Defining and Meeting PAS 24 Compliance

Enhanced door security is something that we take for granted today, but the introduction of security standards for doorsets is a fairly recent phenomenon. Standards such as PAS 24 have ensured that doorsets are now less vulnerable to attack. However, there is some confusion in the market around what PAS 24 compliance actually means. Here, Tim Almond, Commercial Manager for OEM, at ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, offers his interpretation of PAS 24, based on his experience or doorset testing to this security standard.

It is fortunate that PAS 24 has introduced higher security to single external doors to new homes and dwellings generally. This standard has developed over the years to become the main test for practically every type of door and, more recently, systems companies promoting sliding doors, patio doors and bi-folding doors are ensuring they meet this standard.

Nevertheless, there is still some confusion over what is actually needed in order to claim PAS 24. Ultimately, a doorset or window manufacturer must test their whole product at a test laboratory, which is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), to perform the tests in accordance with PAS 24:2012.

It is a common misconception that individual components of doorsets, for example locks and hinges, can claim PAS 24 compliance. As a result, it is important to emphasise that testing must be carried out on a complete doorset or window system.

Doorsets or windows that are PAS 24 compliant are proven to offer a level of security suitable for external use in dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk, such as some commercial properties.

PAS 24 testing – what does it involve?

To obtain a greater understanding of PAS 24, it is useful to break down what PAS 24 testing actually entails.

Security professionals identify the cylinder as a vulnerable part of a doorset, including the surrounding hardware that operates a morticed or multipoint locking mechanism. Therefore, PAS 24 testing includes a security hardware assessment. This incorporates a rigorous timed manual attack on the locking hardware with tools, to attempt to defeat the locking mechanism.

Impact tests are also carried out, which comprise of a soft body impact test. Here, a 30kg sandbag is swung at the door from a specified height, to test the ability of each door leaf and glazing to withstand the impact. Hard body impact tests are also undertaken, where a 50kg steel impactor is swung at corners, hinges and locking points, as well as any other devices intended to provide security.

Mechanical loads are applied to all locking points at 4500N (approximately 45 times the pressure you would use to tighten a car wheel nut) via a pneumatic ram, in the opening direction of the door and 1500N in the parallel direction. All loads must be held for ten seconds without entry being achieved.

If a doorset successfully resists all PAS 24 tests, without the door opening, or access through it being achieved, the doorset is PAS 24 compliant. However, it is worth acknowledging that PAS 24, like most British standards, is a minimum standard. In other words, PAS 24 only shows whether a doorset has passed or failed and does not show if one doorset is stronger than another.

PAS 24 started out as a test for single leaf doorsets, but is now used to test a wider variety of doorsets, most recently extending to include sliding doors, composite doors and bi-fold doors (and parallel opening windows). As a consequence of this, more manufacturers are investing in making doorsets that are certified to PAS 24.

Partnering with Kestrel Aluminium Systems

One organisation Adams Rite is currently working with to secure properties with doorsets tested to PAS24 is Kestrel Aluminium Systems.

Kestrel Aluminum Systems are supplying a wide range of properties, including dwellings and commercial properties, with the thermally efficient aluminium single and double doorsets that have been proven to successfully resist all PAS24 attacks.

The doorsets offer ‘enhanced security’ and incorporate Adams Rite’s innovative Sentinel M commercial multi-point locks, which includes the new 3 star security rated cylinder platform.

Steven Shute, Managing Director at Kestrel Aluminium Systems, said: “Working with Adams Rite has allowed us to use ASSA ABLOY’s UKAS accredited test lab to ensure our components resisted all PAS24 attacks, without failure or opening.

“The testing included timed manual attack methods, hard and soft body impact tests, and mechanical load testing of 4500N, providing us with the confidence that our doorsets will not only conserve heat, but will also adequately protect the occupants and assets in a range of projects.”

The future of PAS 24

According to The Crime Prevention Website, enhanced secure doors and ‘their performance in terms of their contribution to reducing burglary has been quite breathtaking’. PAS 24 is supported by Secured by Design on behalf of the UK Police Service.

Recently a new revised version of PAS 24 has been launched, PAS24: 2016, which will be particularly noteworthy for the door market. The main change is that a new more rigorous cutting test for doors has been officially put into force. While this had always been a requirement for doors using a key/thumb-turn cylinder, the test has now been expanded to include all door types that use a cylinder. Pivot doorsets will also be included in the scope.

However, this will not fully come into force until at least 2018, when Approved Document Q is reviewed. So currently, PAS24: 2012 is the most appropriate and relevant test for all types of build.

The ASSA ABLOY Test Laboratory is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to offer PAS 24 testing.

For further information about the ASSA ABLOY Test Laboratory, click here.