Hello Tommy! What makes you an expert on security?

– I’ve been working with it for a long time. Over the years I’ve met a lot of people, seen and learned a lot. And I suppose that accumulated knowledge adds up to the expert role. Today I work at a Swedish security company called Projsec and previously I have worked for the Swedish Theft Prevention Association.

What does the Association do?

– Their vision is to work for a safer society. They focus on prevention by spreading information, lobbying and developing different standards and certifications. They also educate and develop products such as anti-theft markings and key tags that help you regain lost keys.

Let’s jump to protection classes, what are they?

– In Sweden there are three different protection classes for buildings and premises. And each protection class has its own demands for different kinds of security products. For security walls there are three levels, 1 to 3. Each level has its own norms or standards, which dictate how long the wall must endure a break-in attempt with a specified set of tools.

What’s their history and purpose?

– The protection classes were created because of the insurance industry. Before the classes were introduced, it was difficult for the insurance companies to set protection demands for their clients. Since there were no standards, each client’s situation would have to be assessed. That was timeconsuming and led to arbitrary demands and insurance fees. This was difficult for the clients too, as the demands and fees varied so much between companies. The standards have made everything easier, and demands and fees are now more equal and comparable.

Do the standards offer further benefits?

– Definitely! Authorities also benefit from them. Without the protection classes, police, military and others would have to create their own. And the protection classes also set testing methods and classification for them, which mean anyone with access to the specified tools can perform tests. We do it at Projsec, in our own testing lab, for example.

Do you see any issues with the current protection classes?

– There are issues and they mainly concern the specified tools. Many of the current standards in Sweden were originally created in the late 80’s. Back then you couldn’t walk into any hardware store and buy a reciprocating saw for €50. So the tools that today’s protection classes are based on are hammers, crowbars, sledgehammers and axes. And as long as a perpetrator uses any of these, the standards are accurate. The problem is that modern power tools make the standards obsolete. The above mentioned reciprocating saw can get you through a wall built according to the standards in under a minute. Not even the highest protection class for security walls, protection class 3, takes sawing protection into account.

How do the insurance companies react to this?

– As long as their clients meet their demands in terms of protection classes, the client will receive compensation. But they have caught on and the protection classes will be updated. There are still problems for the clients. Some might not know that the walls that are built according to the standards are so easily penetrated with power tools, for example. Others may not consider that the compensation from the insurance companies rarely cover the cost of replacing what’s stolen. Nor the time it takes to handle paper-work, downtime etc.

So what do you do if you don’t want your property stolen?

– You can fortify your walls with steel or concrete. They’re difficult to saw and cut through, but they’re also heavy and relatively expensive. You can also add an alarm that initiates a security personnel response. And of course use Avertic Armour’s anti-cut panels, they’re very difficult to penetrate with power tools while they’re also lightweight. We have tested them in our lab and their panels have impressed us and people we have demonstrated them to.

It’s also important to point out that most breakins with saws and other power tools through walls focus on waist height. It’s tough to work with your arms reaching above your head, not least to get out with the stolen goods. Therefore it’s often enough to fortify the perimeter from ground level to a height of two to three meters. That makes it a whole lot more difficult for the perpetrator. The demands for mechanical protection in a wall reach up to four meters from the ground or other standing levels. But as a complementary arrangement with Avertic Armour panels two to three meters is often enough.

One final question, what kind of businesses would you find in the different security wall protection classes?

– Business that fall under protection class one might be a florist or a bakery. In the second we’d find 75-80 % of all business insurance and these include most supermarkets, offices and workshops. The third protection class is meant for businesses with valuable goods and equipment. These are for example currency exchange offices, jewelers and expensive clothing stores.

SSF 200 is the Swedish standard for “Rules for burglar resistance – Buildings and premises”.
The Swedish standard for security walls is SSF1047, “Burglar protection walls – Requirements and test methods”.