What is British Standard?
A British standard is a minimum standard that a product must be manufactured in accordance with before it is recognised by the relevant authorities as a quality product. Insurance companies will specify for example that all external wooden doors on domestic properties are fitted with a British Standard deadlock. The British Standard stamp is widely regarded as a sign of quality and is signified with the kitemark.
The Kitemark can be used to indicate certification by the British Standard Institution, but only where a Kitemark scheme has been set up around a particular standard. It is mainly applicable to safety and quality management standards. There is a common misunderstanding that Kitemarks are necessary to prove compliance with any British standard, but in general it is neither desirable nor possible that every standard be ‘policed’ in this way.
How to Identify British Standard Locks
- Look for the British Standard Kitemark engraved on the lock or handle.
- Look for the Standard Number underneath
If you have the kitemark on your locks they are British Standard, you can find which specification they meet with the standard number.
BS3621 is the most common British Standard number you will find on domestic locks. This code applies to mortice and rim cylinders where a key is used on both sides of the door. This standard is tested against different burglary techniques, such as drilling and picking, and is often the minimum security requirements of insurance policies.
How to Tell If You Have a BS3621 Lock
- Look for the British Standard Kitemark
- Look for the BS3621 standard number engraved below. It should have a version year accompanying it for example BS3621:2007
This standard refers to British Standard locks that require a key from the outside but not the inside, they are most common in flat buildings where on the inside of the door there is a thumb turn lock. Mortice locks, euro cylinders and rim cylinders can all conform to BS8621.
How to Tell If You Have a BS8621 Lock
- Look for the British Standard Kitemark
- Look for the BS8621 standard number engraved below. It should have a version year accompanying it for example BS8621:2007
Usually seen on commercial spaces, BS10621 refer to British Standard locks that can only be locked by a key from the outside. These are rarely used as they need to be used where there is another exit route in case of emergency.
How to Tell If You Have a BS10621 Lock
- Look for the British Standard Kitemark
- Look for the BS10621 standard number engraved below. It should have a version year accompanying it for example BS10621:2007
What is BS:EN?
The difference between BS and BS EN is that a “BS” (British Standard) document is generally confined to the UK and many British territories, whereas a “BS EN” (British Standard European Norm) document applies to many European countries and includes the UK.
An EN number is the number given to a product to signify the standard to which that particular product has been manufactured. The EN number is an 8 digit code. Each digit represents the rating of a particular feature of the product.
If a product meets a certain EN number and conforms to the British standards it can then be classed as a BS EN product; BS indicating it meets all relevant British standards and the EN number displaying its rating within each category.
When assessing the security of your home you may want to consider upgrading your cylinder to one that protects you against the five most common methods of attack:
- Plug Extraction
The majority of kitemarked cylinders will protect your door from these types of attack but it is recommended that you stay up to date with all the new ways you can maintain your home security and equally as important, that you comply with your home insurance requirements.
TS007:2012 is a Technical Specification that has been produced in the form of a document by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). The DHF and GGF worked closely alongside Secured by Design (the Association of Chief Police Officer’s crime prevention initiative) to develop the TS007 Kitemark standard.
In order to effectively protect your home from any type of attack it is advisable to update your cylinder to one that is TS007 Kitemark standard.
Meeting the TS007 Standard
The TS007 standard is characterised by a star rating and also uses a third party certification mark, typically the Kitemark. The star rating will also be imprinted on the cylinders and door furniture. It provides a mix and match approach with the ability to interchange cylinders and security hardware giving a flexible way to achieve the three star rating.
How the TS007 star rating works
TS007 star rating explained
* 1 Star rating
For a cylinder to achieve this rating it is tested in the manner equivalent to the BS 3621:2007 and the minimum requirements of BS EN 1303:2005.
** 2 Star rating
For security hardware to receive a two star rating the protection offered by the hardware to the cylinder is tested in the manner equivalent to the PAS 24 test. In addition, where possible, the hardware’ durability and corrosion resistance are tested in accordance with the European handle standard EN 1906:2010.
*** 3 Star rating
For a cylinder to receive three stars, it must meet the requirements of the one star cylinder and also withstand an attack similar to the PAS 24 cylinder test without the benefit of any protective hardware.
How British Standard Can Affect Your Insurance
What many people might not be aware that your locks can actually affect your home insurance and your policy. Most people will just go onto a compare website, enter their details, and then find the cheapest deal but doing so might put your home and your policy at risk without the proper information.
Lock Requirements for Insurance Policies
When a policy provider calculates your home insurance premium there are a few things that they consider, one of the big ones is what security you have on your home.
Confused.com advise those looking for home insurance that some insurance providers might insist you have a certain type of lock to get cover and will often shave money off a policy if you have higher security locks.
Five-Lever Mortice Locks
On wooden doors, one of the most common locks fitted on the door is a mortice. Fitted flush against the door, mortice locks mostly have either 3 or 5 levers where the more levers a mortice lock has the more secure it is.
Moneysupermarket.com suggest that you may need BS3621 standard five lever mortice deadlocks on all of the external doors to qualify for home insurance policies and with higher security locks insurance premiums might be lower due to the added security on your home. GoCompare.com is another that gives similar advice suggesting that you’ll need at least a 5 lever mortice to meet an insurance providers minimum requirements.
Nightlatches (Yale Locks)
Nightlatches, often referred to as Yale locks, are mounted onto a door and often feature automatic locking when the door closes and deadlocking.
These locks are considered to be the least secure type of locks, and as LV describes, insurers will often require you to have additional security like a BS3621 mortice lock.
uPVC and Composite Doors Locks
Most, if not all, uPVC and composite doors will have multipoint locking systems that are controlled by a central cylinder. You can get lots of different types of cylinders which have different types of security, like anti-snap (link to new page), and whilst upvc and composite doors are considered to be more than secure than wooden doors, comparethemarket.com highlight SS312 Diamond approved cylinders in particular. These cylinders conform to the TS007 star rating and have received 3 stars.
Like on wooden doors, some insurance policies may have a minimum requirement of the locks on your upvc or composite door but having higher security models that are British Standard and are a part of the TS007 star rating should help you shave a few pounds from your policy premium.
What You Need to Know
When choosing a home insurance policy, you’ll need to consider the policy terms and conditions. Whilst choosing the cheapest one seems the best course of action, you’ll need to read the policy to find out if they have any security requirements.
Likewise, if your locks aren’t British Standard, it might be worth investing in getting them updated as in the long run this might be the most cost effective option for you!
For more advice on your home insurance visit Keytek’s Guide to Insurance.
Upgrading to British Standard
If you are looking to upgrade to British Standard locks, our experienced and skilled Locksmiths are able to assess, upgrade and fit new British standard locks to ensure you meet minimum insurance requirements. Find your local Locksmith here or call us on 0808 164 2928 where one of our team will be able to help.