What is PAS24?
PAS24 is a voluntary service standard that relates to the security of certain door sets and windows. To achieve that standard, relevant architectural features undergo rigorous testing that make sure they can’t be easily broken or manipulated.
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a burglar, equipped with only your tools, nefarious intentions, and the iconic black and white striped outfit of the infamous and terrifying Hamburglar.
Gaining access to a building, whether residential or commercial, via the weakest point used to be simple.
Casing the joint, your eyes would be scanning for vulnerabilities such as a breakable pane of glass, a loose window fitting, or a lock that could easily be pried open when subtly introduced to a crowbar.
But in 1999, the game changed.
That year the Door and Hardware Federation, in collaboration with the police and other UK governmental officials, created the security standard for windows and door sets known as PAS24.
For homeowners, building managers, architects and contractors who place security at the heart of their renovation, rebuilding or replacement projects, PAS24 makes it harder to gain unauthorised access to buildings.
In this article, we want to explore the concept of PAS24 a little deeper by defining what it is and how it relates to Part Q of building regulations.
By the end, you might consider hanging up your hypothetical burglar outfit for good.
Read on to learn more about keeping burglars at bay.
What is PAS24?
PAS24 is a security standard introduced in 1999 to improve the security of doors and windows in residential and commercial properties. Things like the durability of materials, the effectiveness of locking mechanisms, and the resistance to forced entry are all tested at an independent facility to achieve certification.
While it may have been introduced almost 25 years ago, PAS24 is regularly updated to ensure that it includes developments in security technology and new methods used by criminals to gain access. The latest of these updates arrived in 2022, clarifying higher specifications for window hardware and additional requirements for doors – such as security chains and spy holes.
What are the benefits of PAS24?
PAS24 allows manufacturers and installers to demonstrate their commitment to safety and security. They can shout about the fact through their marketing channels and allow clients to meet their design expectations without sacrificing security.
In turn, by using products that have been PAS24-certified, clients are better equipped to meet building regulations and the requirements laid out by some insurance companies – many of whom specify that certain windows and doors should be PAS24-certified.
How is PAS24 tested?
To achieve PAS24 certification, windows and door sets undergo several methods of testing to simulate an attempted break-in.
Those methods include:
Using common tools associated with attempted forced entry, the tester will try to remove or damage the hinges on a door or window. The hinges for most products are hidden or not easily accessible from the outside, making manipulation very difficult.
Manual cutting testing
Using a drill or a mechanised saw, the tester will attempt to cut into the door or window to gain access. The intention might be to access the opening mechanism or create a significant opening through which entrance can be made.
Mechanical loading testing
Criminals attempting to gain unauthorised entry to a property will often use a crowbar to exert pressure on a window or door. This stage of testing replicates that pressure to remove either the locked door or window from its frame or the frame from the surrounding structure.
If the keyhole-style methods prove unsuccessful, most burglars will either walk away or attempt to smash their way in. A mixture of hard and soft objects is used at this stage to break the window or door and gain entrance.
If the window or door product passes all of the above tests, it becomes PAS24-certified.
What is ‘Part Q’?
Part Q is a security standard within the UK’s building regulations that applies to all new residential buildings and those that are being converted. Introduced in 2015, Part Q requires that all new doors and windows can resist physical attack and are fitted with appropriate locks and hardware.
Also required to meet Part Q’s specifications, all surrounding walls, gates and fences that surround a new or converted building should be constructed in a way that prevents unauthorised access.
What is the difference between PAS24 and Part Q?
While both PAS24 and Part Q of the UK’s building regulations are concerned with the security of a building, PAS24 is a voluntary standard often used as a benchmark for a product’s enhanced security performance. Using PAS24-certified products, whether that be Cantifix’s excellent structural glazing or door sets that are made of an alternative material, as part of your project, demonstrates a commitment to security, without sacrificing style.
Part Q, on the other hand, is a mandatory building regulation that applies to all new windows and door sets used in the construction of new houses or buildings that are changing use.
In short, PAS24 is a voluntary certification that can be applied to products, whereas Part Q of the UK’s building regulations is a mandatory part of the building or converting a property.
PAS24-certified products could be used to tick the necessary boxes of Part Q and might be required by insurance companies, but it is not a necessary standard within existing structures.
Does PAS24 require laminated glass?
PAS24 does not specify that glass used in products should be laminated glass. That being said, for a window or other type of architectural glazing to be PAS24-certified, it must undergo impact testing. Laminated glass is shatterproof so is better at resisting forced entry than non-laminated glass.
Another type of glass that might pass the PAS24 tests is tempered glass, which requires a higher level of pressure to break than annealed glass, but will lose its structure once broken.
Wired glass is often highlighted as another way for a product to become PAS24-certified, but once broken, the internal wiring can cause significant injury.
Cantifix’s relationship with PAS24 and Part Q
Good design is important to us. But so too is security.
Having one doesn’t mean sacrificing the other.
Instead, Cantifix is committed to the PAS24 standard which can be used to ensure PART Q compliance. We might undertake fancy design projects, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re safe too.
Want to incorporate PAS24 products in your next design?