Locks need upgrading to meet insurance standards?

Check your home contents insurance policy - does it state that you must have BS 3621 (British Standard) locks fitted to all final exit doors, or locks with at least 5 levers, and window locks (with removable keys) on all windows? If the small print states you must have 'approved locks', do you know exactly what they mean? Call them and find out - chances are that you are not insured if you do not have the level of security they require. 

So what does BS3621 (British Standard) actually mean? 

Most people are familiar with the phrase 'BS 5 lever Mortice locks' from their home insurance policy documents, but what does it take for them to pass the British Standard certification? Below is a quick guide to the most common requirements: 

1. Differs

a. All locks must have a minimum of 1000 differs.

b. Key markings should be used only once and shouldn’t disclose the combination of the key. 

2. Lock case

a. Lock cases must be hardened and anti-drill. 

b. Lock cases must be able to withstand a lateral force of 10,000N for a minimum of one minute. 

c. Hook or claw bolts must be able to withstand a pull force of at least 6,000N. 

3. Deadbolt

a. The deadbolt must throw at least 20mm.

b. The deadbolt is tested with a force of 15N to the end of the deadbolt to ensure that it cannot be pushed back.

c. The deadbolt must be able to withstand attack by cutting or drilling and is subjected to 5 minutes of drilling.   The deadbolt must be able to withstand a force of 6,000N for one minute in the direction that the bolt moves to unlock.

4. Latch

The latch mechanism is tested for 200,000 cycles with a side load on the latch bolt of 10N.

5. Strikes

Staples and strikes are tested by applying a force of 10,000N.

6. GVA

Lastly, a General Vulnerability Assessment (GVA) is carried out by a panel of locksmiths using hand tools to replicate an attack by a burglar. The methods employed are changed from time to time to reflect current trends. 

So what else to consider? 

Have you suffered a break-in and are concerned that the burglars may have taken keys. Do you want your locks changing to be safe? Have you recently purchased a house, and unsure who still has possession of the keys? Are you concerned about the security of your new property? Has a relationship ended and you worry that your ex-partner still might have keys to your property? Are you a landlord and a tenant has disappeared with the keys. 

Don't worry, we have seen it all before. Unless badly worn there is no need to replace many locks since most can be re-keyed at far less cost than their replacement value. All locks supplied and fitted including Upvc cylinders and locking mechanisms, rim cylinders, mortice and sash deadlocks to insurance approved BS3621 standard (where applicable), are of the highest quality. We do not fit cheap, low-quality foreign imports that fail after a few months, those sorts of locks you see on eBay. Would you trust the security of your family and home to an unbranded lock bought cheap!! We stock well-known respected brands, proven to give years of reliable service. We also supply and fit hinge bolts (essential for outward opening doors), padlocks, digital locks, shoot bolts, door chains, door viewers, patio door locks, and other various domestic and commercial locking devices.  All brands of lock supplied – Chubb, Union, Yale, Era, Legge, Securefast, etc. 

Tip #1: Using a dry lubricant like graphite will keep your locks functioning in top notch shape.

Tip #2: If it is getting harder to turn the lock, the lock/keeps may be out of alignment. Don't force the key because your likely to break the key off in the lock.

Tip #3: If in doubt, a lockset problem or door repair might be best left in the able hands of a professional locksmith - such as Linacre Locksmiths.