Who are Sold Secure, and what exactly do they do?
Maybe you’ve seen a product advertised with the Sold Secure logo or brand image attached to it, or maybe you’ve even bought a product which has the logo on it, and you’ve wondered what it is, who they are and what they do.
Well, in this article, we’ll look at who they are, their history, who they work with, along with how this scheme helps in the bigger picture of preventing crime and target hardening property and possessions.
Table of Contents
Who Are Sold Secure & What Do they Do?
Sold Secure is a scheme organised to test the validity and robustness of security products in the United kingdom.
They are an independent, impartial testing house that test various security related products to a certain standard.
Once these products are tested and pass, these products then acquire the ‘Sold Secure’ seal of approval, and are rated Gold, Silver and Bronze (with an additional diamond level for some categories).
So when buying a security product and you see the Sold Secure logo on it, you can be sure that the product has performed well in laboratory tests and the product is of a very good quality.
Sold Secure Since 1992
I was surprised to know that Sold Secure was first born in 1992. Even more surprising was that it was actualy a police led initiative backed by the home office (Originally started by Essex and Northumbria Police).
I knew they’d been around for quite a while, because I seem to remember them from my policing days in the mid 2000’s, yet all the way back to 1992? Well, I probably wasn’t aware back then as I was still playing the Mega Drive and learning basic math at school, but still, the fact it has been going this long means it is a scheme that can be trusted and has serious longevity in the field.
It is a shame though, that the current website looks like it was made on that date and hasn’t been updated since.
Joking aside, a scheme that was born in 1992 has had some serious time to perfect everything, from testing methodology to relationships and partnerships with inter agencies. It’s now owned and run by the Master Locksmiths Association.
On the Sold Secure website, it states that they have a number of relationships with Constabularies accross the country. Of course, after 28 years and counting, this is expected.
The key to these relationships is the information they are able to share – these constabularies regularly consult with Sold Secure to discuss trends in the way things are stolen, new ways and methods thieves are using to steal things as well as the equipment thieves are using to target certain products and items.
From this data, Sold Secure will then test security devices and apparatus to those standards, to make sure that the products sold are fit for purpose and will help to secure items even against the newest methods of theft.
What Do They Do?
Sold Secure offer indepedant testing of security equipment, like locks, chains, ground anchors, padlocks and safes.
Any manufacturer of security equipment can contact Sold Secure and get their product independantly tested (fees apply).
For example, a manufacturer of a safe may want an independent test on their safe to show their customers that their safe can do what they say it can do.
A manufacturer, like Yale, will then send the safe in, and Sold Secure will test that safe to a specific set of standards to determine the robustness of that safe in the event of somebody trying to gain unauthorised access.
After this, they will either give the product a certification and grade, or they will not grade it, instead offering the manufacturer points on where to improve their product.
Grades are similar to the below, taken directly from the Sold Secure Website:
Sold Secure Bronze
Offering theft resistance against a basic tool list (aimed at preventing opportunist crime)
Sold Secure Silver
Offering theft resistance against an enhanced tool list (aimed at preventing more determined attacked)
Sold Secure Gold
Offering theft resistance against a dedicated tool list (aimed at preventing dedicated attacks)
Sold Secure Diamond
The highest level of theft resistance including use of specialist tools (aimed at preventing the most destructive attacks that could include angle grinders)
How Do They Do It?
Sold Secure have dedicated labs based in Rugby, Warwickshire.
It is here where they test security products using a number of different tools, implements and machinery – representative of what a criminal would use.
Depending on the product, depends on the test. Again, this is where partnerships with police come in, because they can gather data on how certain items are stolen and then base the tests around this.
As you would expect, tests go from basic like using screwdrivers, crowbars and other implements to break into something, to further down the line like drills and specialist equipment. Time is also an important factor in these tests – for example, a lock that is broken open in under a minute will score a lot lower than a lock that is broken open in 10 minutes (using the same tools).
The video below shows and explains some of the tests.
Why Do they Do It?
Nobody likes crime apart from criminals themselves. Most crime, especially theft and burglary, causes psychological and emotional stress, general interruption to daily life (insurance claims, replacing stolen items) and it causes our insurance premiums to go up.
Anything to reduce and minimise this happening then, is a good thing, and Sold Secure are there for the greater good making sure security equipment that is sold to the public is actually fit for purpose and will actually do what it says on the tin.
Sold Secure is also a business.
For a product to be tested and certified, the manufacturer must pay a fee. Sold Secure also offers security related consultancy.
Should I Only Buy Security Products With The Sold Secure Approval On It?
If you have two similar products in your basket at, let’s say Amazon, and one has a Sold Secure Silver rating, and one has no Sold Secure rating, then absolutely go and buy the product with the Sold Secure rating.
It has been tested and certified independently, and the other one hasn’t.
The other product may be just as good – but how do you know?
You see, those two similar products have two distinct features. The one that has been rated by Sold Secure has been tested, yes.
But go one step further here; the product manufacturer has enough confidence in their product that they want an independent test done to show how good their product is.
That other product that doesn’t have Sold Secure approval may be a cheaper item mass produced with low cost materials, designed to sell at a lower price.
The Sold Secure stamp gives extra peace of mind that not only has it been rigoursly tested to definded standards, but also the manufacturer believes in the product as well.
However, that being said, don’t discount products that don’t have this seal of approval – not every product will use Sold Secure, and other testing houses out there can also give accreditation to security equipment.
The Bigger Picture
Time and time again, throughout this website, I have said that the security of your home, and your possessions, does not, and cannot hinge on just one piece of security equipment.
Buying a lock for your bike, that has the Sold Secure logo on, does not mean that your bike is now impossible to steal.
Here’s a quick example:
No good locking your expensive bike up in your garage with, for example, a Sold Secure Burg-Wächter bike lock IF:
- the garage it is stored in has an old wooden door,
- which is protected by an old, rusty 12 year old padlock and hasp
- the garage is detached at the back of your house and has no lighting at night
- the garage is accessible down the drive at the side of your house,
- and there’s no gates up to stop people walking from the street straight to your garage
- and when you’re working in your garage during the day, the doors are open and everyone can see in.
The point I’m trying to make here is the security of that bike does not depend on that lock. The lock is just ONE layer of security, and provides just one resistance level on a path of resistance that a thief will or will not take.
If you are thinking of buying a security product like a safe or anchor lock, then it’s also a great time to do an audit of your security arrangements before you purchase.
Take a look at the principles here, in the below graphic.
Remember, a thief will always choose the path of least resistance to go and steal something or break in. If you offer these people an easy path, there is more chance they’ll take that path rather than a path that has gates, excellent lighting, well maintained locks and other security features.
Links & Comments
Here are all the links mentioned in this article.
Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think by leaving your question or comment below!
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.