Is attack testing security secondary glazing all that it’s cracked up to be?

Whilst exhibiting at the International Security Expo 2021, we collaborated once again with BRE for a live test demonstration in their LPCB Attack Testing Zone, where a couple of our products were subjected to a simulated attack. LPCB is short for the “Loss Prevention Certification Board” and has been operating for over 100 years. It is now operated by BRE (Building Research Establishment) which is a profit-for-purpose organisation. LPS (Loss Prevention Standards) have been working with industry and insurers to test the Physical Security performance of a wide range of products, including secondary glazing. Selectaglaze security products are LPS1175 certified and this accreditation is one of the ratings used to test the resistance of security products based on the size and type of tools used and the time that assailants will risk spending on attempting to gain entry. Our security units have been tested and rated to LPS 1175 SR1,2&3 levels according to the delay they provide against different levels of forced entry. The International Security Expo 2021 was the first major exhibition we were a part of, post- lockdown, and it was great to showcase the durability and effectiveness of our Series 43 Heavy duty security demountable fixed light unit LPS1175 SR3 compared to our standard Series 45 Slimline Hinged casement unit.  Two Series 43 demountable fixed units (LPS1175 SR3) were installed in the rig and on the opposing sides, two Series 45 standard non-security hinged casements The Selectaglaze testing rig post-attack test with the heavy-duty security Series 43 demountable fixed Light and the standard acoustic Series 45 hinged casement, together with Cat A, B, C and D tools used.   To meet the demands of a physical security attack test demonstration on both days of the International Security Expo, a large heavy-duty testing rig was built in-house at the Selectaglaze factory. Two Series 43 demountable fixed units (LPS1175 SR3) were installed in the rig and on the opposing sides, two Series 45 standard non-security hinged casements. An audience of security visitors were present across both days to watch the demonstrations as an accredited attack technician from the BRE put our products through their paces with a taster of the types of tests used on glass, using a variety of different tools at varying degrees of threat levels – ranging from a low technology level of attack using small, very easily concealed tools (SR1) to more experienced attempts at forced entry (SR4).  The International Security Expo LPCB Attack Zone attack tools, with Cat A, B, C, D tools used for attack testing the Series 43 security fixed light unit  A set of Category A and B attack tools, including the knife and claw hammer used on Selectaglaze units during the attack tests (Left) and a selection of Category C and D tools (right), with the club hammer and sledgehammer showcased Initially, the expert BRE attack specialist sought to breach the Series 45 unit, using tools designated for manipulation which consisted of a claw hammer (Category B) and knife (Category A). The first attack objective was to create a hole closest to an unlocked handle. The second attack focused on creating a larger hole, using a combination of a hammer and a knife to smash and carve out a larger “full body elliptical hole” which was achieved in 27 seconds. For a non-security certified product, this was still pretty good, considering the primary glazing would have had to be breached prior to attacking the secondary in a ‘real’ situation and this created a considerable amount of noise. The Series 43 heavy-duty security product was next to be attack tested and proved to be impenetrable, withstanding the attack attempt to create a hole in the glass using the Category B claw hammer. Proceedings went up a notch, when the Category C club hammer tool was used next, and try as he may, the tester still could not get through the Series 43! A much higher level of test concluded the demonstration; an axe and a sledgehammer were used on the Series 43 which had previously never been tested to this level (Category D). It was particularly satisfying that the glass stayed intact despite the blows from the Cat D tools, much to the amazement of onlookers.
The heavy-duty Series 43 demountable fixed light was put through its paces during an exhaustive attack using a melee of different tools but did not fail to impress!  Overall, the demonstration successfully highlighted the effectiveness of the LPS1175 rated Series 43 from a security standpoint and definitely gave the audiences a flavour of why specifying LPCB approved products like the Selectaglaze range is important. Some secondary glazing products may look similar, but this exercise was to gain an insight into what sits behind the certification and why building owners and insurers can rest assured that security rated secondary glazing fitted to buildings can prove to be a resilient barrier during a sustained attack. It is worth stating that all our products are tested via LPS and are stand-alone but in reality, a potential intruder would need to breach the primary window first, with all the risks associated with this of broken glass and mullions and transoms limiting the attack on the secondary glazing.

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