Ian Kernaghan, Head of Product, Design & Development at Eurocell discusses how housebuilders can produce the safest and most secure homes for their residents by adhering to the latest regulations and standards without compromising on aesthetics.
What standard of locks should housebuilders be looking at as a minimum in their doors and windows?
Any new build homes need to be built to conform to the latest Building Regulations, such as Approved Document Q (ADQ) – Security.
ADQ creates security requirements in relation to doors at the entrance to a building, including garage doors where there is a connecting door to the dwelling, ground floor, basement, and other easily accessible windows. The requirement is that the product must be shown to have been manufactured to a design that has been tested to an acceptable security standard.
One industry acceptable security standard for windows and doors is PAS 24 - Enhanced security for doorsets and windows.
The PAS 24 accreditation guarantees that the door or window that has been fitted, has been tested either indicatively or at a UKAS accredited certification body test facility, ensuring the window or door is compliant with PAS 24.
PAS 24 ensures all external doorsets and windows will offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk and the relevant material specific standards for general performance referenced in BS 6375 Parts 1, 2 and 3.
Below are some of the tests that PAS24-certified windows and doors have been through.
- Manipulation testing: The assessor attempts to open the door or window by operating, releasing, and disengaging the locks and hinges.
- Manual cutting testing: The assessor tries to gain entry by making a hole in the product.
- Mechanical loading testing: By applying a sequence of loading tests, the assessor simulates the pressures that would be put on a product if the intruder used nail bars.
- Manual infill testing: The assessor tries to remove gaskets, beads, security devices and the infill from the outside of the door or window.
- Impact testing: Soft- and hard-body impact tests are conducted to see if a product could withstand attack from various devices – e.g., an intruder kicking the door (soft) or using a sledgehammer (hard).
- Hardware and cylinder testing: handles and locks are tested for their resistance to manual attack. This is a multi-stage test that includes trying to remove, dislodge, break, twist, and bend parts of the product to gain entry.
What security features come as standard on Eurocell ranges?
To comply with ADQ as above, all windows and doors are manufactured with a mixture of the following:
Multi-point locking systems
Multi-point locks generally range from three to five locking points. For added protection, there can be extra guards fitted on the inside of the frame where the hinges are located.
All Eurocell window and doors are internally beaded, meaning the glass securing beads are located inside. As a result, the glass unit is safely fitted and secured from the inside of the house.
Hinges and handles (windows)
Having handles that lock means the window cannot be opened from the outside should the glazed unit be broken by an intruder. Most windows can be locked with a key unless they are a fire escape window.
Shoot bolt Locks
Shoot bolt locks can be fitted to both doors and windows, this increases security allowing the window or door to be locked at the top and bottom.
Glass Security Clips
The clips are used to secure the glass in position so any glass units cannot be removed, even without the securing beads.
As ensuring security is so important to our customers, Eurocell also provides support through various training modules, which can found by visiting: www. training.eurocell.co.uk/
How important is it that security doesn't compromise on the aesthetics of a home? How is this achieved?
Most security features on windows and doors are intelligently hidden, and not visible when the window or doors are in a closed position, so there is no or little effect on the aesthetic of the finished product from the inside or outside and ensures the features can’t be accessed and manipulated.
Do you have any evidence to suggest that home security is a good selling point for housebuilders looking to sell their developments?
Security is a mandatory requirement of the building regulations, and many new build housing developments have set out to be less “intruder friendly” by incorporating good streetlighting, security lights on each house, CCTV, and higher garden fencing etc.
We are also seeing an increase of keyless smart locks, allowing you to easily lock and unlock your door by way of fob, keypad, or biometrics. A smart lock can also monitor who enters and leaves the home when you're away.
Secured by Design, a police security initiative, now offers housebuilders the opportunity to have a Police Preferred Specification (SBD) accredited housing development, which provides a recognised standard for all security products that can deter and reduce crime.
If you have any questions or would like more information then please get in contact: Ian Kernaghan: Head of Product, Design & Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07753 928816