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Are Secure by Design Windows & Doors worth the extra money?

Mark Pearce, Managing Director, KJM Group takes us through the Secured by Design scheme and highlights what you get for your money.

We all want to feel secure and protected in our homes and with new government figures showing a 33% jump in the number of aggravated burglaries committed in England and Wales in the last year, home security is more important than ever.

But if you’re thinking about buying new high security windows and doors, how do you know that you’re making the right choice and the claims made about security stand up to scrutiny? Secured by Design may just be what you’re looking for?

What is Secured by Design?

Secured by Design, according to the official blurb, is ‘A police initiative to guide and encourage those engaged within the specification, design and build of new homes, and those undertaking major or minor property refurbishment, to adopt crime prevention measures’.

Putting the official line to one side, Secured by Design or SBD in its abbreviated form, is in part a pressure group and in part income generator for other crime prevention initiatives. Critically, what it gives homeowners is an independent assurance, that their new windows and doors have been manufactured and independently tested to, pre-defined standards of performance for security.

How do SBD specifications fit with Part Q and PAS24?  

Secured by Design Specifications vary by product but as a starting point they need to comply with PAS24.

PAS 24 (Publicly Available Specification) is the minimum standard set out in Building Regulations Part Q for windows and doors installed in new homes, receiving either a pass or fail – this is an important point because for the moment the test applies to new build only.

PAS24 tests cover everything from manipulation using tools, for example paint scrapers and screwdrivers to lever the window open or force entry by removing glazing to impact tests on doors.

It also sets a requirement for the components used in the manufacture of windows and doors including strengthening of frames and in doors TS007 compliant door cylinders, which are resistant to drilling and other methods of assault.

These tests must also be independently assessed by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), accredited test house - in short UKAS checks the checkers to ensure competence, impartiality and performance to achieve Part Q approval.

SBD places a couple of further requirements on their approvals. This includes the use of laminated glass in doors and any non-key locking window within 400mm of a door. A Secured by Design approved window or door needs to have been manufactured by an SBD license holder.

Does PAS 24 apply to my new windows and doors?

For the moment, the answer is no. PAS24 and Part Q only apply to new build, although a revision is scheduled for next year, which may see its extension to replacement windows and doors.

How are SBD doors and windows different to standard doors and windows?

The major difference is that SBD doesn’t draw a distinction between new build and replacement windows and doors. To be able to offer SBD approved products, they have to have been manufactured by an SBD licence holder and - in exactly the same way as new build -  been independently tested to meet requirements set out in PAS24.

Secured by Design accredited windows and doors from KJM Group in Andover Hampshire

KJM Group offers an extensive range of high security and energy efficient windows and doors, including casement, tilt and turn and vertical sliding windows and doors in PVC-U, timber and aluminium. This includes energy saving triple-glazed windows with U-values as low as 0.8W/m².K.

Window security features as standard:

  • 8-point locking (9 on larger sizes) providing the ultimate burglar deterrent. 

  • Heavy duty bolt has up to 300 per cent greater contact area against competitor shoot-bolts
  • Tested by an independent test laboratory to over 6,000N force; more than double the requirement of the BSI 7950 security test. 

  • Developed to withstand even the most determined intruder 

  • Patented bolt into the keep docking system prevents sideways movement of the bolt when under attack

  • Meets and exceeds all current building standards including Part Q.

Where security is a major area of concern, this core specification can also be enhanced to meet all requirements set out under SBD.

Our front and back door composite door ranges are supplied to a UK Police approved Secured by Design specification as standard:

  • Robust handles manufactured from stainless steel
  • Cylinder guard system
  • Anti-drill and anti-pick door lock cylinder
  • Single piece door-keep and multi-point locking
  • Local thickening of PVC-U frames to provide increase
  • Steel reinforcement
  • Meets and exceeds all current building standards including Part Q

Are SBD windows worth the extra money?

As highlighted, we supply our composite entrance doors in an SBD specification as standard. Windows are also specified to deliver high levels of security as standard.

SBD accreditation on windows push that bar a little higher. For example, the use of laminate glass can make ground floor windows more resilient to intruders.

This always needs to be offset against increased cost. Laminate, for example comes with an uplift of up to 40% on glass costs.

Whether an SBD specification window worth the extra money or not is very much down to budget and the level of perceived threat. What is certain is that today’s new windows and doors deliver a significantly enhanced level of performance over older windows and doors and employ state-of–the-art multi-point locking mechanisms, significantly reducing the risk of break-in.  

For more information email sales@kjmgroup.co.uk or call 01264 359355.