American Series 2500 Locks – By Chris Collier

The American Series 2500 padlock is the newest addition to the “hockey puck” line of locks.  The Series 2500 locks are very different than the Series 2000, and will sometimes require a different forcible entry method. The Series 2000 and Series 2500 lock via a pin sliding through a channel within the circular lock body.  The major difference between the lock styles is the way that the pin is locked in place.

The Series 2000 lock uses a flared end of the pin.  When the pin is pushed into the receiver and turned 90˚, the pin locks in place, thus locking the lock.  The flared end piece is the sole component holding this lock “locked”, and is the reason why we cut the lock three-quarters opposite the pin/keyway, which will cause the lock to release.

The Series 2500 lock utilizes a similar locking pin, however the pin is locked in place via a spring loaded metal slide.  The keyway is located on the face of the Series 2500 lock (as opposed to being attached to the end of the locking pin on the Series 2000).  The Series 2500 has a pivoting arm attached to the back of the keyway which rotates when the key is turned causing the spring loaded metal slide to release the locking pin.  Cutting this lock three-quarters opposite the locking pin will not cause the pin to release.

Cutting the Series 2500 three-quarters opposite the locking pin will remove the lock from its attachment UNLESS it is protected by a circular-type guard.  The circular-type guard will keep the lock in place since the pin is not released by the cut.  Since the lock body cannot be maneuvered out of the guard due to it being tight around the lock, the lock will not be defeated.

The ability to identify these locks, and how they are mounted, will directly impact how we go about forcing them.  Here are our recommended methods for forcing the American Series 2500 lock in priority order:

1. If the lock is NOT protected by a circular guard – cut three-quarters opposite the LOCKING PIN, as in an American Series 2000.

2. If the lock IS protected by a circular guard:

a. Locking a roll down gate: Cut the rail above and below the lock and bend the rail out using the forks of the Halligan.

b. Locking a swinging gate or door (contractor van): Cut the bolt-heads or attachment points.

3. If locking a roll down gate, and access cannot be gained (confined area) to cut the rail: Cut the gate itself.

Lock manufacturers have always developed new versions of locks to stay one step ahead of the criminals that try to defeat them.  As firefighters, we must also evolve our forcible entry tactics and procedures to remain current with the lock technology as it evolves.  Take a look around your area and if you find something new, figure it out before the fire.  It may be the difference between losing a store or two, or an entire block!

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