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Statement concerning the need to forcibly gain authorised entry to a property through the door

The Association of Composite Door Manufacturers  recognises that situations may arise when it becomes necessary to force access into a property through the entrance door.

Such circumstances will include emergencies such as gas leaks, flood and fire or other risk to life such as critical illness, and also suspicion of illegal activity.  In these situations, the emergency services are both trained and appropriately equipped to gain entry.

There may also be other reasons for authorised forced access by the landlord or managing agent that could be considered non-urgent, such as:

 

  • Eviction, property abandonment, voids
  • Occupier difficulty in door operation, e.g. locked inside, or locked out
  • The need to access services within the property for repair or maintenance

 

For reasons such as the above, it is often requested of door suppliers to provide instructions as to how to “break in” through the door in a non-destructive manner by exploiting potential weaknesses or known methods of attack, or by using specialist tools that may claim to be capable of achieving entry.

The Association of Composite Door Manufacturers produce and supply composite entrance doors that, in the vast majority of instances, are accredited to industry standards for security such as PAS 24:2007 or equivalent. Additionally, entrance door products will often be Secured by Design Licensed, providing conformance to a recognised security standard such as PAS 24:2007 and with additional Police Approved Specification criteria, such as laminated glazing and third party certification of product testing.

Even where a composite entrance door product does not wholly conform to these standards, it is still likely to be of a robust and durable construction that will offer a high level of security and will provide a high level of resistance to opportunist break in.

Our members’ composite entrance door products are designed to provide personal and property protection, and to help with the prevention of crime. To publish means by which such protection may be compromised is fundamentally wrong, and would be unethical for any credible security product manufacturer.

The procurement of “specialist” tools is not condoned as no guarantee can be offered as to their effectiveness or legality and the potential risk of inappropriate use cannot be ascertained.

 

Where a definite need for non-emergency property access exists, there are a number of alternative options to forced entry through the door that landlords should consider, including:

Employ the services of an accredited professional locksmith

Alternative access, such as a window

The use of master-keyed locks or key control systems

Accredited professional locksmiths (http://www.locksmiths.co.uk/) should be the first option where non emergency forced entry is required with minimal damage to the property.

The cost of a locksmith is low relative to the potential cost of failed attempts at entry by maintenance staff, the risk of irrepairable damage to the door product, and the prolonged failure to gain entry.

Help and advice can be sought a local level from the police. The Architectural Liaison Office (ALO) is qualified and authorised to consider all of the relevant requirements where the Secured by Design standard is concerned, and is able to make any appropriate recommendations, so consultation with the ALO is strongly advised.

 

 

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