Sliders UK has warned that lack of clarity, continuous testing and third-party accreditation, could mean thousands of PAS24:2012 accredited doors fitted in the UK fall short of Part Q.
Introduced in October last year, Building Regulations Part Q, sets PAS24:2012 as the new minimum standard for security in new build.
But in failing to place a requirement on fabricators to independently assess quality management systems or to ensure that specifications are met consistently, it fails to safeguard product quality.
Ian Longbottom, Chairman, Sliders UK explained: “It’s all about the ‘golden sample’ –you only need to prove that you can manufacture to a set standard once to ‘achieve’ PAS24:2012.
“We remain concerned that over time we will find fabricators stating that a product is PAS24:2012 based on a single assessment or system house accreditation.
“This won’t reflect possible hardware changes and there will be no control on quality or independent testing to ensure that those specifications don’t impact on performance.
“We believe that this could create a legal minefield with installers battling it out with fabricators as to liability, where installations are tested and fall short of regulations.”
This is cited by Sliders UK as a key differential between PAS24:2012 and Secured by Design, the latter placing a requirement on fabricators to be able to evidence controls on quality and to undergo independent third-party assessment.
This includes the full remit of testing under PAS24:2012 - security, weather testing, operating forces and cycle testing. “It demonstrably shows that a product is fully ‘fit for purpose’, unlike Document Q, which only prescribes that a supplier underwrites his own assurance that a product has passed the security element of the testing only”, added Ian.
Sliders UK became the first PVC-U patio door manufacturer to be accredited with Secured by Design status in 2008, securing the first PVC-U bi-folding door SBD approval in 2009. Since then, the company has added its Ultimate Aluminium bi-fold door – another industry first – a second PVC-U bi-fold door system and an extensive range of composite doors.
Ian continued: “There is a perception that a PAS24:2012 door puts a tick in all of the boxes in the same way as SBD does but there are some really quite significant differences the most notable of which are requirements for independent testing and safeguards on quality.
“We don’t believe for a moment that anyone would deliberately mislead industry colleagues or end users but if products fall short of specifications over time, installers may find themselves fighting it out with their suppliers as to where liabilities sit.
“Secured by Design accredited products take away all of that risk.”