You are here:

Antique Safes/York Safe Information

Advertisement


Question
I need some help identifying the type of tear gas used in an old safe. It appears that both York Safe and Badger are out of business. I have photos to send you that could assist with identification. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Answer
Carrie,

I'm not sure why you would want the "type" of tear gas identified.   With the exception of pepper spray, pretty much ALL tear gas is illegal in most states.

Badger quit providing "Safe Protectors" as an aftermarket item in the early 1980's.   Generally most of their stuff was either a CS or CN type of agent.   Badgers 1981 patent drawing references go back to the early 1950's but do not list the type of gas in use, other than to call it a "repulsive chemical agent" (tear gas).   Most of the documentation that I've seen concerning Badger Safe Protectors, indicated that the chemical in use WAS a CS type of agent.

NOTE:   THESE devices were NOT installed by the safe manufacturer, but as an aftermarket add on.

WARNING:  These are extremely dangerous items, which is one of the reasons that they are illegal to own.  If the vials are broken inside of a residence or office, it may not be useable for several weeks.   People with respriatory problems may suffer death if exposed to CS or CN type agents.

Recommend that the unit be removed from the safe for disposal.   You have several options.   Obviously first we be to contact your local police or fire department for disposal.
Problems - as they few this as a serious issue, there is a really good chance they will show up at your house with a HAZMAT team and the Bomb Squad.   In addition to having the item removed, you may get a fine for possession (regardless of how you obtained it), and fees for disposal (cost of HAZMAT Team, bomb Disposal, Fire Department, Police, etc.)
In addition to the above problems, having it attached to the safe also may constitute a felony offense as the safe is considered booby trapped.   Generally this is considered that you have boobytrapped the safe to catch a "person", regardless of HIS intent to your safe.

Second recommendation - Contact a local safe company to have it removed.   You won't have the bomb squad and HAZMAT team showing up.   Cost would be much less, and they will take care of having it disposed in a safe manner.

Third option - NOT a recommendation - you remove the device yourself, and dispose of it.   If you choose to simply break the vials to disperse the gas rather than turning it in to a HAZMAT center for disposal, make sure that it is in a well ventilated area, like a gravel pit or quarry, with no one around, and no one down wind who might be affected by it.   It will disperse rather quickly and no one should get hurt.
Problems of course would be not using common sense and having the police involved, which could wind up with some of the above listed problem areas.

I would be more than happy to look at any photos that you have of the device if you are interested in verifying any thing above.   If you need the name of a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode), and I'll see who I know in your area.

You can send photos of the device to me at:   andy@securitysafeusa.com  

Antique Safes

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.