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Do all locks on exterior doors need to meet certain standards?

Local locksmiths are often unaware of lock standards. I am particularly concerned about BS3621. It is unfortunate because even knowing the basics can prove very helpful. The lock standards guarantee that locks installed on doors are thoroughly tested and meet certain criteria. These standards make your home more secure and deter criminals. Your home insurance policy may be affected if you have locks that do not meet the requirements. Your policy could be invalidated if the lock you have is not up to standard. In this case, your insurer might refuse to pay.
1. What are British Standards (BS), you ask?

The best way to do something or meet specific criteria is a standard. Experts, academics, users and manufacturers create standards. These groups work together to share best practices and knowledge. These are then compiled into a document called a Standard. British Standards are applicable to many industries and technologies. Conformance to any given BS indicates that you have met the specified criteria.

2. What is BS3621?

BS 3621, which was established in 2007, is the British Standard for:

Lock assemblies that can be opened from the outside and inside of the door.

This standard is applicable to:

Mortice Deadlocks & SashLocks
Euro DeadLocks & SashLocks
Cylinder locks e.g. Nightlatches, rim cylinders

Specific design criteria and functionality are required for locks to conform with BS3621. The lock must be equipped with 5 levers, can withstand a drill attack lasting up to 5 minutes, and have an anti-picking mechanism. It also needs to have a minimum bolt length.

This standard is the basis of “good thief-resistant locks”.

3. All exterior door locks must conform to BS3621 standards

It all depends on what type of property you have. A locksmith service will install them on appropriate exterior doors, e.g. Wooden or timber doors. These doors are most commonly found in domestic homes. These locks offer optimal security and peace of mind at reasonable prices.

This exception is that they cannot be used on common main doors on apartments or flats. It is better to use a lock that has a thumbwheel and a key on its inside. This provides emergency exit for all households, without the need to use a key. (This lock type should comply with BS8621 – please see below).

4. How do I know if my lock conforms to BS3621?

British Standards Institute (BSI), conducts rigorous standardised testing to evaluate new locks. This includes common “attack” methods, wear reliability and safety. Upon successful completion of the testing, BSI awards a “Kitemark” to the lock design and product.

One of the most recognized symbols to indicate quality, reliability, and trust is the BSI Kitemark. A lock that conforms to BS3621 should have the kitemark or standard reference stamped on its face. This should be clearly visible on the packaging material and the door when it is opened.

5. Insurance companies may require locks to comply with BS3621

Different requirements apply to different insurance companies. However, most insurance companies have different requirements. BS3621 is the standard for locks. Your insurance provider might reject future claims if you accidentally indicate that your locks meet this standard.

6. Do you have other standards for locking?

There are many other standards that are applicable to specific lock types. These are the most common.

BS8621 – “Lock assemblies operated using a key from outside the door and a handle or thumbturn inside the door.”

The BS8621 standard applies to locks that require a key for entry, but not for exit. They are found most commonly on main doors in blocks of flats. These locks have a key on one side and a thumb turn at the other. This lock allows emergency escape without the use of a key.

BS10621 – Lock assemblies that allow the user to switch between the normal BS8621operating mode or a secure mode without allowing for egress’

These locks provide all the functionality and security of BS8621 locks, but also allow you to access the key from outside to disable interior escape functions (thumbwheel/thumbturn). If you are the last person to leave the building, you can lock it up and disable the escape functions. This means that if someone broke into a door, they cannot escape through the window.

TS007 three stars – This is an improved and updated version of the Kitemark Standard for Cylinder Locks. It was jointly developed by the Door and Hardware Federation and Glass and Glazing Federation. This update was created in response to criminals who used specialized methods to attack lock cylinders. It offers several layers of protection.