The market for security screens products is as vast as it is murky. How can you trust that a company that recommends its own products has your best interests at heart? How do you test strength and durability against aesthetic design? Does the highest cost equal the highest level of security, or can you secure your home against intruders economically?
Unfortunately, products marked as â€˜securityâ€™ screens in most states of Australia may only secure you against the invasions of insects. One failsafe way to determine the quality of a product is to check whether or not it meets the Australian Standard for security. This is because a true security door must combine several elements to qualify a place within the Australian Standard class. Consider this: your security door may be constructed with tough aluminium, but an easily broken lock renders it useless. Similarly, a solid lock is equally useless if your security door can be simply jimmied from its frame.
While a savvy buyer can assess certain elements of quality themselves, other aspects are hidden within the products structure and difficult for a typical buyer to assess.
Identifying Security Screen Quality
- Aluminium Doors
Some companies will advertise an aluminium security doorÂ is more resistant to corrosion than other materials such as steel. However, to meet the Australian Standard, all aluminium security doors must be power-coated or anodised to fully protect them against corrosion. Additionally, a good aluminium security door is made from tempered aluminium, which means it has been heat-strengthened.
- Stainless Steel Doors (mesh)
Different security screen companies often use varying methods of installation of stainless steel mesh. For instance, some claim that stainless steel screws clamping the mesh within the frame are most effective, stating that the screws are more effective in holding the mesh in place, thus securing the door more successfully. This method however, increases dissimilar metal corrosion. Others swear by a PVC clamp, as it can reduce the risk of galvanic corrosion from an aluminium frame coming into contact with the stainless steel mesh and surpasses all Australian Standars. The confusion over which is more effective can be solved by whether or not the method of installation is Australian Standard approved.
Similarly, different manufacturers disagree over the best grade of mesh to use. Online Security Screens use a marine-grade 316 mesh because it is corrosion resistant in salty environments. 316 Stainless Steel contains 2% Molybdenum which is incorporated into 316 Stainless Steel specifically to prevent corrosion from chlorides (salty environments).Â Other manufacturers prefer 304 grade mesh which has no Molybdenum to prevent corrosion from chlorides and has lower strength properties. So long as the mesh meets the Australian Standard, however, it is effective.
Keep in mind that while your security door is screened with stainless steel mesh, the frame is often aluminium: therefore the above points on aluminium doors apply to you.
- Steel Doors
As with aluminium doors, as long as the steel meets the Standard, your security door is protected against corrosion. To ensure peace of mind, check that your steel door has been galvanised or power-coated to best protect against rust and corrosion.
The Australian Standard – Security Screens
To ensure that your security screens ensure the highest level of security, buy a door that meets the Australian Standard for hinged and sliding security doors (AS 5039). This standard superseded the previous standard, AS 2803, in 2003, yet many companies will still refer to as it still provides a reasonable level of protection. Unlike AS 2803, however, AS 5039 incorporates design and performance requirements for the hinges, grille, joints, locks, screws and rivets of your security door. Under the new Standard, a company must meet the design requirements of each and every part of the door, or else the door cannot be advertised as meeting the Australian Standard.
While the Australian Standard is a sure measure of the quality of your security products, it pays to check and double check whether or not your product truly meets the standard. Some security screens may indeed meet the Standard, but wonâ€™t carry the label. This is because a company is required to pay to display the Australian Standard logo: some small business may choose not to display the logo, or claim to meet the Standard, for this reason. A simple way to check whether or not your security door meets the Standard is to ask for the test report, or receive a written guarantee from the company stating their compliance.
How are Security Screens tested under the Australian Standard?
Online Security Screens tests all of its products against the Australian Standard in order to consistently provide a high level of security, durability, and reliability. The standard testing determines the doorâ€™s ability to withstand kicking, wrenching out, and cutting the infill. It also tests the doors ability to repel insects, prevent arms or entire bodies passing through (this is dependent on the doorâ€™s purpose). Finally, the door is tested to withstand jemmying.
Our products are tested to comply with the following:
- Knife Shear Test (AS5039 â€“ 2008)
- Impact Test (AS5039 â€“ 2008)
- Anti-Jemmy Test (AS5039 â€“ 2008)
- Pull Test (AS5039 â€“ 2008)
- Cyclone Screen Test (2010: AS/NZS1170.2)
- 10,000 Hour Salt Spray Tests (AAMA2605-05 Section 7.8.2)
- Aluminium Frame Tests (AS/NZS1866:1997 & AS3715 â€“ 2002) 60603 T5 powder coated to a minimum thickness of 60um
- Stainless Mesh Tests (AS3175-2002, AAMA2603-05, AAMA2605-05, AS2331/ISO2360, ASTM D2794, AS3715, ISO1519, JIS Z2241, ASTM E1086)
The Security Screens test are carried out in a particular order.
- Impact Testing
This test is designed to replicate a physical attack on a security screen. Throughout the duration of this test, a pendulum weight is used to generate a 100j impact upon a specific point on the screen. The product must withstand five impacts in order to pass the Impact Test.
- Jemmy Testing
As the name suggests, the Jemmy Test involves a lever being wedges between the lock and hinge of the door frame that the security screen is mounted upon. A mechanical winch then attempts to pry apart the door. Should the door remain securely closed, then it passes the test.
- Pull Testing
This test applies to type 3 products and only follows on from the Jemmy Test should a sufficient gap be made by the prying mechanism. If no gap is formed during the Jemmy Test, then the door passes the Pull Test automatically. Both Secureview and Xceed security doors automatically passed the Pull Test in the manner, proving the true quality of each product.
- Knife Shear Testing
The knife shear test is performed to determine the strength of the security mesh. A heavy duty knife is applied three times (with a fresh blade for each repetition) to the security mesh with mechanical force. If the incision that each knife creates is less than 150mm, then the screen passes the test.
Security does not only exist within the name. Be sure to check your new security screens by these guidelines in order to avoid a product that may look the part, but doesnâ€™t secure your home as it should. Always take sufficient measures to ensure that your security screens are measured by the Australian Standard.