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Complying with Part Q (security) regulations, windows and doors

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The latest figures from the Office on National Statistics highlight the shocking scale of domestic burglaries in the UK and the risk to property owners. In the year ending September 2023 their were 187,749 reported instances of burglary from domestic property in England and Wales alone, that's 514 a day!

These are just the crimes that have been recorded excluding non-domestic properties and bring home the importance of securing your property from this type of threat.

External windows and doors of course are the first defence when protecting residential dwellings and their occupants from the risk of burglary. Crime prevention is the main reason that UK building regulations, which govern the level of security on new windows and doors, have become more stringent.

What are the requirements of Part Q?

Regulations are constantly evolving to mitigate the risks of forced entry and ensure properties are adequately protected. In 2015 an amendment to Building Regulations in England 'Security in Dwellings: Approved Document Q' legally required external doors and windows on new dwellings to be resistant to opportunist burglary attack. Easily accessible doors must be proven to be secure; the qualifying criteria being that they comply with PAS24 or an equivalent security standard. Properties which are converted for residential use must also be adequately protected.

Windows and doors to existing homes do not have to be replaced with PAS24 certified windows and PAS24 doors, however home owners are encouraged to do so, especially where their property is deemed venerable.  There is also speculation that future regulations may be broadened to apply to replacement doors and windows.

When must PAS24 doors and windows be installed?

Approved Document Q states that in new properties reasonable provision must be made to prevent unauthorised access to: 
a) any dwelling from the outside 
b) any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within the building. 

All easily accessible doors, including garage doors and communal entrance doors that provide access into a dwelling, or a building containing a dwelling should be security rated. Where access to the dwelling can be gained via an interconnecting door from the garage, either the garage door or the interconnecting door should be secure. 

PAS24 Door Canary Wharf

PAS24 Door to London Mew House


To protect the building envelope, any easily accessible window should be secure to PAS24 standards. Approved Document Q defines ‘easily accessible’ as either:

- A window, any part of which is within 2m vertically of an accessible level surface such as the ground or basement level, or an access balcony; or,

- A window within 2m vertically of a flat or sloping roof (with a pitch of less than 30°) that is within 3.5m of ground level.


PAS24 Sash Window and Door to Wiltshire Property

What is the PAS24 standard?

PAS24 is a British security standard which meets the security requirements of Approved Document Q, Building Regulations, which state that easily accessible doors and windows on new buildings must be proven to be secure. To be certified, all products undergo stringent physical tests through a UKAS accredited third party to ensure they are secure and fit for purpose. The standard is constantly reviewed to ensure products are resistant to the latest attack methods and was last updated in 2022.

Installation of PAS24 window and doors

To ensure PAS24 windows and doors meet the required standard it’s important they are installed by an experienced fitter. Improper installation can otherwise compromise the security and invalidate the certificate.

  • The opening must be accurately measured and adjusted if necessary to ensure a snug fit for the window / door frame.
  • The window / door must be to the specification and location on the property that it was originally manufactured for.
  • All necessary hardware should be correctly installed, including locks, handles and stays, ensuring they operate smoothly and securely.
  • Frames should be fixed to the structure of the building with appropriate fixings according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Doors should be installed as a certified doorset in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, complete with compatible frames, locks and hardware.
  • To reduce the risk of anyone breaking through the wall and accessing the locking system, door frames should incorporate a resilient layer at least 9mm thick. The resilient layer should be made from expanded metal or similar and to the full height of the door and 600mm either side.

How important are PAS24 doors and windows?

Doors and windows with proven security are vital as part of a series of measures to protect dwellings and the residents that reside within them. The onus of responsibility lies with everyone in the supply chain, from the architect and manufacturer through to contractors and installers to ensure compliance to the regulations. 

Windows and doors certified to the PAS24 standard are a good selling point and add to property value through the security and peace of mind they provide. 

To summarise:

  • New properties must be fitted with PAS4 doors and windows. 
  • Products must have a valid test certificate to show compliance.
  • Doors and windows that have been tested directly to the standard have their own certificate and are recommended.
  • Only use experienced installers.
  • Make sure the hardware fitted is compatible.
  • To aid compliance, install doors as a doorset with compliant frames and hardware

    At Salisbury Joinery we manufacture a full range of PAS24 certified windows and doors to help builders and architects comply with the regulations. Check out our range by downloading our PAS24 Brochure.