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What Does It Mean to Be ANSI/BHMA Certified?

08 Feb 2021 0 Comments

If you pay attention to the description of the product details page when you buy Signstek products, you will find that many of our products have a line written on them:

This keyless door lock passed ANSI/BHMA Grade 3 certification.


So, what does ANSI/BHMA Grade 3 mean?

ANSI is the abbreviation for American National Standards Institute.

It is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.

The organization also coordinates American with international standards so that American products can be used globally.


Why being certified by ANSI can be used to measure the quality of so many products? This can be traced back to its history.

ANSI was originally founded in 1915 as the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC) by five engineering societies and three government agencies.

The five founding engineering societies at that time were:

American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, now IEEE)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME, now American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers)

American Society for Testing and Materials (now ASTM International)

At the behest of AIEE, they invited the U.S. government Departments of War, Navy (merged in 1947 to become the Department of Defense or DOD) and the Commerce to form a national standards organization.


In fact, ANSI itself does not set standards, it supervises the development and use of standards by recognizing the procedures of standard-setting organizations.

ANSI certification means that the procedures used by standard-setting organizations meet the association's requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process.


For example, the ANSI/BHMA Grade 3 certification standard passed by Signstek is the standard approved by ANSI after the formulation of BHMA.


The full name of BHMA is Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association. Originally founded in 1925, it was formerly known as the hardware manufacturer Statistical Association (HMSA).

Today, more than 80% of all US builder hardware manufacturers are members of BHMA, and these companies provide the vast majority of hardware to US businesses and construction institutions.

To date, BHMA has developed more than 40 commercial and residential standards and sponsored ANSI/BHMA certification programs to help ensure the life safety and security for the industry and homeowners.


In order to measure the strength and durability of locks, BHMA has developed three different grades.

Grade 1 certified locks are top-level ANSI locks, which are mainly used to protect large enterprises. It can also be used by families, but the budget will be very high, depending on whether you are willing to invest in higher quality locks.

To achieve this Grade, the doorknob must withstand 800-thousand cycles, 6 door strikes and a 360-pound weight test.

The deadbolt must withstand 250-thousand cycles and 10 door strikes with a hammer.

For market choice reasons, grade 1 locks are not so easy for consumers to find. More merchants sell high volume of Grade 2 and 3 locks.


The Grade 2 certified lock, which is mainly used in light commerce, has exceeded most typical residential requirements.

Grade 3 certified locks like Signstek are mainly used for residential use and can meet the basic requirements of ordinary residential use.

Even if it is the lowest-Grade locks set by ANSI/BHMA, don't assume that the quality of these locks is very low. Because the ANSI/BHMA Grade represents decades of effort and research by security experts.

At least, ANSI/BHMA Grade 3 locks are of higher quality than normal non-ANSI/BHMA locks.

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