Can your security device save you money? Yes it can! Martin Spencer, the Club's Technical Manager looks at accredited security devices to invest in.
Can you tell what a good lock looks like? Or whether a security chain is especially strong? Unless you’re an expert locksmith, it can be difficult to judge the quality of security products. The visual appearance and the cost are not the best indicators either.
Good quality, detailed design, with consistently high manufacturing standards and use of police and insurance intelligence about thieves’ techniques, makes all the difference.
There are recognised test standards that are administered by credible independent test authorities that can help to give you confidence. Sold Secure and Kiwa are good examples of the standards you’re most likely to see on mechanical security products in the UK.
Based in the UK, Sold Secure is owned and operated by the Master Locksmith Assoociation, the trade association for locksmiths. They had three different grades, Silver and Gold grades for general products and Diamond grade for wheel locks. The grades indicate an increasing range of tools and techniques used and reflect the UK police and insurer information from actual crimes. You can check out Sold Secure approved products here: www.soldsecure.com
In addition to leisure vehicle products, Sold Secure also approves a wide range of bicycle security devices, particularly relevant for those who have invested in expensive e-bikes.
Kiwa is an independent Dutch-based safety and testing company, whose test standards are used in a variety of countries.Their very severe test standards include assessments not usually included in other procedures, such as resistance to freezing and corrosion.
TS10 Caravan Tracker from Tracker Shop
For electronic automotive security products, for example: alarms, immobilisers and trackers, the recognised authority is Thatcham Research, the insurer-funded test and safety research organisation. For trackers, Thatcham S7 and S5 categories were introduced in 2019 and replace the former 7, 6 and 5 categories. The lower the number, the more sophisticated the system, although 7/S7 is still very good. S5 for instance adds use of a driver identification device for further protection.
You should check the manufacturer details to make sure that the products are optimised for caravan use, for example: one that has a low power operation to preserve battery power whilst in storage. Currently, we are not aware of a caravan-specific alarm accreditation scheme.
Any of these approvals will give you some confidence in the product, however, it’s worth noting that given enough of the ‘three Ts’ – time, technique and tools – any security product can be defeated. Therefore any security product should be seen as part of more general precautions including sensible diligence and, crucially, careful choice of leisure vehicle storage location.