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Frequently Asked Questions Your questions – our answers

Answers to your most frequently asked questions from our security expert

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What does the abbreviation "RC" stand for in safety elements?

RC stands for "Resistance Class" and is a typification according to DIN EN 1627ff. The security features of elements are assigned to one of a total of six RC classes.

The higher the number, the longer the window or door can withstand an attempted break-in and the more resistant the element is to heavier, more professional tools.

What does the abbreviation "WK” stand for in safety elements?

WK stands for German "Widerstandsklasse". However, this term is obsolete; nowadays one speaks of "Resistance Classes" or RC for short, when talking about safety elements that have DIN certification.

For whom are security windows and security doors useful?

Basically, for all people who want to protect themselves, their family or their belongings. We are, therefore, talking about both burglary prevention and personal protection. Even if there is usually no personal injury, a burglary leaves behind an emotional harm, a massive feeling of insecurity for many of those affected. Windows and doors are the last barrier to keep out intruders and protect you when the watchdog, fence and alarm system fail. 

Which resistance class is appropriate for which areas of a property can be determined by experts from the local criminal investigation department or, more precisely, we can tell you after an on-site inspection and a thorough assessment of the potential danger. The police generally recommend security class RC2 to RC3 for windows and doors in the hand or standing area of private households. By the way, security elements are also very useful from an energy and environmental point of view if you have old elements without current standards.

Where can I find professional advice?

As a first step, you can get free advice from the experts of the criminal investigation department. The Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation regularly publishes a list of certified and recommended manufacturers for security windows and security doors, the K-Burglary List, where you can also find us and request information.

During a site inspection, I can then advise you in detail and look at the property as a whole to estimate which resistance class is appropriate for which areas.

Why should I pay attention to DIN certifications when purchasing security windows and doors?

Security elements with RC certificate according to DIN EN 1627 are tested by an independent German institute for their resistance to burglary attempts. The entire element is subjected to a three-part test including professional installation. The burglar resistance of a door or window can only be reliably guaranteed if all installed parts comply with DIN standards and are perfectly matched to each other. In the laboratory, the testing institute simulates a tangible burglary test using the tools that correspond to the respective RC class. If the element withstands the test for a specified minimum period, it is certified. We at RvE not only have individual standard sizes tested by the PfB in Rosenheim, but also carry out a so-called system testing for our RC products.

This means that we have a component certified in different options (size, shape, number of window sashes/ door leaves, equipment). Manufacturer specifications such as "test verification based on a resistance class” are not permitted, so I would advise caution: only individual safety components - usually mushroom head locking or lockable handles - are installed here, but the entire element does not comply with the RC test standard and therefore does not provide reliable protection.

Is it sufficient to secure all the windows and doors on the ground floor and in the basement?

Yes and no. The Criminal Investigation Department normally recommends security level RC2 to RC3 for windows and doors in the hand or stand area. But be careful: If there are ladders, easily accessible balconies, garage roofs, high dustbins or similar, burglars can take advantage of this and also easily reach the higher floors.

In consequence, we always look at a property in its entirety and check which areas may need additional protection or whether structural changes in the property's surroundings are necessary to provide real protection.

Why should I protect myself from burglary if there is nothing of value in my house?

That may be true, but the burglar does not know that, and then the damage is done: the laptop with the sensitive data is gone, the car key, the ring from the great-grandmother. That may not be a great value in money overall, but for you personally it could be a catastrophe.

The first step in protecting your home must of course always be to optimize your own behavior: lock windows when you leave, lock doors, inform your neighbour if you are absent for a longer period and have your letter box emptied.

You can get in anywhere with the right tools?

This may be true - but a burglar is usually in a hurry and simply does not have enough time to open the elements with his tools. With every minute, his risk of being discovered increases. In fact, most break-in attempts are abandoned after about three minutes. The time factor and, of course, the noise the burglar makes, play a decisive role here!

During an attack test in Vienna at the Cobra, I tried to crack one of our RC3 elements with a crowbar. No chance, although I know exactly how our elements are constructed! After 15 minutes, the commanding officer broke off - and our French casement window could even be opened without any problems.

Is an alarm system not sufficient as protection against burglary?

Unfortunately, no. An alarm system offers no mechanical protection against burglary and should always be used in addition to security windows and doors. Nowadays there is incredibly good alarm technology, that's true! However, professional burglars may also use the latest technology and can thus switch off top alarm systems. If this happens and windows and doors are not burglar-resistant, a perpetrator can enter a house or apartment within seconds and cause considerable damage.

Until the police arrive on the scene, the perpetrators are usually already far away. Security elements are the last physical barrier that an intruder has to overcome, and the longer it takes him to do so, the greater the likelihood that he will become nervous and give up.

Aren't mushroom head locking systems and lockable handles sufficient as burglary protection?

It is like locking the driver's door and leaving the rest open! Many window manufacturers say that this would be sufficient, but these companies are not specialists in the field of mechanical burglary resistance. Mushroom head locks and lockable handles will not suffice to keep burglars away, as the window or door still has many other weak points. If the frame is not stable, the glass breaks easily or the window is not installed according to the regulations, the burglar still has an easy feat.

The fact is: Only products that are DIN-certified in their entirety offer real protection. Do not let yourself be fooled by this! There is also no point in having safety glass inserted into a normal frame. Same principle: the burglar starts where the element has a weak point, i.e. on the fitting or the frame.

The insurance will pay for the damage... won't it?

The household insurance or the theft insurance would reimburse the material damage only if so! However, often the stolen or destroyed objects are irretrievable idealistic values such as heirlooms, gifts from loved ones or similar. This is lost and reappears only in very rare cases. Far more importantly for many injured parties is the psychological damage:

One no longer feels safe in one's own home, has an indeterminate feeling of fear and anxiety, which may cause insomnia. No insurance can re-establish the feeling of security at home! For some people, this can lead to the point where moving is the only solution.

What is the difference between security elements of resistance classes RC2 and RC3?

If we look at the table of resistance classes, the differences in resistance time and offender’s profile are apparent. In RC2, an occasional perpetrator is at work for at least 3 minutes, in RC3 a practiced perpetrator for at least 5 minutes. The total testing time for RC3 elements in the testing laboratory is actually 15 minutes! The most important difference, however, are the tools used: For RC2 the main tool is a 365 mm long screwdriver, for RC3 additionally a 710 mm long crowbar (chisel). This allows the burglar to develop enormous leverage forces! An RC2 element can thus be opened comparatively quickly. Conversely, an RC3 element is estimated to withstand an attack with a screwdriver for up to 30 minutes. The degree of burglary resistance of the individual RC classes thus increases rather exponentially. We achieve this through different materials.

For RC3 a hardwood such as oak must be used, in case of RC2 softwoods such as pine, larch or fir are also possible. For RC3, there are considerably more locking points on the surrounding fitting, the connection to the masonry is considerably stronger and additional metals are built into the frame. The glazing is also different: As standard, we use impact resistant glazing of class P4A for RC2 elements; from RC3 upwards we recommend impact resistant safety glass of class P6B or higher in accordance with DIN EN 356. Visually, it is not possible to distinguish between RC2 and RC3 for elements from our manufacture, as despite the thicker glass we can offer very slim profiles and extremely narrow views. I do not recommend RC2N elements in the hand area: N means there is no safety glass! This creates a weak point that a burglar can easily exploit.

How do the costs for RC2 and RC3 compare?

Especially for RC3 elements, we use much more stable materials such as specially glued oak wood of special quality and grade. In addition, there are various additional metal inserts, high-performance fittings and of course, other safety glasses than RC2, which weigh considerably more making the assembly more complex. The costs therefore increase proportionally to the safety features installed and the production and assembly time.

As we do not have a standard window or door, I cannot state any concrete figures. We always calculate precisely for an object and the desires of the client. From time to time, we offer intermediate stages in RC2++ or RC3++, i.e. elements which already correspond in parts to the next higher resistance class. Price on request.

Aren’t windows and doors made of plastic or metal not much better than wooden elements?

Wood is a naturally grown high-tech material and its complex physical properties are unrivalled. Wood is naturally solid and has excellent insulation values for heat and sound. Due to its natural oils, it has an antibacterial effect, is breathable and thus ensures a healthy living climate and good moisture balance. Plastic and metal elements cannot compete with this! We make use of these positive characteristics of wood for our safety elements. Soft woods such as pine or larch can be used for RC2 elements; hard woods such as oak are used from RC3 upwards. Even in the event of fire, wood is ahead of the game: wood elements do not develop toxic fumes or corrode the floor with acid. If you choose fire protection elements made of wood, your escape routes remain open longer, while plastic warps quickly in heat.

Fire experts have confirmed this. It is evident from the listed buildings that wooden windows and doors can last for centuries. Plastics become porous over the years, bleach out and are no longer repairable. It is different with wood: it can always be reworked and restored if necessary. Plastic elements are certainly cheaper to buy, while wooden windows and doors have a very high value and should be seen as a long-term investment. Each piece of wood is unique and we can work, shape and combine it with additives in an infinite number of ways. This flexibility and versatility make wood an unrivalled material. Wood as a natural and sustainable material is unbeatable when thinking of the environment.

Are security windows and security doors also available as custom-made products?

In fact, almost all of our orders are custom-made! Wood makes this possible. Unlike metal or plastic elements, the possibilities here are (almost) unlimited in terms of sizes, shapes, additions such as skylights, glazing bars, profiles, surfaces, etc. This applies to ultra-modern designs as well as to historical elements.

Where can I get security windows and security doors for listed buildings?

At RvE! Our team has been working for many years with monument protection authorities in Germany and England with great success. Together we have developed special solutions, for example RC3 box-type windows. Either the historical window is preserved or we rebuild it true to the original with beautiful slim profiles, appropriate surface treatment and so on.

From the inside, it is supplemented by a box with its own wing. In this way, we can optimize the window to the latest standards of heat and sound insulation and install security features up to RC3. This is, admittedly, a bit "tricky", but as a manufacture with a lot of manual work, we can do it.

Do security windows or security doors look different from usual elements?

Only from resistance class RC4 or bullet-resistance class FB6 onwards is a difference noticeable. For the lower security levels, the layperson will not see any difference between standard elements and security elements - neither from the outside nor from the inside.

Are security windows difficult to operate?

These elements are actually much heavier than standard products. The glass alone weighs many times more! That is why we install suitable high-performance fittings precisely matching to the weight and ensuring good and easy handling. This is like handling a Mercedes door instead of a Fiat door.

Do security windows and security doors have an impact on energy consumption?

Yes, safety elements have a positive effect on energy consumption, since the safety material used also has very good thermal insulation values. If you are planning an energy-efficient renovation of your property, it makes sense to think about security at the same time. In this way, you kill two birds with one stone.

Do security elements with a DIN certificate influence the insurance premium?

In my experience, insurers attach great importance to safety certificates according to DIN standards in order to discuss individual adjustments of the insurance premium. However, this differs from insurer to insurer and for each building owner.

In any case, you should inquire in advance, what the conditions of your insurance are before you decide on a manufacturer.

What does the abbreviation "FB" stand for in security elements?

FB is a classification for bullet-resistant elements according to DIN EN 1522. In Europe, we differentiate between bullet resistance classes FB1 to FB7. The higher the number, the higher the resistance against attacks with firearms such as revolvers, shotguns and rapid firearms. In a so-called ballistics test, the test laboratory tests whether the window as a whole construction can withstand an attack with firearms.

Why? As it is of no use if, for example, safety glass is installed but the frame is only standard, so that a bullet easily penetrates. For real protection, therefore, the frame, fittings and glazing must be compatible to each other. If you want bullet-resistant elements for your property, look for the official FB certificate!

What does the abbreviation „NS“ stand for in glass elements?

NS means "not splintering" and is not to be underestimated as an indication. Glasses in this category are not only very useful if you have children and want to protect them from injury. They are elementary, especially when it comes to bullet-resistance.

What sense does it make if the bullet is stopped by the pane, but you are standing behind it and are pierced by glass splinters that are as fast as an arrow and sharp-edged? The addition of "NS" can potentially save lives.

What does an FB4 ballistics test look like in the lab?

I am always impressed by what an element has to withstand during the ballistics test in the lab to get the official FB certificate! You can imagine an FB4 ballistics test like this: Our wooden security window of resistance class RC3 is fired at 42 previously marked points from a distance of only 5 meters with a Remington Magnum .44 handgun. This is the calibre relevant for an FB4 classification.

The bullets reach velocities of about 450 m/sec and are fired from different firing angles at the frame, connection and glass. The last test of this kind took almost two hours with our window element - but the bullets were unable to penetrate the frame, and the safety glass was even left completely intact on the inside. Test passed!

Where can you get financial support for security windows and security doors?

There are several options. With construction or conversion measures, you can secure your property and at the same time reduce energy consumption, so that you may be able to get a financial support from the BAFA. The state-owned development bank KfW supports security measures in combination with energy-efficient renovation in the form of subsidies and loans for elements with resistance class RC2 or higher.

There are also regional and local subsidies for burglary protection - tax deductions and adjusted insurance rates are also possible, depending on your personal situation and investment volume. This is of course costly and not always worthwhile. More information can be found, for example, in the K-Burglary initiative.

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