Understanding Approved Document Q: Security Dwellings

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Approved Document Q provides guidance on how to comply with Parts Q of the Building Regulations.

Approved Document Q contains the following sections:

  • Section 1: Doors
  • Section 2: Windows

NOTE: Approved Document Q applies to new dwellings only; this includes dwellings formed by a material change of use.

Requirement Q1: Unauthorised access

This approved document deals with the following requirement from Part Q of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

Performance

Requirement Q1 applies to easily accessible doors and windows that provide access in any of the following circumstances:

  1. into a dwelling from outside
  2. into parts of a building containing flats from outside
  3. into a flat from the common parts of the building.

In the Secretary of State’s view, doors and windows will meet requirement Q1 if they can resist physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar by being both:

  1. sufficiently robust
  2. fitted with appropriate hardware.

Section 1: Doors

General

1.1 All easily accessible doorsets (including garage doorsets and communal entrance doorsets) that provide access into a dwelling or into a building containing a dwelling should be secure doorsets in accordance with paragraphs 1.2 to 1.4.

NOTE: If a garage has no interconnecting doorset allowing access into the dwelling, garage doorsets need not be secure doorsets. Where access to the dwelling can be gained via an interconnecting doorset from the garage, then either the garage doorset (pedestrian and vehicular) or the interconnecting doorset should be a secure doorset.

Design of secure doorsets

1.2 Secure doorsets should be either:

  1. manufactured to a design that has been shown by test to meet the security requirements of British Standards publication PAS 24:2012, or
  2. designed and manufactured in accordance with Appendix B.

NOTE: Doorsets satisfying other standards that provide similar or better performance are also acceptable. These standards include:

  • STS 201 Issue 5:2013
  • LPS 1175 Issue 7:2010 security rating 2
  • STS 202 Issue 3:2011 burglary rating 2
  • LPS 2081 Issue 1:2015 security rating B.

Further advice is available in Secured by Design’s New Homes 2014.

1.3 Letter plates, where provided, should:

  1. have a maximum aperture of 260mm x 40mm, and
  2. be located and/or designed to hinder anyone attempting to remove keys with sticks and/or insert their hand, for example by incorporating a flap or other features to restrict access.

NOTE: Letter plates meeting the requirements of the Door and Hardware Federation’s (DHF) technical specification TS 008:2012 have been shown to protect against the attacks mentioned above.

1.4 The main doors for entering a dwelling (usually the front door) should have a door viewer unless other means exist to see callers, such as clear glass within the door or a window next to the doorset. The same doorset should also have a door chain or door limiter.

NOTE: In some situations a door chain or limiter is not appropriate, for example where a warden may need emergency access to residents in sheltered housing. Alternative caller-identification measures, such as electronic audio-visual door entry systems, can be used to identify visitors.

Installation and fixing of secure doorsets

1.5 Frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

1.6 Lightweight framed walls should incorporate a resilient layer to reduce the risk of anyone breaking through the wall and accessing the locking system.

The resilient layer should be timber sheathing at least 9mm thick, expanded metal or a similar resilient material. The resilient layer should be to the full height of the door and 600mm either side of the doorset.

Notes

Section 2: Windows

General

2.1 Ground floor, basement and other easily accessible windows (including easily accessible rooflights) should be secure windows in accordance with paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3.

Design of secure windows

2.2 Windows should be made to a design that has been shown by test to meet the security requirements of British Standards publication PAS 24:2012.

NOTE: Windows satisfying other standards that provide similar or better performance are also acceptable. These standards include:

  • STS 204 Issue 3:2012
  • LPS 1175 Issue 7:2010 security rating 1
  • LPS 2081 Issue 1:2015 security rating A.

Further advice is available in Secured by Design’s New Homes 2014.

Installation and fixing of secure windows

2.3 Frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Notes

Questions & Answers

Furhter Reading

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