With industry standards becoming ever more stringent it is no real surprise that every change to regulations brings with it a flurry of activity as companies decide on the best way to comply. So it is somewhat surprising that was yet we have seen little discussion surrounding proposed amendments to Approved Document Q: Security.
The Document became up for consultation in September 2014, and it is something that will affect everybody supplying to new build and refurbishment works, making PAS 24 a compulsory requirement. Previously a ‘nice to have’ particularly for those using Secured by Design as a selling tool, the change to the standard will effectively level the playing field as everybody will need to comply.
There are two ways in which you can meet the proposed requirements of Approved Document Q: one is to demonstrate that you conform to PAS 24 and the other is to become Secured by Design accredited. So those of you with Secured by Design status should in theory already be compliant, but we advise anyone who is not to start thinking about it as soon as possible and put plans into place to ensure you are ready when the time comes.
Off the back of this, it is also worth taking into consideration that PAS 24 itself is likely to be revised, with a much stricter pass criteria for doors. Whilst unconfirmed at this stage, the revised standard looks set to take safe egress in the event of a fire into account, with thumbturns instead of keys fitted to doors. We envisage a great deal of re-testing will be required should this be the case, particularly when you consider that 95% of doors currently tested are done so with keys, so compliance will need to be demonstrated with the new component.
We believe that any move to promote higher security is surely a positive. It is certainly something high on the list of concerns amongst consumers – just look at the brand awareness Secured by Design has achieved in the market – and not before time. Prior to 1997, the only real security requirement was that windows be lockable in accordance with BS 7950 and the first proper PAS 24 standard was only introduced in 1999.
We understand that changes to regulations can seem daunting and are happy to speak to anybody about testing their products in preparation. We offer a range of high quality testing solutions – including support for companies looking to gain Secured by Design accreditation and meet PAS 24 – from our purpose built, fully equipped testing facility in Telford. So give us a call and find out how we can help ensure your products meet the relevant standards in 2015.
Michael Wass, Technical Director, Wintech Engineering Limited