How to understand BHMA lock security grades


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How to understand BHMA lock security grades

By emily.bailey

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BHMA certified lock security grade

Learn how to tell which lock is best for you by understanding its grade based on security, durability and finish testing.



When it comes to choosing the right door hardware for your home, quality and safety matter just as much as the perfect style. That is why Schlage volunteers our door hardware for testing against the highest standards, like the new Builder's Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) residential grading system. Here's what you need to know about the new BHMA Certified Secure HomeTM label you'll see on all of our packaging.


BHMA is a group of industry experts who grade residential door hardware performance in the categories of Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of ‘C’ is good, ‘B’ is better, and ‘A’ is best. A grade of AAA is the best grade possible in all three categories.

Door hardware security grades

The categories.


A measure of safety.


Security refers to the strength of the hardware, and is determined by how well the product can withstand impact while remaining secure. More than a half dozen tests in this category ensure that the lock can hold up against blunt force attacks and attempts to pull it from the door.


Testing requirements measure the hardware’s ability to withstand:

Sledgehammer attacks 

Attempts to manually pull it from the door 

Weight, like a child hanging from a door lever

BHMA certified label


A measure of functionality.


Determined by how well the hardware can withstand repeated, long-term use with thousands of cycles of turning the lock, latching it, unlatching it, and turning it again.


Testing requirements measure:

Ease of use when the door changes its fit into the frame as seasonal temperatures rise and fall 

Smooth functionality after a lifetime of use (approximate to 100 years of being used 10 times per day) 

Resistance to dents, like banging keys or purses against the lock when entering


A measure of resilience against the elements.


Evaluation of the surface coating or texture of the hardware and its ability to resist softening, bubbling, peeling, discoloring or corroding over time.


Testing requirements measure resistance to:


Wear and tear from exposure to elements like salt, humidity and UV rays 

To know how each product stacks up against these ratings, look for the BHMA certified label above on packaging. How does Schlage rate against this standard? See our guide to lock security grades on for more details.