Armoured doors: what types are there?

In the last blog we mentioned some small measures to be taken concerning the main entrance door to ensure that our home does no run unnecessary risks.

We saw that, in order to be a good quality door it must withstand attempts to break in, unhinge it, knock it out of the wall or cut through. The market of the so-called armoured doors has developed considerably over the last decade.

What features must a door possess to be considered armoured?

A true armoured door must be made of very strong materials, which give it particular burglary-proof characteristics. A good quality armoured door is made completely of steel sheet which, if it is not mass produced, can reach a thickness of 3-4 mm, whilst it is covered externally with wood or other materials for decorative purposes. Without doubt, the greater the thickness of the sheeting and the better the quality of the elements with which it is manufactured, the greater will be resistance to attacks from the outside.

Pure class, the EU standards

Armoured doors are certified on the basis of 4 EU standards (UNI

ENV 1627, 1628, 1629, 1630) which divide them into 6 security classes.

These are differentiated (in increasing order) on the basis of the type of tool which a potential burglar could use to break in.

  1. Withstands only the physical force of the person trying to gain entry.
  2. Withstands external attempts to break in using simple tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, etc.
  3. Withstands attacks with crowbars.
  4. Withstands attacks with chisels, hammers, axes, hand saws, electric drills, cutters, etc.
  5. Withstands attacks with high-power drills and other electric tools such as saws or grinders, etc.
  6. Withstand attempts by an expert burglar who also uses high-power tools.

Every type of door must be categorised and subjected to strength tests, after which the relative class certificate is issued.

Installation

In order for there to be maximum protection, the entire “door system” must be installed by a skilled and qualified tradesman. An efficient installation is one which makes it difficult to remove the frame from the door, so it must be fixed to the wall at several points and with sufficiently long anchors.

Indeed, a common thief does not worry about finding a system to open a low cost door: he already knows that he can break it directly from the frame.

However, if there is a double bit, this must be of the  latest design, which is able to  withstand attacks with the so-called “Bulgarian pick” and there must be at least 8-11 locking points, connected to the lock.

How does one choose a door which best suits one’s needs?

The question one immediately thinks of is: “how do I go about purchasing an armoured door which satisfies my needs?”.

Unfortunately, there is not any simple answer. Everyone must consider their financial situation and decide how much they are willing to invest. Expert locksmiths always recommend selecting at least a class three door for a normal apartment. However, it is recommended that a higher class, such as 5 or 6, be selected for particular security requirements, such as for a villa, or the protection of jewels, etc.

There are also motorised locks, which guarantee automatic closing every time the door is used (especially useful for absentminded people!) and therefore provide greater security, both for people already inside the house who forget to the close the door and for when one leaves the house quickly.

Obviously, in the same way that the use of thumb turn cylinders is recommended on main doors , also in the case of motorised locks it is important that the opening system cannot be released from the inside by simply pressing a button which can be reached by anyone; otherwise, if a burglar enters by a secondary access (e.g. window, balcony etc.) he could simply open the main door and calmly leave with the stolen goods, being mistaken for someone known to the homeowner and not as someone carrying out a burglary, as would be the case if he had to leave from the same point through which he entered.

Conclusions

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. It cannot be stressed enough that investing in security is always an excellent decision, so as not to have to pay much more later (in both an economic and psychological sense).

No matter how efficient an electronic alarm can be, it will never be sufficient without the security provided by good quality doors and windows, fitted with the correct locks and suitable for the specific needs.

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