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As of October 2010 replacement entrance doors must comply with Approved Document L of the Building Regulations in England and Wales. This requires that the door meets significantly higher levels of insulation than previously required and must achieve a U value of 1.8W/m²K or lower.
Three of the certification bodies have developed standards for installing companies in an effort to increase the quality of installation of doors and windows, especially those of enhanced security. Look at the installer’s website or headed paper to see if it carries the Kitemark, ‘Q’ Mark or LPCB mark for these standards.
The three standards are:
BS 8213-4: 2007 Windows, doors and rooflights – Part 4: Code of practice for the survey and installation of windows and external doorsets
BM Trada ‘Q’ Mark for Survey and Installation of Windows and External Doorsets
LPS 1271-1.1 Requirements for the LPCB Approvals and Listing of companies installing fire and security doorsets and shutters and smoke barriers*
*Note that LPS 1271-1.1 above is an installation standard for doors only and only for those that are certificated to LPS 1175, not PAS 24.
Other standards that might be held by a door manufacturer or installer include the following:
ISO 9001-2000(8) Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001: 2004 Environment Management System
BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System
If you live in a flat and want to replace a fire resistant flat entrance door there are manufacturers who can provide you with a door that is certificated to both security and fire resistance standards. ( Fire doors in a domestic setting )
The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA) was set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation and other industry bodies in response to changes in the Building Regulations for the double glazing companies in England and Wales. When replacing windows and doors, homeowners must comply with the current thermal performance standards as contained in Approved Document L of the Building regulations for England and Wales and ensure they obtain a certificate from FENSA or Local Authority Building Control. FENSA approved companies that install replacement windows and doors are able to self-certify compliance under the regulations without the need for a separate assessment from Building Control.
All replacement glazing comes within the scope of the Building Regulations and anyone who installs replacement windows or doors must comply with the current thermal standards.
When your property is sold your purchaser’s solicitors will ask for evidence that any replacement glazing installed since April 2002 complies with the Building Regulations. You can prove compliance in two ways:
Provide a certificate of compliance showing that the work was carried out by an installer that was registered to FENSA at the time of the installation
Provide a certificate of compliance from the Local Authority Building Control stating that the installation has been approved under Building regulations
So make sure that before you sign any contract with a company that is going to replace your doors and or windows you are confident that they will be able to self-certify. If they cannot do this you have two other options:
Use a FENSA registered company instead or, if this person is your favourite and most trustworthy builder you’ll have to make an application to the Local Authority Building Control for approval under the Building Regulations. The application can be made by the installer or the homeowner, there is likely to be a charge and evidence will have to be produced to prove that the window or door does indeed meet the thermal standards at the time.
Although FENSA will inspect about 1 in every 50 installations to ensure a decent workmanlike installation they are not checking the security attributes of the door or window. Unfortunately, in spite of the evidence that supports the fact that installing enhanced security doors and windows can reduce the chances of burglary by 50% and more, a requirement to use them under Building Regulations has not yet happened and isn’t likely to for the foreseeable future.
Be careful about some of the claims that are made by door manufacturers and installers, which may not be what they seem. Here are a few examples taken from websites with my comments in brackets. Incidentally, these websites DID NOT mention anything about independent certification of the product. This is because they will assume you don’t know anything about it – but now you do!
“Burglars usually gain entry to your home through a window or door so your door’s security is high on the agenda.” (Stating the obvious really, but this first sentence draws you into the subject of security.)
“It’s important for you to select doors with adequate locking devices.” (How are Mr and Mrs Smith going to be able to recognise what is an adequate locking system?)
“All of Unknown Company’s doorsets comply with PAS 24 enhanced security as standard.” (‘Comply with PAS 24’ does NOT mean that the doorsets are certificated to PAS 24. If the doors were certificated then the company would say exactly that and show the details of the certification authority on the website. You would then be able to check against the certification authorities’ websites)
“We are proud to say that all of our doorsets include locking mechanisms that meet the enhanced security standard of PAS 24” It is meaningless to claim that a component part of the doorset meets with the security standards when the standard is a test on the WHOLE DOORSET and not on individual components. There’s little point fitting a poorly constructed door with a good lock, or a well constructed door with a bad lock. You need both and that’s what testing and certification is all about.