Author Bio ▼

IFSEC Global is the online community for the Security and Fire industry. Our market-leading live events span the globe, connecting buyers and sellers.
January 25, 2021

Sign up to free email newsletters

Download

Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

Security doors

Your Complete Guide to Choosing High Security Doors: What to Look For

In this guide, we’ll run you through everything you need to know about security doors, including the benefits of security doors, how to choose the right security door for your business, as well as security door and access control regulations that you must abide by.

What common security vulnerabilities are addressed by security doors?

Though many of us are diligent when it comes to locking up homes, offices, storage facilities and retail premises, doors are said to be the most vulnerable access points for criminals to attack. Standard keyholes are often deemed easy wins for seasoned burglars. That’s why focusing your security efforts on access control – especially security doors – can help you safeguard your sites and homes, reduce the risk of crime and better protect your assets.

In fact, data published by The Telegraph has outlined that “two-thirds of break-ins happen while residents are at home,” because residents leave their doors and windows “open to night-time burglaries”.

According to the ONS Nature of Crime report, between March 2019 and March 2020, “76% of domestic burglars in England and Wales accessed the property through a door.”

Unfortunately, there are instances where businesses (such as stores, offices and warehouse facilities) are viewed by burglars as more vulnerable targets for crime, as some research shows they are even less secure than residential properties.

Whether burglaries carried out are ‘smash and grab’, opportunistic or sophisticated, security doors can help to minimise the risks.

The benefits of security doors

  • Avoiding financial losses and theft: It is estimated that commercial burglaries on small businesses amount to losses of £12.9 billion a year in the UK.
  • Mitigating property damage: It is not uncommon to find your property has been damaged as burglars have attempted to gain access to your business.
  • Preventing lost time due to repairs: Repairing this damage can sometimes lead to business downtime, resulting in lost days of productivity, which will have knock-on effects for revenue streams.
  • Safeguarding the psychological wellbeing of staff: The emotional repercussions of safety breaches are palpable for staff who have to continue operating in the premises – burglaries can trigger feelings of anxiety and neglect.

Security doors should not be viewed as a specific requirement for vulnerable residents or lucrative commercial sites – everyone should consider bolstering their access control efforts by purchasing and implementing high security doors to provide peace of mind.

As criminals get more sophisticated, security must evolve at a faster rate. That’s why security systems are becoming multi-layered, inclusive of CCTV cameras, alarms, flood lights and other forms of intruder detection systems. Security doors form part of this strong resistance, and are often deemed as the ‘last line of defence’, designed to either delay the attacker’s success or prevent it altogether.

How to comply with security door regulations

One of the issues security buyers face when navigating the security door market is that there are so many different standards referenced. It can be difficult to know which labels and criteria to pay attention to. Here’s a quick overview of security door regulations:

  • BS 6375 (which recently replaced PAS 23) offers an overview of general performance for security doors and windows in the UK, and it is divided into three parts. The first addresses factors such as weather resistance, the second addresses security and durability features and the third includes information on selection and specification.
  • Security doors also need to meet the standards of Part M of BS 8300, which is the premises equivalent of the Equality Act. This essentially ensures a security door is fit for use for people who are disabled.
  • There are several security standards and memberships you’ll also want to look out for, too. Firstly, Part Q of the Building Regulations, which states that all easy-access doors provided to new buildings must comply with certain security requirements. Secondly, PAS 24: 2016 is a benchmark standard which allows you to compare the durability of a window or security door. Thirdly, Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative which strives to improve the security of buildings. And lastly, STS 202 and LPS 1175 are both standards awarded to security doors after a product undergoes a host of tests and ‘mock attacks’. A higher rating suggests that a security door endured a longer attack with more advanced tools. You can find full details of LPS 1175 in our guide, here.
  • EN 1627-30 is a European standard that ensures security products meet a minimum set of requirements in regards to locking, glazing and door handles.
  • There are also sub-categories of requirements you should consider, including for those that ensure the performance of assailant-resistance locks. Standards to look out for include: BS3621 (the British Standard for assailant-resistant locks), EN1303:2005 (a European standard for cylinder locks), TS007:2012 (which is a three star system and security standard for “replacement lock cylinders and protective door furniture” such as door handles or knobs).
  • You must also consider fire safety in your procurement of security doors. For example, BS EN 1634-1:2014 is a standard provided after fire and smoke control tests are carried out on doors, shutters and building hardware. If you own a commercial or non-domestic property, there are strict regulations and guidelines to follow, ensuring the doors can withstand certain heats.

Choosing a security door for your business or premises

What are the components of a security door?

Security screen doors tend to be made from steel, aluminium or an alloy (a combination of metal and non-metal). Aluminium and metal alloy security screen doors are usually weaker than security screen doors which are made from stainless steel. If you want an aluminium or metal alloy security screen door to have the same level of protection as a stainless steel security screen door, you’ll need to have wider frames.

There are five main components of a security door:

  • Lock: As mentioned above, door locks tend to be the most vulnerable parts of a door, and are the most common points of attacks, especially for ‘smash and grab’ intrusions.
  • Core: The core is the inside of the door, responsible for preventing and delaying cutting or drilling attacks.
  • Hinge: Hinges can sometimes be removed if an attacker is able to remove the hinge pin (which is often the case for hinges placed on the outside of door).
  • Access control system: An access control system can be a magnetic key card or a passcode. This often forms part of a security door as a way to selectively provide entry to permitted personnel only.
  • Certification: As mentioned above in the security door regulation section, security doors you procure must be certified by third-party regulators.

Security door ratings

A security door’s rating will help you understand its durability, strength and functionality. Matching your business’s needs to a security door’s rating will prevent you from overpaying on security features you do not need, whilst ensuring you implement the right security level on your premises.

As mentioned above, one of the standards that will help you gauge the strength of security door you need is provided by The LPCB – this stands for The Loss Prevention Certification Board. The LPCB is the leading international certification body in the fields of security and fire protection, and it has formulated the LPS 1175 (Loss Prevention Standards) which “focusses on the physical security of intruder resistant building components”. It includes eight ratings – the higher the rating, the stronger the security door is to withstanding intruder attempts.

Each rating is awarded after a security door withstands break-in attempts over a number of minutes (specified in the below descriptions) and a range of tools. Depending on their technicality and success, these tools are listed in categories labelled A to G, with tools in category G including concrete chainsaws and diamond core drill bits, and tools in category A including glass cutters, spanners and pliers.

The security door attack tests are cumulative, so a security door which has a rating of SR3 has endured an attack featuring tools from category C, in addition to tools in category B and A.

LPCB’s LPS 1175 security door ratings include:

SR1: This is the lowest security door rating. This standard is awarded to a security door which is able to endure a minimum of one minute of “opportunistic attempts at forced entry,” with hand-held tools such as a spanner, a glass cutter, a screwdriver, a lever and a 125 mm long blade knife, which are tools listed in category A.

SR2: This standard is awarded to a security door which is able to endure a more determined attack over a minimum of three minutes with tools such as a 350 mm long bolt cutter, a hand drill, a junior hacksaw and a claw hammer, which are tools listed in category B.

Both of these certifications should be a good fit for businesses situated in busy areas, where passers-by are likely to hear criminals making consistent break-in attempts.

SR3: This standard is awarded to a security door which is able to endure a minimum of five minutes of attack from a criminal who is specifically targeting your premises with items such as an axe, a cold chisel, and a crowbar, which are tools listed in category C. 

SR4: This standard is awarded to a security door which is able to withstand 10 minutes of attack with tools such as a bolt cutter, a lock puller, five drill bits and a cordless drill, which are tools listed in category D.

SR5: This standard is awarded to a security door which is able to withstand 10 minutes of attack akin to SR4’s test, but with the additional scrutiny of tools in category D+, such as an 18v cordless circular saw.

SR6: This standard is awarded to a security door able to withstand 10 minutes of attack from mains-powered tools such a 1,100W disc grinder and a 1,100W circular saw, which are tools listed in category E.

You’ll be able to find a security door that meets any of the above standards, but the two standards listed below (SR7 and SR8) are yet to be achieved – they are merely goals for manufacturers to achieve.

SR7: This standard is awarded to a security door able to endure a test similar to the test of SR6, but with the additional help from tools listed in category F, such as a 450 mm enforcer, a 910 mm long hooligan bar and an oxyacetylene “Saffire Portapak” cutting kit.

SR8: This standard is awarded to a security door able to survive an attack of 20 minutes from an assailant armed with tools listed in category G, such as a pneumatic impact tool and a hydraulic head and toe jack.

Trends and developments in the security door market

Security doors form part of perimeter security measures, which can include video detection, intrusion detection, access control, security fencing and gates, and barriers and bollards. Despite site managers and security professionals devoting ample funds to CCTV solutions, physical perimeter protection has been a somewhat neglected market. However, as the threat of terrorism increases, alongside new technology in video surveillance, the need to reduce staffing costs and global investment initiatives in smart building and smart city infrastructure, the adoption of perimeter protection is beginning to accelerate.

As a result, the security market has welcomed new products within the category of access control. Recently, ASSA ABLOY’s ENTR was crowned as an award-winning digital lock that turns your front door into a secure smart door. In order to use it, you simply need to “Replace an existing lock cylinder with an ENTR lock and you can open your home or office using a smartphone app, keypad PIN, remote control or even fingerprint.” The device is also powered by rechargeable batteries. As smart home trends move beyond smart metres, security is becoming a crucial part of property that can be bolstered with new technology.

 

Subscribe to the IFSEC Global weekly newsletter

Enjoy the latest fire and security news, updates and expert opinions sent straight to your inbox with IFSEC Global's essential weekly newsletter. Subscribe today to make sure you're never left behind by the fast-evolving industry landscape.

Sign up now!

man reading a tablet, probably the IFSEC Global newsletter

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments