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BS3621 – Are Your Locks Up To Standard?


We all like standards in life don’t we. A certain standard of living, important personal standards and hopefully at least a minimum standard of hygiene from our co-workers or local Mcdonalds.

But when it comes to locks there’s a standard everybody can aspire to. BS3621, or more fully, British Standards Institute BS3621.

A standard that even if you know very little about locks you’ll recognise from the familiar BSI ‘kitemark’ logo embossed on any lock that does have that high benchmark of materials, manufacture, and security.

It’s certainly been around long enough, BS3621 was first introduced on locks in 1963, (hey, happy 60th BS3621) and specifically for “locks operated by key from both the inside and outside of the door”, ie for common Mortice or Sash Locks which most homes have – ‘Yale’ type locks with a lever on the inside half of the lock are a different number, but in truth there’s actually been several versions of BS3621 since The Beatles’ first no 1.

There’s been 5…

BS3621 2017
BS3621 2007
BS3621 1998
BS3621 1980
BS3621 1963

And a little tip here, if you look at any lock that is BS3621 – go on, check the locks in your own property, now you will notice the year stamped on them as well! You can roughly know how old that lock of yours is.

Ta dah!

Yes, good old BS3621, it may well be 60 years old but you can literally say it’s wearing well. I’ve removed original BS3621 locks in older properties that have still worked nicely. Although 60 is a good retirement age for any faithful servant like that.

But if I have got you checking the external locks in your property, and they don’t have the kitemark symbol at all, then it is definitely time for an upgrade anyway.

Not just for yourself, and the security of your home since any lock without the kitemark is, how should I put this professionally, not good at security, but since most insurance companies require you to have BS3621 locks fitted, if you are burgled because of a substandard lock now your insurance company has the right to refuse your claim. Also you will agree, not good.

So dear reader, do yourself this favour. If you have mortice locks in your external doors, take a stroll over and see if they do have that reassuring British Standards Institute BS3621 stamp on the faceplate, and the famous kitemark.

If they have, unless there is a reason to swap, carry on.

If not, then you really, really should change them.

As standard.