The current edition of ‘Approved Document Q - Security – Dwellings’ supports requirement Q1 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010. Requirement Q 1 applies only in relation to new dwellings and provides that reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorised access to any dwelling; and any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within the building. The approved document sets out reasonable standards for doors and windows to resist physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar by being both sufficiently robust and fitted with appropriate hardware.
Changes coming into effect in October 2015
The new ‘Approved Document Q’, came into effect on 1st October 2015 for use in England*. All window and door products that are installed into New Dwellings, must now comply with the new higher security standards. This does not however, apply to work started before 1st October 2015, or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date - provided the work is started on site before 1st October 2016. Document Q also does not apply to New Build Extensions, Replacement & Refurbishment Projects or Commercial Projects.
How To Ensure That You Comply
In order to comply all easily accessible windows should be made to PAS 24 standards and all easily accessible doorsets, which allow access to be gained into the dwelling must either meet the security requirements of PAS 24 or be designed and manufactured in accordance with specific standards outlined in document Q. Specifying doors or windows with equivalent or better standards is also acceptable.
Who Is Liable If Products Do Not Comply
If you are building a new dwelling or are having a new dwelling built for you; It is your responsibility as the company or person(s) ordering the new windows and doors to ensure that that you specify that all applicable windows and doors are to comply with the new Approved Document Q requirements. The supplier of the products will not be familiar with your project and will not know where the windows and doors are to be installed. It is the suppliers responsibility to ensure that if you order Doc. Q compliant products that they supply comply, and are fully tested and certified.
Doc. Q was only introduced in October 2015 and currently many products do not and cannot comply with these new higher security requirements, and are now simply not suitable for use in these applications. Some products may be able to comply, but do not comply as standard. So unless you specify that the windows and doors you have ordered need to comply to the new Doc Q. security standards and request certificates to prove that they comply, there is no guarantee that they will. Even as more and more window and door systems are tested and improved in order to comply with these new tougher regulations you can not simply assume that the windows and doors that you order comply.