Physical security protection of buildings and other facilities

With much attention being placed on the role of emerging technologies in the fight against crime and terrorism, it is often easy to become detracted from the basics. However, good physical security is the bedrock of effective security. Without the delay to intrusion provided by effective physical security, detection simply tells you the intruder has been and gone. It is therefore always important to ensure suitable physical security measures are in place and that those measures provide sufficient delay to enable the intruder to be detected and a suitable response mounted in order to apprehend the intruder.


The delay provided by physical security equipment is typically measured in terms of the tools and time required to achieve entry through the physical security equipment. These combine to indicate the effort required by an intruder in order to gain unauthorised access through the physical security barrier.

Using physical security equipment that achieves a higher rating, or using a layered approach to physical security, can greatly increase the effort an intruder needs to exert in order to gain entry. That effort extends beyond the physical effort required to overcome the physical security equipment. It also includes the effort required to plan and prepare for the attack. The greater the investment in the planning and preparation that a criminal believes is required to conduct a successful attack, the less likely they are to conduct that attack unless the return on that investment is sufficient.

As the security ratings increase, the size and weight of tools required to compromise the products also increases. Using larger, heavier tools increases an intruder’s likelihood of being detected through natural surveillance. They can also slow down the intruder if they have to carry those tools onto the site being attacked. This also increases the risk to the intruder of being caught. The greater that risk, the less likely the criminal is to conduct the attack in the first instance.

So how do security managers and other specifiers confirm whether a physical security product will afford a suitable delay against the tools and techniques likely to be employed by a determined intruder?

LPS 1175 Requirements and testing procedures for the LPCB approval and listing of intruder resistant building components, strongpoints, security enclosures and free-standing barriers confirms the resistance to forced entry provided by security products, systems and building materials.

While previous versions of the standard specified six levels of resistance (security ratings), the latest versions (Issue 6 and 7) specify eight security ratings. The levels of risk on which the security ratings in Issue 6 and 7 are based are represented in the following chart.

LPS 1175 supports the assessment, approval and specification of security doors, shutters and grilles together with many other products and systems designed to prevent unauthorised access by mechanical means. These include:

· Access covers · Hinged doorsets · Skylights
· Cladding systems · Partitioning systems · Sliding doorsets
· Containers · Roofing systems · Strongpoints
· Curtain walling systems · Security enclosures · Temporary buildings
· Fences · Security grilles · Vehicles
· Folding doorsets · Security screens · Walls
· Garage doorsets · Sheds and tool stores · Windows
· Gates and turnstiles · Shutters

LPS 1175 is based on manual attack testing with the resistance provided by the products measured in terms of the attack tools and time available to the attacker. It enables specifiers to select products according to the risk.

Further information on the security rating system and attack tools can be found in the standard itself, which can be downloaded for free from

More information can be found in the LPS 1175 table which you can download from the right hand side of this page.  In addition to certifying products to LPS 1175, LPCB also offers approval of products to the following standards:


  • PAS 24: 2012 Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK -External doorsets and windows intended to offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk.
  • EN 1627: 2011 Pedestrian doorsets, windows, curtain walling, grilles and shutters - Burglar resistance - Requirements and classification.

PAS 24 is primarily aimed at domestic applications where intruders will generally use stealth to avoid detection. This version of the standard covers residential doors and windows.  

The levels of resistance offered by products approved to PAS 24 is generally lower than that provided by products approved to LPS 1175, especially if the products incorporate glass or in situations where the criminal can make sustained amounts of noise while attempting entry. Nonetheless, Secured by Design (SBD) have reported a significant reduction in domestic burglary as a result of the use of products approved to PAS 24.  

EN 1627 is the European standard aimed at façade security products used in domestic and commercial situations. Its lower levels, i.e. up to resistance class 3, are primarily aimed at situations where criminals are more likely to use stealth for fear of attracting attention when attempting to force entry into premises. The scope of products that can be approved to LPS 1175, PAS 24 and EN 1627 are summarised in the following table:-  











  •  LPS 1175: Issue 7 covers many other types of product extending beyond those listed above.
  • Folding doorsets and sliding doorsets with any frame member longer than 3 m are not covered by PAS 24:2012.
  • The following types of hinged doorset are not covered by PAS 24:2012:
    •  Double swing hinged doorsets, i.e. those hinged doorsets with leaves that open in both directions.
    • Doorsets with leaves with two halves, e.g. stable doorsets.
    • Doorsets with any frame member longer than 3 m.
    • Doorsets that are not rectangular e.g. arched doorsets. 

PAS 24 2012 and EN 1627:2011 do not define how products designed to be used in the horizontal plane, such as rooflights, should be tested. 

  • The following types of window are not covered by PAS 24:2012: 
    • Windows incorporating top hung open-in casements, side swing casements, horizontally sliding sashes or louvered vents.
    • Windows with any frame member longer than 3 m.
    • Windows that are not rectangular, e.g. round or arched windows. 

Specifiers should note that, although the working times specified for grades 2, 3 and 4 in EN 1627 match those defined for ratings 2, 3 and 4 in LPS 1175 (i.e. 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes respectively), LPS 1175 covers risks associated with a far wider array of tools and attack methods, including those that involve noise. Specifiers should not assume products approved to EN 1627 achieve the ‘equivalent’ ratings when tested to LPS 1175. 

The quality of the testing conducted to EN 1627 relies heavily on the knowledge and experience of the test engineers conducting that testing. Therefore, in order to ensure products approved by LPCB deliver the protection expected, LPCB only recognises tests conducted to EN 1627 by BRE Global’s highly experienced team of test engineers or by other laboratories that have suitably demonstrated their competence to conduct tests to EN 1627 to an equally high standard. 

Detailed comparisons of EN 1627 and LPS 1175 are available from the Security Team (email 

Hotel Doorsets 
In addition to these standards, LPCB has drafted a standard for Hotel Doorsets. LPS 1268 Specification for the testing and classification of hotel bedroom doorsets covers many aspects of the doorset’s performance, from security performance through to fire resistance, acoustic and general durability. Copies of the standard are available free of charge and can be obtained by emailing 

Product Selection 
When selecting a security door, shutter, grille or other façade element, it is important to note aspects such as the size, locking systems, modes and directions of opening, and the type, size and location of any glazing incorporated within the product or system. All can affect the level of security provided by the product. These aspects of each certified product have therefore been described to enable selection of the most appropriate product for the desired application. Where options, such as glazed in-fills within door leaves, are not covered in the listing, those options fall outside the scope of that product’s approval.  

Unless otherwise stated, the security ratings attributed to the products listed require all lock bolts to be fully engaged and any deadlocking mechanism provided must be engaged. If a product is shown to achieve more than one security rating:


  • The lower rating indicates the security rating achieved by the product when in the ‘minimum locked condition’. That locked condition occurs when the opening element (e.g. door leaf) is closed and only automatic latching mechanisms are engaged.
  • The higher rating indicates the security rating achieved by the product when in the optimum locked condition. That locked condition occurs when all locking points are engaged and deadlocked.

Installation, Service and Maintenance 

It is important to ensure products are installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and that all exposed fixings, the substrate into which the device is fitted and the locking mechanisms are regularly checked to ensure that they are in good condition and that they have not been tampered with. For added peace of mind, we recommend products are: 

  • Installed by companies certified to LPS 1271 Requirements for the LPCB Approval and Listing of companies installing fire and security doors, doorsets, shutters and active smoke/fire barriers. 
  • Serviced and maintained by companies certified to LPS 1197 Requirements for the LPCB Approval and Listing of companies inspecting, repairing and maintaining fire and security doors, doorsets, shutters and active smoke/fire barriers.

It is also recommended to ensure their scope of approval to these standards covers the product to be installed, serviced or maintained. 

Other Performance Attributes 
LPCB also offer approvals of a range of other performance attributes alongside security. These include: 

  • Acoustics
  • Durability
  • Fire Resistance
  • Impact Resistance
  • Operating Forces
  • Thermal Performance
  • Weathertightness

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