Locks generally serve one purpose – to secure the door they’re attached to. Whether to keep things in or out, a lock is there to keep the door shut. But did you know that not all locks are created equal? There are all sorts of lock types out there, each designed for a different purpose, and some stronger than others. One thing we always recommend is choosing an ‘anti-snap’ lock for any door – but with so many different options claiming to be anti-snap it can be difficult to know which to choose. Step up, lock ratings. Lock ratings help you understand where on the security standard each lock falls, and how suitable it would be, and today we’re going to give you a quick rundown of what it all means.
The TS007 Standards
The standard governing this is called a TS007, and it’s the technical specification from the Door and Hardware Federation alongside the Glass and Glazing Federation. It was first introduced in 2011 as a response to the increase in burglaries and lock breaks, mainly thanks to the availability of information and video tutorials on the internet. The idea was to standardise high quality security for all lock cylinder and door hardware, and rank them using a star system. The lower the star rating of a lock, the lower the standard of protection and security it offers. Nice and simple!
1 Star Locks
1 star might sound like the bottom of the pile, but it’s actually somewhere in the middle. If a lock has achieved this 1 star rating, it means it’s been assessed and passed the criteria for the British Kitemark. So you know that safety standards have been met. These locks are resistant to drilling, picking and bumping.
However, they haven’t passed something called ‘snap testing’, which we’ll go into in a minute. This means they aren’t the most secure locks you can get, and are usually better on internal doors. The good news is you can improve the security by buying a 2-star level door handle, which paired with a 1 star lock will meet the TS007 3 star standard.
3 Star Locks
3 stars really is the middle of the pack. Locks that meet this standard have passed all of the TS007 tests, including that anti-snap test, and are considered to be of high quality and security level. That’s really all there is to know about them!
3 Star Solid Secure Diamond Locks
This one’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s the industry’s way of saying these locks are the best around. If a lock has got a 3 star solid secure diamond rating, it means the whole system has been tested and found to go above and beyond the usual standards for the TS007. To get this rating the locks and cylinders also have to be tested by the Master Locksmiths Association and given their seal of approval. So if your lock has this rating, you’re pretty much as secure as you’re going to get!
Now about that lock snapping business. Lock snapping is a common burglary techniques which involves snapping the lock cylinder in two by putting just the right amount of force in the right place and removing the outside part of the lock. This exposes the locking mechanism which can then be snapped off and the door opened. This technique, when successful, means someone could be inside your house in just 9 seconds!
So you want your locks to be resistant to this type of snap attack. This means they need to be fitted with a cylinder that has been tested for snap resistance and approved to either 3 star solid secure diamond rating, or have a 3 star Kitemark. This is important, because many people believe that any lock with a Kitemark is automatically anti=snap – and some companies even say so on the packaging – but this isn’t true. It’s only anti-snap if it’s 3 star Kitemark or 3 star solid secure diamond standard.
We all want to keep our homes and belongings safe, but it’s all too easy to forget how important the locks you choose are in that process. Criminals are getting more sophisticated all the time, developing new break in techniques to get around normal security measures. So you need a lock that has been tested and certified to resist all of those attempts and stand up to burglars no matter what’s thrown at it. If you don’t know what kind of lock you have, or you want to upgrade your locks, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help out.