Last edited 06 Jul 2016

Approved document Q

The building regulations establish standards that must be achieved in the construction of buildings. The approved documents provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common situations.

Approved Document Q - Security – Dwellings, Q1 Unauthorised access, supports requirement Q1 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010. It is for use in England but also applies to building work carried out on excepted energy buildings in Wales as defined in the Welsh Ministers (Transfer of Functions (No. 2) Order 2009.

The approved document was drafted following the 'Housing standards review' launched by the government in October 2012 following the housing and construction 'Red Tape Challenge', which began in Spring 2012. It was published on 27 March 2015 as part of a new set of streamlined national technical standards.

Approved Document Q applies to new dwellings. It took effect on 1 October 2015, but does not apply to work started before 1 October 2015, or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date provided the work is started on site before 1 October 2016.

Approved Document Q requires that reasonable provision is made to resist unauthorised access to new dwellings or to any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within that building.

It sets out standards for doors and windows to resist physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar by being sufficiently robust and fitted with appropriate hardware.


  • Should be secure doorsets.
  • Letter plates should not exceed a maximum size and should prevent people trying to remove keys form inside.
  • Main entry doors should have a door viewer or other means to see callers.
  • Frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building and lightweight frames should incorporate a resilient layer.


  • Easily accessible windows should be secure and frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure of the building.

The appendices provide further guidance for bespoke timber doorsets.

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