While we would normally encourage anyone who needs to open a large, round-body style padlock (such as the many, many clones of the popular AmericanLock 700-series design) or square-body style padlock (such as the AmericanLock 1100-series or 5000-series and their clones) to use the AmericanLock Bypass Driver tool (which we also carry) sometimes for reasons of difficulty or exigency, first responders will opt to perform a semi-destructive attack against these types of padlocks.
Using a prying tool like a large flathead screwdriver, it may be possible to crack off the padlock's bottom cover plate, in order to dump out the plug and expose the actuator cam. What to do then varies from person to person. Often, firefighters will employ homemade devices which they assemble using old keys and scrap parts from previous padlocks to turn the cam.
Instead of obligating first responders to cobble together bits of metal trash from the ground, we decided we would try to make something that would be more compact, just as reliable, and easier to obtain and keep on your person.
Deviant Ollam designed our "Fire Plug" to serve, essentially, as a stand-in for the plug of a padlock that has been subjected to this partial disassembly technique. Our Fire Plug can reside easily on a keychain or in a vehicle's entry tool kit, ready to be employed at a moment's notice.
The Fire Plug has two holes on its shaft, one can accommodate a keychain while the other serves as a potential torque application point. If a padlock is being particularly recalcitrant, anything from a screwdriver to a pen to another key can be inserted into the additional hole on our tool to give the user some additional turning force. Generally, however, it's possible to easily turn most padlock tail cams if the Fire Plug is on a conventional keyring.
NOTE: This attack technique is most applicable to inexpensive "no name" padlocks built in the AmericanLock style. Actual, name-brand AmericanLock products often have a bottom plate that is considerably more sturdy and harder to crack than the parts featured on cheaper clones. AmericanLock bottom plates have a distinct letter "A" stamped on them. One competing brand, PacificLock a.k.a. PacLock, has similarly robust bottom plates. PacLock plates are stamped with a small letter "P" on them.
If an individual can successfully manage to crack the bottom plates of either such brand of product, then the Red Team Tools Fire Plug will work just fine to open these padlocks. But that's a big "if" there in step one, hah!