New set of standards on burglar resistance

07.01.2022 The new set of standards on burglar resistance SN EN 1627, SN EN 1628, SN EN 1629 and SN EN 1630 will apply in Switzerland from January 2022. Christoph Rossmanith, head of burglar resistance testing at BFH and the Swiss representative on the European working group responsible for this set of standards, explains what has changed and how it will impact the industry.

Why have the standards on burglar resistance been revised?

Christoph Rossmanith: SN EN 1627 on burglar resistance was last updated in 2011. Standards are generally reviewed every five years to make sure they are still valid, and amended if need be. This is essential to keep pace with technical progress. A revision of SN EN 1627 was actually well overdue. There have been innovations in the areas covered by the standards cited and much has changed in terms of the technical development of the electromechanical and mechatronic hardware components. While the 2011 version more or less correctly indicated that these fittings used to be the exception in relation to burglar resistance, they have long since been widely used and are increasingly becoming the standard with the smart home trend. So as well as the necessary amendments and additions, electronic security systems will also now be included under the scope of the standard. But I should say right away that this unfortunately didn’t work out. The planned Annex E, which would have covered electronic security systems, was cancelled again owing to the level of complexity involved.

What changes were made?

The standard hasn’t changed radically. The procedure for planning and performing the tests still remains the same. A complete test still includes static, dynamic and manual testing. For example, ambiguities in the descriptions of how testing should be performed have been cleared up and the standards citied have been brought up to date. The scope of application now also covers electromechanical and mechatronic fittings. But any additional components required to control these fittings (covered by the cancelled Annex E) are not included, which leaves a gap.

Chapter 6, which governs the technical requirements for door mounting hardware, was completely revised. There are now two options for equipping a door with the necessary door mounting hardware, for example: the first option is the way things have been done up until now. The manufacturer selects from the certified fittings available on the market and provides evidence of compliance with the requirements listed in chapter 6 by presenting test certificates. This mounting hardware can be exchanged for other certified fittings to a certain extent. The second option is new and allows manufacturers to also use hardware for which no individual certificate exists. In this scenario, doors are tested with uncertified fittings as an integral part of the unit. The fittings must pass the defined tests in the system with the door rather than meet a set of criteria defined via other standards separately from the door as under the previous method. Hardware tested in this way cannot be exchanged for other fittings.

It’s also worth noting that the standard now explicitly mentions the use of hardware with keyless locking mechanisms, and that this must be taken into account accordingly. This somewhat clumsy definition also includes doors with emergency exit characteristics. These doors must also be easy to open when closed, in the event of a fire, for example. The tests on burglar protection must also demonstrate that entry through the door leaf or any glazing elements, for example, is prevented. With electromechanically or mechatronically controlled locking systems in particular, a tiny hole may be sufficient to trigger the opening process.

I imagine this problem isn’t restricted to emergency exit doors?

That’s right, definitely not. Neither emergency exit characteristics nor motorised or automated door drive solutions are anything new and we’re all familiar with them, especially in public buildings. What’s new is the ever smaller size of components and the potential for additional applications that this opens up. There is now a whole array of different options on the market for controlling or interconnecting these components using electronic security or access control systems. Thus the level of complexity in this area has increased significantly.

What are the next steps in closing the gap with the control systems?

Unfortunately, the challenging issue of electronic security systems will not be tackled at European level for the time being. The standard contains a vague intimation that this gap can be closed at a later stage. That’s why the SIA included notes and recommendations on dealing with this gap in the National Appendix to SN EN 1627. A guideline has also been agreed with the ift Rosenheim, Holzforschung Austria and Bern University of Applied Sciences (will be published shortly), which outlines a way of including electronic security and access control systems into burglar resistance testing.

What do the changes mean for window and door manufacturers?

They won’t make any difference initially. All certificates for systems and components previously tested remain valid. As for components for which testing has now been introduced, entry must now be tested in accordance with the more specifically defined provisions, such as is the case for components with emergency exit characteristics or non-lockable window handles, for example. As a result, the documentation of these components now takes more time and effort and the planning of test series is made more complex, especially in the case of electromechanical and mechatronic solutions.

What implications does the new standard have for BFH’s burglar resistance testing rig in Biel?

We will carry out the same tests when testing under the new standard. The range of tools available to our testing team hasn’t changed either. But emergency exit functions and electromechanical components are now viewed differently and must undergo specific testing. As a testing centre, we’ve now also got to gear up for the challenge of testing doors with non-certified components – under the second option outlined above. The first meetings with other testing centres to discuss this issue have already taken place.

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