Security Ratings

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Security Ratings and Standards

Locks and safes are standardized and rated by their ability to resist attack from pre-defined compromise techniques. The rating given to a particular lock or safe is a measure of the level of protection it is meant to provide, usually measured in time. Many government and law enforcement agencies use these ratings to select their own locks as well as recommend them to the public.

Various ratings and standards organizations around the world develop standards for locks, lock cylinders, and associated hardware, such as bolts and latches. In the United States, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are the primary ratings organizations. In Europe, the European Committee for Standardization (Comite European de Normalisation) (CEN) provide rating and testing systems for security devices.

Recently, security ratings have come under increased scrutiny by security professionals and locksport groups for failing to include "real-world" compromise techniques and scenarios. Much of this criticism began with the media attention surrounding key bumping.


In the United States, the Safe Manufacturers National Association originally tested safes and vaults. In 1921, Underwriters Laboratories began testing burglar alarms and locks. In 1923 they began testing safes, and in 1925 they began testing vault doors.

United States

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
  • UL 72 (Tests for fire resistance of record protection equipment)
  • UL 140 (Relocking devices for safes and vaults)
  • UL 294 (Access control system units)
  • UL 365 (Police station alarm units)
  • UL 437 (Key locks)
  • UL 608 (Burglar-resistant vault doors)
  • UL 609 (Local burglar alarm units and systems)
  • UL 636 (Holdup alarm units)
  • UL 639 (Intrusion detection units)
  • UL 687 (Burglar-resistant safes)
  • UL 768 (Combination locks)
  • UL 786 (Key locking systems)
  • UL 887 (Time locking mechanism)
  • UL 1023 (Household burglar alarm units)
  • UL 1034 (Burglary-resistant electronic locking mechanisms)
  • UL 1037 (Anti-theft alarms and devices)
  • UL 1076 (Proprietary alarm units)
  • UL 1610 (Central station alarm units)
  • UL 2058 (High security electronic locks)
Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association/American National Standards Instute (BHMA/ANSI)
  • 156.2 (Bored and preassembled locks and latches)
  • 156.3 (Exit devices)
  • 156.5 (Auxillary locks)
  • 156.12 (Interconnected locks and latches)
  • 156.13 (Mortoise locks)
  • 156.18 (Materials and finishes)
  • 156.23 (Electromagnetic locks)
  • 156.24 (Delayed egress locks)
  • 156.25 (Electrified locking devices)
  • 156.29 (Exit locks and alarms)
  • 156.30 (High-security locks)
  • 156.31 (Electric strikes)
  • 156.50 (Conventional auxiliary locks and cylinders)
  • 156.68 (Recommended practices for master keying systems)


European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • EN 1047-2:2009 (Data rooms and data containers)
  • EN 1143-1:2005+A1:2009 (Safes, ATM safes, strongroom doors and strongrooms)
  • EN 1143-2:2001 (Deposit systems)
  • EN 1300:2004 (High security locks)
  • EN 12209:2003 (Locks and latches, mechanically operated locks, latches and locking plates)
  • EN 14450:2005 (Secure safe cabinets)
British Standards Institution (BSI)
  • BS 3621:2004 (Thief resistant lock assemblies-Key egress)
  • BS 7950:1997 (Casement and tilt/turn windows for domestic applications)
  • BS 8220:???? (Guide for security of buildings against crime)
  • BS 8621:2004 (Thief resistant lock assemblies - Keyless egress)
  • BS EN 1300:2004 (High security locks)
  • BS EN 1303:2005 (Cylinders for locks)
  • BS EN 1906:2002 (Lever handles and knobs)
  • BS EN 1935:2002 (Single-axis hinges)
  • BS EN 12320:2001(Padlocks and padlock fittings)

United Kingdom

  • Sold Secure - a widely recognised attack test administered by the independent testing organisation Sold Secure.

See also