Don’t trust a star without a kite – Why TS007 star ratings are meaningless without a Kitemark

When you buy a security product which is proudly emblazoned with the TS007 logo, you know exactly what you’re buying right?  Well, not exactly.

The one, two or three stars attributed to products tested to TS007 indicate that a sample of that product has achieved that standard, not that the product you are buying would definitely do so.  That is because third party certification is not mandatory within TS007 so you have no real way of knowing whether the product you’re actually buying is exactly the same as the sample which passed the test.

The foreword to the TS007 standard states that the DHF (Door and Hardware Federation) and the GGF (Glass and Glazing Federation) ‘strongly recommends that manufacturers of TS007-rated cylinders and security door handles carry out third party certification of every product claiming compliance with this specification’ explaining that ‘certification ensures consistent and reproducible results’.

However, in my experience this is simply not happening widely enough.  There are still plenty of TS007 marked products on the market which do not have the third party certification which is recommended, and I don’t believe that most buyers are even aware of the issue.

As Mila’s Technical Manager I know that it is possible to get virtually any product through a test once, but the really challenging part is to consistently produce a product which passes the test every time, and that is what third party certification is all about.  Think of it like an MOT – it ensures that a product continually performs as it should and that it has been manufactured correctly.

What all buyers of TS007 labelled products should be looking for as well as the one, two or three stars, is the Kitemark logo.  This is the third party certification which manufacturers need to invest in to guarantee that a product has been regularly audited against the standard and which gives you the peace of mind you need.

Even more importantly perhaps, the Kitemark logo should also have a KM number which means it can be traced back to the manufacturer via the BSI Kitemark website at www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/Product-Directory/   Abuse of logos is rare but, if you are in any doubt about the validity of the Kitemark, you can simply type the number into this directory to check.

Mila’s Kitemark number, for example, is KM535608.  Type that into the BSI website and you’ll see that we have third party certification for all of our ProSecure and SupaSecure TS007 two star security handles.  Of course, all of this ongoing certification represents a significant investment for Mila but we believe that we owe it to our customers to demonstrate our commitment to quality and not just to talk about it.

In my opinion, the new PAS24: 2016 specification has missed a trick because it states that products meeting the requirement of TS007: 2014 combined 3 star rating (either via a 3 star cylinder or a 2 star handle and 1 star cylinder) would satisfy the requirements of Annex A.  This means that the test house would not have to test the product to Annex A so, in theory, without a Kitemark, they could be passing products where only a single sample has achieved the required TS007 rating just once.

I think that a product should only be judged as satisfying the requirements of Annex A if it has third party certification to prove that it continues to regularly pass the test.  If it doesn’t, then surely it should be fully tested to the specification of PAS24: 2016?

I am committed to helping to raise technical standards in this industry and the fact is that all logos and standards are undermined and their impact is diminished if they are not backed up with continual auditing.  I think the whole industry needs to put more pressure on those companies who don’t comply.

As always, you can contact me for more information via: scooke@mila.co.uk or via Twitter: @StraffordCooke

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