Testing opening rooflights in line with Part Q building regulations

So far we have summarised the recent changes to Building Regulations Part Q and examined which standard tests are most relevant for fixed glass rooflights, but what about opening rooflights – how do these stand up during an attack test?

Are opening rooflights secure?

Opening rooflights are sometimes considered less secure than fixed because of their potential to be forced open, but this will depend on how the opening section is secured shut.

Many opening rooflights do not have the same level of locking systems when compared to doors and windows, because in most cases they are not as easily accessible.

But with the increase in single storey home extensions meaning that more accessible rooflights are finding their way into buildings, the security of an opening rooflight should be carefully considered.

In this test a hinged ventilation rooflight is subjected to the usual attacks on its glass, which it easily passes due to the inclusion of a laminated inner pane.

Secure locking mechanisms for opening rooflights

Further attempts are then made to forcibly pry open the lid section, which in this case results in failure because of the dual mechanical operating system housed within either end of the frame.

These mechanisms provide two solid locking points and their design prevents the rooflight being ‘back driven’, thus rendering the unit locked shut unless activated by a control switch which is safely housed inside the building.

Locking points can often be the weak link in rooflight design and careful consideration should be given when specifying this type of product in a high-risk area.

Testing the security of hinges in opening rooflights

Another potential weak point with opening rooflights is the hinges fixing the opening section to the base frame. If the fixings are externally visible then they are open to attack and could be forcibly removed.

In this case the hinge is continuous, formed as part of the extrusion itself running along the entire width of the product and is not externally visible. This renders it extremely resistant to attack and in the test it proves unbeatable to our would-be intruder.

 Rooflights security performance

Rooflights that comply with Building Regulation Approved Document Q should prove to be sufficiently secure so that any potential intruder will quickly retire from their attempts to access any given building.

With enough time and effort spent rooflights can still be penetrated, but with the amount of noise and debris created most intruders would look elsewhere for a more vulnerable target.

Glazing Vision are pleased to announce that they have just released their new ‘secure and secure+’ range of Secured by Design rooflights, all of which are part Q compliant.