Secured by Design has just announced that as of 1 October it will only be accepting PAS24:2016 accreditation on its new developments.
By then, it will of course have given the industry more than 2 years to get its act together on the replacement for PAS24:2012, and allowed time for the test houses to get their UKAS accreditation in place and for fabricators to get their products accredited to the new standard. The change only applies to new orders received after 1 October for SBD developments, and the most significant implication as I see it is that new doors fitted on SBD sites after that date will need to have a TS008 compliant letter plate. TS008 was a Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) standard which was incorporated as a new requirement within PAS24:2016 when it superseded PAS24:2012. Its aim was to try to combat fishing and cylinder manipulation – and by that I mean opportunist thieves poking something through the letterbox to try to hook car and house keys left on a shelf or to manipulate the cylinder from the inside. Up until now, most hardware manufactures have settled on supplying bulky and frankly fairly unattractive letterplates and cowls to address the requirements of TS008, and that is perhaps one of the reasons why some fabricators have been slower than they might have been to switch to the new PAS24:2016 test. I’m delighted to say though that Mila will soon be launching a solution which satisfies the standard with style and ease. We’ve taken our time and come up with a TS008 compliant product which has similar width and height dimensions as standard 12in letterplates. It doesn’t overlap the glazing beads and it suits standard door preps so no need to distinguish between standard and security door sets. It can even be retrofitted if required. It is easily fitted without the need to disassemble, and will be available to fit composite, timber, aluminium and PVC-U doors. Because it’s a Mila product, there will be a wide choice of colours and finishes available and you can take it for granted that it will have been fully tested to beyond the requirements of not just the security standard, but the relevant performance standards as well. Obviously, it’s good news for our customers that Mila will be able to help them meet the new SBD requirements in time, but I would argue that, by incorporating all of TS008 into PAS24:2016 and requiring letterplates to achieve a security Grade 2, we have actually used a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I understand exactly what led to its introduction because, at the time, TS008 was the only test available which addressed the growing fishing phenomenon. However, it goes way beyond those stealth methods of entry and also includes attack methods such as forced removal of the letterplate and the removal of posted items back through the letterbox. What this means in practice is that during the TS008 test, the letterplate has to be able to withstand 3 minutes of attack with tools like screwdrivers and chisels before it is even tested for fishing and manipulation. It wouldn’t be much of a stealth method of entry after all that lot would it! PAS24 was surely intended as a test to demonstrate that doors could prevent burglaries by the casual or opportunist thief whose MO was to break into properties quickly and quietly. It is now going way beyond that and, in my view, is becoming more about preventing the professional criminal who has honed their skills and has prior knowledge of what they were attacking. By continuing to include manual attacks in PAS24 tests, we now have a group of test engineers who are way more skilled than the typical opportunist thief they are supposed to be replicating, and we even have a situation where different test houses are recording different results on the same products due to their varying knowledge and skills in manipulation. Where I don’t have any issue though is with the upcoming requirement for SBD fabricators to have dual certification on doors which are both security and fire rated. That change comes into effect on 1st January 2019 and means that fabricators must be able to produce evidence from a single certification authority to say the door has met the requirement for both. I’ll be covering that in a future Tech Talk.