The high security door specification developed by Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) and delivered by Soundcraft over four of the nine phases of WBC’s FED replacement programme has consistently demonstrated excellent performance.
This specification, often referred to as the ‘Multisecure’ door, was created with knowledge and improvements from various door specifications between 1982-1992. A number of issues were identified in the old specification. These included the position of the letter plate in relation to the lock, the internal letter box cowl and the speed of the door closer.
The lock selected was the Mul-T-Lock ML 240, or 235, multi point lock. A unique feature of the ML lock is that the two vertical locking bolts are housed within the door, in a ‘tube’ created by a bespoke, long boring machine, which drills holes through the length of the door. The vertical bolts, combined with three side bolts and a latching option, provide significant security.
The ML240 lock is generally locked from the inside by the use of a thumbturn and locked from the outside by a key. The ML 240 lock does not have a latching action, so a door with this lock cannot shut and latch behind you.
The ML 235 has a latching action and is locked both outside with a key and inside with a key or thumbturn. The latch is operated from inside by a handle, but outside by a key.
Security is enhanced in the Wandsworth specification by the use of powder coated steel frame armour. The frame armour is adjustable and ‘wraps’ around existing frames – jambs and head – providing more strength than a normal timber frame. The adjustment allows for differing depths of existing frame.
Apart from added security, the use of frame armour eliminates the need to remove existing frames and the frequent problems that this creates. In addition, a typical installation takes between three and four hours and allows for a very clean and tidy operation, which is very resident friendly.
The door itself is a FSC® solid timber cored flush door capable of achieving FD30 performance when part of a door assembly tested to BS476:Part 22:1987 and of satisfying PAS 23/24 so that the contractor can provide Secured by Design certification. If doors are required for conservation areas planted mouldings can be applied to replicate traditional panelled doors, and vision panels, often with six or nine small panes of glass, can be introduced. Door finishes can be virtually any colour, although a rich mahogany is standard.
The specification used for WBC requires the letter plate to be a minimum of 400mm from the lock. This makes it much more difficult to fish to open the door. However, in itself, this is not necessarily sufficient to prevent fishing. A purpose made cowl was attached, by bolts that ran through the door, to the letter plate.
The Wandsworth specification settled on the Perko door closer, which as well as being unobtrusive because it is concealed, is housed in the door and less open to vandalism. This closer is also fire rated for 30 minutes. The Perko satisfies Part M of the Building Regulations.
Whilst providing substantial security, this specification allows the emergency services to gain access within 3 minutes. Demonstrations of the best method of achieving emergency access have been provided by contractors during each of the nine phases of the door replacement programme.