Making windows and doors more secure from casual criminals
PAS 24:2022 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 is a Product Assessment Specification – a one-of-a-kind standard which covers how to test and assess the security performance of doorsets and windows.
It does so by providing methods to test and assess the enhanced security performance of doorsets and windows that are designed to resist attacks from casual or opportunistic burglars.
The committee that revised the standard, which includes representatives from trade associations, test laboratories, certification bodies and the Police Force, believes that these types of attack are the result of an opportunity presenting itself. The burglary attempts that the PAS aims to thwart are likely to avoid noise and risk – and only a limited time will be spent attempting to gain entry.
Therefore, the standard, which applies to new doorsets and windows as manufactured, doesn’t cover actions such as the deliberate breaking of glass, lock picking using locksmith tools, or attacks on electrical controls or the electrical supply. Instead, the standard covers how to test the resistance of door and window furniture, frames, hardware, glazing, locks and cylinders to manual attacks that are supported by knowledge, skill and professional ability; and how to assess enhanced security performance.
The PAS covers doorsets and windows made from all types of materials, although products are required to meet the materials specific requirements covered by the respective product standards for doorsets and windows, namely BS 7412, BS 4873, BS 6510, BS 8529 and BS 644. Incidentally, the distinction between a doorset and window is based on the intended use as declared by the manufacturer. Notwithstanding, products for pedestrian access are declared, tested and classified as doorsets in accordance with section 4.4 of PAS 24.
In 2014, for the first time, the UK Government decided to highlight security measures for new homes in Building Regulations. Subsequently, since 1st October 2015, manufacturers have needed to demonstrate that window and door products in new builds in England and Wales meet the requirements of Approved Document Q. One route to do so is using PAS 24 which is referenced in Approved Document Q.
Partly because of this reference to “PAS 24” it was decided that the document should continue life as a Product Assessment Specification (PAS). This will help avoid confusion in the industry. It also means that PAS 24 has remained a PAS – as opposed to become a British Standard (BS) – for an unusually long period. Nevertheless, it’s continuation is useful because it means that the document can be amended more quickly, which was felt essential in order to respond to changing burglar practices, which the police have identified as being of concern.
On that note, for 2022, the standard underwent a full revision (it was last revised in 2016). This included a public consultation, where members of industry also submitted comments for the committee to review.
It was recognized that the document needed to keep up with changing criminal modus operandi. Also the drafting committee was in receipt of proposals and comments from accredited test laboratories and UKAS calling for clarifications to some test methods. The revision process also provided an opportunity to update some references to industry documents.
The resulting document will continue to promote security and support legislation, as PAS 24 has done for more than 20 years. It helps manufacturers assess and demonstrate that their products provide enhanced security, it’s a route to meeting Building Regulations and the requirements of the UK Police Service ‘Secured By Design’ scheme, and it can help users to accelerate the development of innovative products and develop their expertise in making windows and doors more casual-burglar resistant.