What is a British Standard lock?
When changing locks, moving into a new property, renewing/contracting a property insurance or simply on any other occasion, we will face some doubts and questions about our locks or the security of our property’s entrance, from the locksmith or the insurance company.
Do you want/need a British Standard lock? Do you currently have a British Standard lock fitted in you main entrance? What is a British Standard Lock? How important is having a British Standard lock? What does a British Standard lock look like? What makes it a British Standard approval?
We will now try and answer some of these questions.
So what does ‘British Standard’ mean?
A British Standard sets a benchmark for quality of goods and services. These are produced by the British Standards Institution (BSI). A Royal Charter grants the BSI the authority to prepare, revise, alter and amend the standards “as experience and circumstances require.”
Products and services that the BSI certifies meet the requirements of specific standards and are awarded the BSI Kitemark. These can be found on product packaging and the products themselves.
- BS3621 is a British Standard relating to thief-resistant locks.
- EN 1303:2005 is a European Norm relating to cylinders.
Together, these standards benchmark the minimum performance for locks and cylinders on external or entrance doors to be acceptable to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the police service.
Having a BS lock on your main home entrances could cut your insurance bills. In some cases, you’ll get a discount off the normal premium if your property has a higher degree of security. But beware that in some areas, if you don’t have the right locks, you may struggle to get cover at a reasonable price. Company insurers when quoting look for BS approved locks for main entrances.
So what do you get for your money with a BS3621 Locks and EN 1303:2005 Euro profile Cylinders?
The security of a lock cannot reliably be assessed by simply looking at it, so tests that simulate common attack methods and usage are required.
- The lock must be able to resist attack from drilling the case of the lock for at least 5 minutes. Anti-Drill locks usually have a reinforced plate where the levers are.
- The bolt must also resist attack for 5 minutes by cutting or drilling.
- There must be a mechanism (Anti-Pick) in place to resist manipulation (Picking) off the lock.
- The bolt must project at least 20 mm into a full bodied steel keep when locked.
- Impact on the locking bolt and a sideward force of 10Kn is required before the lock fails.
- There must be at least 1000 differs to the range of locks. This is how many key shapes will differ between locks. If there is a street with 1001 front doors with all the same make and model of lock fitted then somewhere one key will fit two doors.
- When acquiring a euro profile cylinder lock, look at the anti-burglary technology that this one has. Really recommend an Anti-Snap cylinder, because when this one is being attacked, the front will snap-off leaving the other part still on the lock, without allowing burglars to gain entrance.
Further recommendations would be having one-way screwed on escutcheons, instead of the cheap stick-on ones, these will give extra protection to your cylinder. Also having at least one Auto deadlocking night latch on your main door prevents the most common way of entry for burglars, which is card slipping.
So indeed, it is totally recommended and worth having a BS security lock or cylinder on the entrances of your property, not only because you might save money on your home insurance bills, but also because it will make your home more secure to break-ins. When choosing a lock don’t just try and save up a few pounds, pay a bit more and get British Standard approved locks.