Thursday, 16 April 2015

Be ahead of the ‘Q’ - New Building Regulations now in force

On 31 March 2015, the approved Document Q of the Building Regulations was issued. It introduced guidance for complying with the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010, outlining that reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorised access to dwellings.

This guidance will come into force on 1st October 2015, and by 1st October 2016 all accessible doors and windows fitted to new dwellings will need to be secure in order to comply with Building Regulations. 

Mark West, Operations Manager for Security Products Certification at Exova, comments on the new guidance:

“An industry minimum standard of security has been long overdue. Many residential doors have a security flaw that means our test engineers could defeat the locking system and enter the property in 20 seconds with minimal tools and noise. Homeowners deserve to have faith that their property is secure and not susceptible to common attacks used throughout the criminal fraternity. People assume a level of security from a front door that is simply not there. Compliance with the guidance in Document Q will go a long way towards addressing these issues, adding to the existing good work that has been put in place by initiatives such as Secured by Design.

“It is tribute to the faith the Association of Chief of Police Officers and the wider industry have in the CERTISECURE product certification scheme that Exova Warrington Certification’s Security Technical Specifications STS201, STS202 & STS204 have been name checked directly in paragraph 1.2 and 2.2 of Document Q, as providing a similar or better performance to the long standing UK test for enhanced security doors & windows PAS24.

“The people who are responsible for building work will need to ensure that new homes comply with the building regulations, and that accessible doors and windows are secure. Document Q applies to new dwellings, and dwellings formed by a material change of use of an existing building. One way of proving the design of the product is secure is to specify doors and windows that have been tested to PAS24:2012 at a UKAS-approved testing laboratory.

“One issue that manufacturers may come up against is that a UKAS approved test laboratory can only report facts, i.e. that a product was tested on a certain day and passed/failed the test. The test lab cannot make a judgment on any variant of the product other than what was tested, such as variations of double and single, different glazing, different locks, etc. A test report is invalid as soon as any material change, including a new lock or new glazing method or increase in size, is incorporated into the product.

“Certification is different, and entering into a certification scheme such as CERTISECURE provides a scope of approval that covers a whole range of sizes, configurations and hardware options, and it gives a level of confidence that the product meets the requirements of the approved guidance. It is anticipated that manufacturers will choose product certification to ensure all product and all future evolutions of the product leaving the factory meet the requirements of Document Q, rather than relying on a test report that is a snapshot of the product performance at one moment in time.”

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