical boundary walls 11, 12, a top wall 13 and a bottom wall 14. The cabinet 10 is conventionally mounted in either recessed or projecting fashion to a wall or bulkhead 15 of a bathroom.
Vertical adjustment standards 16 are fixed to the inner faces of the boundary walls 11, 12, the standards being provided with conventional clips 17 selectively attached thereto at desired heights, to support the horizontal shelves 18 of the medicine cabinet. The height or spacing of the shelves, as is well known, may be controlled by the positioning of the clips. The medicine cabinet may include a door 19 connected by hinges 20 to the wall 12, in known manner.
The medicine safe 21 is adapted to be mounted within the medicine cabinet to provide visual access to the contents of the safe while barring access to the contents except to one having a key which fits the lock in the door 22 of the safe.
The safe includes vertical side walls 23, 24, a back wall 25, a top wall 26 and a bottom wall 27. The top, bottom, side and back walls are preferably made of metal to a box-like conformation. The front door 22, which is optionally but preferably fabricated of transparent plastic material, is connected by hinges 28 to side wall 23. A conventional key operated lock mechanism 29 may include a lock cam 30 which, in the locked position, inwardly laps a fixed locking dog 31 extending inwardly from the wall 24.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing that one having a key capable of operating the lock 29 will be able to rotate the cam 90 so as to clear the cam from the path of the locking dog 31, permitting the door 22 to be swung open.
The medicine safe is fixed in position within the cabinet by conventional fasteners, such as sheet metal screws 32 which extend rearwardly through the back wall 29 of the safe and into the back wall 33 of the medicine cabinet. It will be appreciated that access to the attaching screws may be had only when the door 22 is open, thus preventing bodily removal of the safe by an unauthorized person.
The side wall portions 23, 24 of the safe are provided with vertically spaced-apart, transversely directed slots 34, 34', 35, 35', 36, 36'. As will best be seen from FIG. 1, the slots extend transversely for the greater part of the depth of the safe. Additionally, the vertical height of the slots is considerably greater than that required to accommodate the thickness of the shelves 18 of the medicine cabinet.
At the initial installation, the shelves are sleeved with the slots 34, 34, 35, 35', 36, 36 in advance of attachment of the mounting screws 32. Thereafter, the clips 17 are adjusted heightwisely to orient the shelves 18 within the slots in such manner that the shelves are essentially centrally located within the slots.
From the foregoing it will be evident that, due to the vertical extent of the slots, a range of heightwise adjustment of the shelves may be provided which will permit the medicine safe to be accommodated to substantially any existing medicine cabinet.
Further, the oversize slots provide a particularly desirable feature, namely, the ability to inspect the contents of the safe by lateral observation through the slots without permitting sufiicient clearance for abstraction of the contents of the safe.
It has been determined that a heightwise dimension for the slots of about 1% to 2" is ideal. Where a shelf is centrally disposed within such a slot and assuming a shelf thickness of about A, a total available clearance space of from about 1% to 1%" is provided. However, as this clearance area is subdivided by the shelves, an actual clearance of A" or less is available and, as will be readily recognized, such space is not sufiicient for the withdrawal of normal sized medicament containers.
If particularly high security is desired and visual access through the side portions is not important, it is feasible to reduce the clearance areas adjacent any of the shelves by the simple expedient of readjusting the clips supporting the shelf or shelves adjacent which minimum clearances are required.
From the foregoing it will be evident that there is provided a medicine safe having the primary advantages of universality and high security, while permitting ready inspection of the contents. The installation of the safe may be easily accomplished, and the safe cannot be removed except by an authorized person having key means permitting access to the screws or like mounting expedients.
By enabling the use of existing shelving, the space within the medicine cabinet is employed in the most eificient manner possible.
Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In a medicine cabinet of the type which comprises an enclosure having a plurality of vertically adjustable shelves and a back wall portion, a universal medicine safe for the visibly accessible storage of medicines, drugs and the like comprising a rear wall fixed to said back wall, side walls and a closure member movable between locking and unlocking positions of said safe, lock means actuatable to fix said closure member in said locked position to prevent access to the contents of said safe, each said side wall including a plurality of vertically spaced-apart horizontal slots extending across substantially the entirety of said side walls, the slots of said side walls being in registry with each other, said shelves extending through a pair of said registering slots, the vertical extent of said slots above said shelves being sufficient to define a substantial clearance area thus to provide visual access to the contents of said shelves.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said closure member is transparent.
3. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said side walls are opaque.
4. In combination, a medicine cabinet comprising an enclosure including a back wall portion and spaced, vertically directed boundaries, said boundaries including vertically adjustable shelf support means, a medicine safe in said enclosure including a rear wall, side walls and a front closure member movable between locking and unlocking positions of said safe, lock means actuatable to fix said closure member in said locked position to prevent access to the contents of said safe, each said side wall including a plurality of vertically spaced-apart, horizontally directed slots extending across substantially the entirety of said side walls, the slots of said side walls being in registry, a plurality of shelves supported on said adjustable support means, each said shelf extending through a registering pair of said slots, the vertical extent of said slots being sufficient to define a substantial clearance area, thus to provide visual access to the contents of said shelves and to permit substantial vertical adjustment of said shelves within said slots, said slots limiting outward movement of said shelves with respect to said enclosure.
5. A device in accordance with claim 4 wherein said shelves are adjusted to be disposed substantially medially within said slots, whereby the clearance areas defined between said slots and shelves above and below said shelves are substantially equal.
6. A device in accordance with claim 4 and including fastener means securing said rear wall to said back Wall, said fastener means being positioned within said safe to be accessible only in the open position of said closure member.
7. A device in accordance with claim 5 wherein the vertical extent of said slots is from about 1 /2 to about 2".
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 391,506 10/1888 Brown 312-209 1,254,132 1/1918 Garman. 1,758,843 5/1930 Lizotte 312245 X 3,008,785 11/1961 Gehrs 312245 X 3,071,425 1/1963 West 312209 X 3,185,534 5/1965 Peters 312209 3,187,926 6/ 1965 Zimmet.
DENNIS L. TAYLOR, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 312-245
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|U.S. Classification||312/209, 312/245, D06/559|
|International Classification||A47B67/02, A47B67/00|