Your guide to standards
What it all means and why they are important Introduction It’s not often your forced to think about how good, or bad, your locks are on your windows and doors.
But a number of factors can make you investigate whether your property is adequately secure. It might be that you’ve bought a new house and your insurance company forces you to consider whether you are adequately protected, or worst case scenario, you’ve been a victim of crime and are looking to improve the resilience of the locking mechanism on your doors and windows.
But like many things in the home improvement world knowing exactly what you need, or indeed why you need it, can be a daunting thought.
This simple guide tells you what all the buzzwords mean and why you should look out for accredited hardware.
Secured by Design is an initiative operated by the Association of Chief Police Officers and focuses on the prevention of crime with regard to homes and commercial premises and promotes the use of security standards for a wide range of applications and products.
The aim of SBD is to raise the security of dwellings and commercial premises, both new and refurbishments through an approval scheme for a complete project, based upon a design phase assessment and final inspection of the completed works, which can often have implications for funding with regards to government funded works.
PAS 0 24 is the gold standard for window and doors in the UK (excluding single point locks that fall under BS 3621).
PAS 0 24 hardware provides enhanced security performance and it takes into account all of the methods that a burglar might use to gain access to your property.
PAS 0 24 is an independent test carried out on a whole door or window where components are tested within that door/ window to certain standards.
Individually products/ components cannot be tested to PAS 024 as it is the door or window that holds the test certification. For example a door lock on its own will be able to meet the requirements of PAS 024 as part of whole door set but cannot state this as a stand - alone product.
Supporting these standards is a broad range of organisations all with the joint objective to ensure that today’s locking hardware can really withstand an attempted break in that involves manipulating or breaking the locking mechanism.
What is a 1 star, 2 star or 3 star product?
The Door and Hardware Federation and the Glass and Glazing Federation together launched this performance standard aimed at giving guidance for homeowners looking to replace existing cylinder locks on doors.
TS007 is aimed at protecting cylinder locks against all known methods of forced entry, including picking, manipulation, bumping and snapping, and sets out to provide a way to upgrading the cylinder security of your door.
For absolute clarity, the cylinder is the metal component you put your key in.
Cylinder and hardware solutions that have successfully met the requirements of the standard will be marked in accordance with a star rating scheme, with a cumulative total of three stars being necessary to provide complete security.
This can be in the form of a cylinder capable of resisting all attack, or a combination of one star anti manipulation cylinder with two star protective hardware such as a security handle.
Protective handles are a great visual deterrent for a burglar because they can easily see that they can’t tamper with the cylinder mechanism – but at the same time they look nice too with less metal on show.
See our ‘How to’ section for information on how to change your cylinder and fit a security handle.
BS 3621 and bs 8621 – Security standard for external locks
This BS series was introduced to provide a set of national performance standards for single point locks, to provide a simple tool for the specification of locks deemed suitable to provide security for external doors.
Locks, certified to BS 3 621, carrying the BSI Kitemark can be recognised by the Kitemark on the product or the packaging and are often minimum requirements for home insurance policies.
Please note if you have a multi-point lock on your door this falls outside of this standard – please see PAS 0 24 above.
BS 8621 – as above for the Keyless Egress security standard for external locks HOME INSURANCE to meet home insurance requirements, please ensure that:
- Existing doors are fitted with a multi-point lock with hooks and have a TS007 3 star cylinder and handle combination fitted. This ensures that the security is equivalent to BS 3621 Or
- Existing doors are fitted with a Nightlatch and/ or Mortice Lock certified to BS 3621 or BS 8621.
- Existing Windows are fitted with strong locks and have handles with keys should be fitted to all downstairs windows . Remember to remove keys from locked windows and keep them out of sight, in a safe place
- For new doors ask your installer for PA S 024 security test assurance for the door or window.
To meet home insurance requirements, please ensure that:
- Existing doors are fitted with a multi-point lock with hooks and have a TS007 3 star cylinder and handle combination fitted. This ensures that the security is equivalent to BS 3621 Or Existing doors are fitted with a Nightlatch and/ or Mortice Lock certified to BS 3621 or BS 8621.
- Existing Windows are fitted with strong locks and have handles with keys should be fitted to all downstairs windows. Remember to remove keys from locked windows and keep them out of sight, in a safe place
- For new doors ask your installer for PAS 024 security test assurance for the door or window.
FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, and provides a route for window/ door installers to demonstrate their compliance to building regulations for replacement windows and doors.
FENSA require that installers wishing to be approved to use the scheme, meet certain minimum criteria with regard to terms and conditions, insurance backed warranty provision, and minimum insurance cover.
Approved installers then register each window/ door installation that falls under building regulations controlled fitting status and a sample are inspected each year by a FENSA inspector. The householder is issued with a certificate to demonstrate compliance.
If your installer is not FENSA registered – walk away.
The Green Deal is a government scheme designed to promote the uptake of energy efficient building improvements in both the domestic and commercial sectors.
Effectively, finance is available through Green Deal Providers, and is re-paid as a charge on the electricity meter of the property (i.e., an addition to the bill)
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