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What Are Lock Standards And Why Do They Matter?
Most people are completely unaware of lock standards, BS3621 in particular. However, even knowing a little about this standard can be very useful. Having a lock that meets the correct lock standard will mean that it has been thoroughly tested and meets certain criteria. As an Edinburgh locksmith I have witnessed first-hand the difference they make. They make your property much more secure and deter intruders. Having locks that meet the required standard can also affect your home insurance policy. If your home is broken into and you do not have the correct standard of lock, your policy may be invalidated. This means that your insurer may refuse to pay out.
What are Standards and why do we have them?
Standards are the agreed best way of doing something or of meeting specific criteria. Standards are created by a collaboration of experts, academics, users, manufacturers etc. These groups come together and share knowledge and best practice. This is then written into a document known as a Standard. British Standards exist across multiple technologies and industries.
... is BS3621?
BS3621 is the British Standard for ‘Lock assemblies operated by key from both the inside and outside of the door.’ This standard applies to
• Mortice Deadlocks & SashLocks
• Euro DeadLocks & SashLocks
• Cylinder locks e.g. Nightlatches and rim cylinders
In order for a lock to comply with BS3621, specific design criteria and functionality must be met e.g. the lock must have 5 levers, be able to withstand a drill attack for up to 5 minutes, have an anti-picking mechanism and have a specified minimum bolt length etc.
Do all locks on exterior doors need to be BS3621 standard?
This depends on the type of property. Locks that conform to this standard should be fitted to appropriate external doors usually found in homes. The exception to this is that they are not suitable for use on common main door exits on flats. A lock with a key on the outside and a thumbwheel on the inside is more appropriate to allow emergency exit without the use of a key.
How do I know if my lock is BS3621?
If a lock conforms to BS3621 the Kitemark and standard reference should be stamped on the face of the lock. This will be visible when the door is open and is also prominent on the packaging material.
What about insurance companies?
All insurance companies have different requirements. However, usually there is a requirement that relevant locks must comply with BS3621. If you state that your locks meet this standard when taking out a policy and subsequently this is shown not to be the case, your insurance provider may reject any future claims.
What about other lock standards?
There are a number of other standards, which are specific to specific lock types. Here are some of the most common ones.
• BS8621- ‘Lock assemblies operated by a key from the outside of the door & by handle or thumbturn from the inside of the door’
• BS10621- ‘Lock assemblies in which the operating mode can be switched between the normal BS8621 operating mode and a secure mode in which no egress is possible’
•TS007 three star - this is an updated and improved version of the Kitemark standard for cylinder locks. This update was developed specifically in response to criminals using bespoke methods to specifically attack lock cylinders. It provides several layers of protection.
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