The key functions of a fire doorset have been widely discussed within our blog content and can be categorised as fire resistance, security, acoustic performance and aesthetics.
In this post, we take a look, specifically, at security. If you’re responsible for building management, ownership, or are involved in the specification of commercial security doors (or windows for that matter), then you will be aware of the PAS 24 accreditation scheme.
In its simplest of terms, PAS 24 is a test standard used to assess the security performance of doors and windows. This ‘seal of approval’ confirms that a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) certification body has monitored the product under certain test conditions, which can be seen in the video within this post. Feel free to take a look!
This post sets out to not only demonstrate the PAS 24 testing procedure as seen in the video, but to also give you a little more information on the basic aspects of the standard itself.
Read on to find out more…
PAS 24 Testing Standards & Procedures
As you’ll see in the video, the doorset is subjected to a series of rigorous measured mechanical and manual tests designed to replicate a burglary.
Interestingly, the methods used to ‘break into’ the door are designed to avoid excessive noise and unnecessary risk with relatively short time limits. This is due to the ‘real life’ aspect of the test procedure and the methods likely to be employed in a burglary situation.
Upon test completion, the product will be given a simple ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, as opposed to a specific grading system, so even if the door outperforms the minimum requirement, this will not be reflected in the test certificate. This is because PAS 24 is a minimum British Standard and the UK Government building regulations highlight PAS24 as acceptable, proven and trusted.
How Does PAS 24 Relate to Building Regulations?
As of October 2015, any new build dwelling should comply with Part Q of the Building Regulations. Part Q is designed to ensure the prevention of unauthorised access to dwellings. As such, doors (and windows or roof lights) which could be accessed will need to resist physical attack by a casual or opportunistic burglar. Therefore, such products will need to have proven security performance.
Important to note: the UK is currently the only country enforcing this regulation. So, if you are purchasing products from manufacture outside of the UK, they may not comply with UK Building Regulations.
How do Manufacturers Ensure Security Standards are Maintained?
Certification doesn’t just end once the door has passed the security test. The UKAS certification body will then carry out an audit of the manufacturers factory to assess the manufacturing processes being used.
These audits will be carried out periodically throughout the year.
When formal certification of PAS 24 has been awarded, the manufacturer can use the certification to demonstrate compliance with Secured by Design Standards. The manufacture can then send this report to a 3rd party certification such as BM Trada Q-Mark enhanced security door scheme.
In other words, this gives added assurance that the doors you select, purchase or specify are constructed to the highest possible standards.
Security Standards and Doorset Design
A big misconception around security and fire doorsets is that certain external doors (particularly those that serve as front doors to apartments) should have a three-point locking system in order to comply with PAS 24 standards.
Whilst 3-point locking is always an option, you should be aware that a high-performance, quality doorset will still adhere to PAS 24 standards, with a one-point (or single-point) locking system.
And single-point locking will have numerous benefits: They’re more competitive to procure, manufacture and install, making for a more economical overall solution.
(We also think that a single-point locking system is much more aesthetically pleasing).
Additionally, many multi-point locking systems aren’t compatible with most access control (electronic) systems. So, if using a key fob or key card to access a building, then a single-point locking system is advisable.
According to recent figures, 1 in 100 homes in the UK are burgled each year and this figure inflates enormously when you factor in offices, shops and other commercial buildings. Whilst this statistic alone doesn’t reference location or type of setting, it does highlight that burglary in the UK is an issue not to be ignored.
So, ensure your doorsets are manufactured and maintained to the highest security standards and don’t hesitate to speak to an expert here at RW Joinery If you have any queries surrounding your fire doorset’s security.