SFS Intec, the hardware specialists, brought up an interesting idea on Friday, with the suggestion that hardware could be judged on an A-G rating, similar to how white goods and indeed windows are judged on their efficiency. The idea being that an A would mean highest security, with G being the least. You can read a full blog post they wrote about it on their website by clicking here. I want to explore this idea.

Simplifying The System

As many of you will know, hardware is currently rated on a TS star rating. The overall rating is worked out by combining a door cylinder and handle. Not everyone is a fan of that system, but within the industry, it has long been the recognised way at measuring the security levels of hardware. But what about this A-G idea?

This is the A-G certificate we have all got used to seeing when selling windows and doors. Understandably, we all have doubts about the WER scheme, but the overriding point to be made here is that the general public know this certification and understand how it works. Can we say the same about the existing TS Star rating? No probably not. But the A-G ratings have been around for a while now and are applied to many other household items other than just windows.

If the industry were to ditch the TS Star rating in favour of an A-G style certification, I would think that homeowners in the market for new windows and doors would find it easier to identify the level of security particular hardware.

How It Would Work

It’s very simple. The higher the level of security, the higher up the scale that piece of hardware is. And I think that just as with Window Energy Ratings, there should be a minimum level of security, say around the D or C levels. The reason being it would help force out the very poor products out there, not allowing them to make it into the door.

Of course there would have to be testing carried out when manufacturers wish to certify their products, which means it would be likely that there would be a cost involved for such a thing. But I think it might be a price worth paying if it meant that homeowners could easily identify exactly how secure the products are they are purchasing, being able to make a more informed decision.

But I believe an idea like this should go a step further. Yes we can apply the A-G scale to individual bits of hardware, but why not extend that to the whole door?

I can’t see it being too difficult. You simply gather together the ratings of each piece of hardware, fit them on a test door. You then have that door tested by British Standards who could then apply the relevant A-G security rating dependent on how well that door performs with those A-G rated hardware pieces fitted. If we do that, we can then give homeowners a truly transparent and simple way for them to see exactly how secure their new front or back door really is, rather than just relying on the material and patter given to them by the company they have visiting.

Not only that, by implementing such a system, I believe it would force us as an industry to become more competitive and aim to improve the security of our hardware – which is surely a good thing for all involved. Think about it, no one is going to want to be bottom of the pile when their competitors might be selling B and A rated security products.

I think this is an idea that could have legs and is definitely worth exploring. As always, all comments welcome in the section below.