Clearing the the maze of locking system standards

London, UK

Standards and compliance perform a critical, if underappreciated, role for security and facility managers. They set a quality baseline for locking and security hardware.

Standards also help customers quickly compare attributes across products, and quite often insurance providers require security to meet relevant standards. Taking a short-cut could prove an expensive mistake, should the worst happen and a claim needs to be made.

“Not all affordable mechanical locking meets even the minimum standards. Unfortunately, such information will not always be clearly advertised on the packaging. Even if a standard is “met”, not every product which meets it is equal.” says Kirsi Solehmainen, Product Manager Mechanical Cylinders at Assa Abloy Opening Solutions EMEA.

“Take the most relevant standard for mechanical locking, EN 1303:2015, for example. Cylinders are assessed on up to six different measures, generating an alphanumeric grade which summarises a lock’s performance on such metrics as fire, corrosion and attack resistance. A high-quality cylinder lock may read something like “1 6 – B – C 5 D”.

For security, the second, sixth, seventh and eighth digits are especially important. These indicate a lock’s likely performance when faced with common threats. Durability (digit 2) is graded on a 4–6 scale; corrosion (digit 6) is assessed A–C, key security (digit 7) 1–6, and attack resistance (final digit) 0–D.

A cylinder may jump the bar to receive EN 1303:2015 certification achieving the lowest grade in all these categories. But simply “passing” this standard — meeting this minimum — is unlikely to provide protection your premises require. You can aim higher, whilst staying within your security budget,” says Solehmainen.

Further details on this standard are found on line at the BSI group, which states. "This European Standard specifies performance and other requirements for the strength, security, durability, performance and corrosion resistance of cylinders and their original keys. It establishes one category of use, three grades of durability, three grades for fire and four grades corrosion resistance all based on performance tests as well as six grades of key related security based on design requirements and five grades on performance tests that simulate attack.

This European Standard includes tests of satisfactory operation at a range of temperatures. It specifies test methods to be used on cylinders and their protective measures linked with these cylinders and recommended by the manufacturer."

Simplify standards with the right lock

According to Assa Abloy, for anyone who does not want to spend too much time thinking about standards, the company's CY110 cylinders outperform basic EN 1303 standards, offering high performance at an affordable price. In fact, says the Solehmainen, "the example above; 1 6 – B – C 5 D, is the official EN 1303 certification for CY110 cylinders. CY110 padlocks exceed minimum for similar, but separate, standards for such devices (EN 12320) and conforms to SKG."

Assa Abloy suggests users should take care to choose a locking system that already complies to the highest levels.  The company says that the CY110 provides a good example of this as it achieves close to the maximum rating for cylinder-type locking. Keys are robust, with a complex dimple design which enhances duplication protection, and a patent valid through to 2036 safeguards against unauthorised key copying. These locks are resistant to picking and to multiple types of brute force attack. Inbuilt self-lubrication technology and corrosion durability ensure a long product lifetime.

A system such as this makes no trade-off between affordability and security standards, alongside intelligent 21st-century design that makes CY110 locking easy to install and convenient to use.

Where and how to deploy EN 1303:2015 locking

This particular locking system according to Assa Abloy is proven in both domestic and commercial settings. Customers can also select from a broad range of EN 1303 certified cylinders, including double, thumbturn and rim cylinders for interior and exterior doors; cam cylinders for cabinets, gates and lockers; and single cylinders for lifts and other interior doors. CY110 padlocks, made from hardened boron steel, are adapted for use outdoors or inside.

For domestic convenience, homeowners can order CY110 keyed alike: every resident carries a single key to open all relevant locks, including exterior and interior doors, storage spaces and padlocks. CY110 cylinders may lock front and back doors, cabinets and gates. The key-holder wastes no time hunting for the right key, because their single CY110 opens them all.

At commercial premises, CY110’s adaptability simplifies master-key system design. A locksmith or facility manager can quickly configure a master key system chart which gives the CEO an “access all areas” key, IT staff a key to the server room, cleaners the rights to unlock offices and supplies storage, employees with meeting room and office permissions — and everyone the ability to unlock the main entrance door and use the lift.

As for standards, locks like the CY110’s EN 1670:2007 certification ensures lock durability is not a worry.  This type of certificated locking system simplifies security and takes the headaches out of locking compliance. Assa Abloy recommends that it is a good idea to check the system they are going to use is a genuine, trusted “fit and forget” locking solution, where convenience, cost-efficiency and compliance come together.


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