The security standards you should be looking for to secure your home
Making your home secure can be an expensive exercise, and selecting the products you’ll use can be a daunting task. There are plenty of products on the market from a variety of companies, so it can be hard to tell which security products you should be investing in, and which ones are the safest to use. In this blog we’ll run through the security standards you should be looking for when improving the security of your home.
Windows and Door Frames
They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that saying can definitely be applied to homes. Your home is only as strong as its weakest point, so having secure windows and doors is a great way to reinforce the security foundations of your home.
Window and Door Frame
When picking your windows and doors, you should be looking for frames that meet the PAS24:2016 standard. This standard ensures that the window and door frames meet the requirements to protect your home from unauthorised entry.
If you’re buying your windows and doors through a third party such as an installer, ensure that they present cerification that states the frames meet the required standard.
Door and Window Locks
When purchasing locks for your windows and doors, it’s always best to ensure that they meet the British BS3621 standard. This lets you know that the lock is of a good, thief resistant standard. It’s important to have high quality locks because that’s generally the first thing that a thief will try and compromise.
It may sound a bit excessive to worry about the type of screws you use, but it really can make all the difference.
Make sure the screws used to install your windows, doors and any other things such as your letterbox meet the British BS7950 standard. This ensures they’re of a high quality and will be more resistant to pressure or force. It’s a small detail that could make a big difference!
Letterbox fishing is an easy way for thieves to prey on unsuspecting homeowners. Well practised thieves can quickly and easily grab any possessions left in plain sight through a letterbox – usually your car keys!
One thing you can do to reduce their chances is by making sure that the plate on your letterbox meets the TS008 standard.
Another option is to forego having a letterbox on your door at all! Not only does it avoid letterbox fishing, it also help reduce your homes energy waste through unwanted drafts. Instead of having the letter box on your door, a popular option is installing one of our wall mounted letter boxes.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a DIY expert, you’re probably going to want to consider a contractor to install your security system for you.
When you’re looking through the endless list of contractors in your area that install security systems – the one thing you should be looking for is that they are NSI approved.
NSI are the National Security Inspectorate, and they’re the leading body in UK who set the standards for which security systems are adequate to protect your home.
To make it easier for you, the NSI have a function on their website which allows you to identify all NSI approved contractors in the UK.
If you don’t select an NSI approved contractor, there’s a possibility that they could recommend a security system that doesn’t meet the standards necessary for your home, but potentially generates more profit for them. Better to be safe than sorry!
When you’ve chosen your NSI approved contractor, they’ll be able to help you select a security system that meets the standards necessary to properly protect your home.
EN 50131 is the European Standard for intruder alarms and systems, and this is what you should be looking for.
EN 50131 has grades from 1 to 4 depending on the risk associated with your property (1 being low, 4 being high), but for homes you’re generally going to be looking at grade 1 or 2.
- Grade 1 – Domestic Properties
- Grade 2 – Domestic Properties and Low Risk Commercial Properties
- Grade 3 – High Risk Domestic Properties and Commercial Properties
- Grade 4 – Extremely High Risk Domestic Properties and High Risk Commercial Properties
If you’re looking for a security system that will be compatible with your home insurance, you will likely require an EN50131 Grade 2 security system as a minimum.
When purchasing a safe you want to be sure that your contents are, well… safe! To assist you in making the right choice there are various specifications that protect from various things such as burglary, fire and water damage.
Standards for Burglary
All Phoenix safes come with a security protection recommendation, which states how much the safes can generally be insured to protect.
For example the Phoenix Vela SS0800 series come with a cash rating of up to £1,000 and a valuables rating of up to £10,000. This can vary from safe to safe, and if you’re planning on insuring your safe it’s best to speak with your underwriter before committing to a specific model.
Any safe you choose from Phoenix will provide adequate safety against burglars, but if you’re looking for a high security solution, the standard you should be looking for is the EN1143 specification – as found in the Venus series, which offers £6,000 cash and £60,000 valuables protection.
This is a European specification which states that these safes can withstand burglary attack with different resistance grades from 1 to 10. So if high security is a concern, consider an EN1143 certified safe.
Standards for Fire
The NT Fire 017 standard was created to ensure that in the event of a fire you know how long the contents inside will be protected. These can vary from NT Fire 017-60, which means the contents will be safe for an hour, up to NT Fire 017-120, which ensures the contents will be safe for up to 2 hours.
If you’re looking to protect digital media – you should look for a safe that meets the MTS DIP 120-60DM specification, like the Titan FS1290 series. This ensures that the safe will keep your data safe for anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes (depending on the model).
When comparing safes always check if they have an after the fire replacement warranty, too. This mean if you do have a fire, your safe will usually be replaced free of charge!
National Home Security Month
This blog is part of our National Home Security Month series. Every week in October we’ll be posting useful content to help keep your home safe!
“National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.”
In week 3 we’ll focus on CCTV and how the latest technology can keep you more up to date with activity at home whilst you’re away than ever before! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated with the rest of our posts related National Home Security Month.