Door and window security specification is revised

2 March 2016

BSI, the business standards company has revised PAS 24 Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK. Doorsets and windows intended to offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk.

The specification provides a way of testing and assessing the enhanced security performance requirements of doorsets and window types intended to resist the levels and methods of attack experienced in the UK and normally associated with the casual burglar. It is believed that these attacks are the result of an opportunity presenting itself without the guarantee that burglary might be a successful one. 

This scenario is the exact one set out in Approved Document Q - Security – Dwellings, the statutory guidance document that supports the English Building Regulations, and shows how compliance can be achieved. This particular Approved Document  identifies the use of PAS 24 as the standard for doorset and window security in new buildings which can resist physical attack by being sufficiently robust and fitted with appropriate hardware. 

Anthony Burd Head of Sector, Built Environment at BSI said: “We can’t talk about PAS 24 without mentioning Approved Document Q, especially as it directly references PAS 24:2012 as a means of showing compliance with the regualtions. This revised version should mean more products can use this important option to demonstrate compliance, therefore affording further peace of mind for suppliers, installers and customers.”

Approved Document Q states that doors:

  • Should be secure doorsets
  • Letter plates should not exceed a maximum size and should prevent people trying to remove keys from inside
  • Main entry doors should have a door viewer or other means to see callers
  • Frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building and lightweight frames should incorporate a resilient layer

Approved Document Q states that windows:

  • Which are easily accessible should be secure and frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building

PAS 24 is applicable to new window and doorsets and only prior to installation. It is only applicable to complete window and doorsets and addresses whether entry through the door or window is possible by manipulation of a lock cylinder. It does not look at entry by deliberate breaking of the glass, lock picking using tools only available to a locksmith or by attack on the frame fixing. It is also not a test of component performance or installation requirements.

What is new with PAS 24:2016?

  • Single option to ensure all doorsets can be used with easy egress hardware
  • A number of test methods have been simplified
  • There is a wider scope, increasing the range of security doorsets and windows to be covered
  • Building Regulations Approved Document Q primary reference is PAS 24 and the intended wider scope effectively enables more products to use this option to demonstrate compliance
  • It addresses the requirement for easy egress from all new build dwellings instigated by the NHBC (National House Building Council) by ensuring all doorsets are suitable for use with thumb turn cylinders and other easy egress hardware
  • A number of test methods have been simplified and introduce more robust requirements for letter plates

PAS 24: 2016 was developed using a collaborative consensus-based approach involving such organizations as: ACPO – Association of Chief Police Officers, Association of Composite Door Manufacturers, BRE, British Woodworking Federation, Council for Aluminium in Building, Door and Hardware Federation, GGF (Glass and Glazing Federation), Master Locksmiths Association, RIAC Authority, Steel Window Association and several other industry experts. The specification will be of relevance to manufacturers and fabricators of secure doorsets and windows, window and door manufacturers and suppliers, building specifiers, architects, trade associations, test houses and standards/certification bodies.