• July 31, 2020

    Fog cannons can protect businesses from the threat of theft by obscuring the vision of intruders. They are sometimes referred to as “security smoke machines” or simply, “smoke screens” and are most often used in the banking and retail industries.

    A fog cannon can be integrated into existing security systems so it operates when an intruder is detected. A powerful jet of smoke is dispelled from the cannon, filling a room in a matter of seconds.

    The fog is harmless but it acts as a very effective visual barrier against thieves looking to steal valuable items. Because they cannot see the contents of the room, they have no choice but to retreat and leave the premises.

    What are the benefits of fog security systems?

    Protect valuable assets 

    Fog cannons can help to stop thieves stealing highly value property. For example, a criminal gaining access to a car showroom will not be able to take a car if they cannot see anything in the room. Fog can linger for up to one hour, which means they cannot simply wait for it to clear. They must flee.

    Protect people 

    In certain scenarios, fog cannons can also protect people as well as property. An example of this is a fog cannon being deployed in a bank when a thief threatens staff. If the intruder cannot see staff members, then they will be unable to target them and become violent.

    Resolve a break-in peacefully

    The smoke dispelled from fog cannons cannot hurt intruders. It is most commonly formed from substances such as water, glycol and glycerine – ingredients also found in toothpaste and pharmaceuticals. However, a startled thief may not realise this and may mistake the smoke as toxic. Their natural instinct will be to run from the building.

    No damage or disruption

    When a fog cannon is activated, the smoke screen typically lingers in the air for up to one hour. Once this time is up, there is no residue left behind or mess to clear up. This means that businesses will not be disrupted as a result of a fog cannon being deployed.

    Deter criminals

    If businesses have fog security systems in place then they should advertise this to thieves who may be looking to target their property. Criminals are much less likely to target a premises if they know that they will have a smokescreen to contend with.

    What kind of businesses use fog cannons for security?

    • Jewellers & pawnbrokers that sell high value itemsjewellery shop security
    • Electronic & clothing outlets with valuable stock
    • Convenience stores that are open throughout the night and are more at risk from criminals
    • Casinos and gaming arcades which hold large amounts of cash
    • Car and motorcycle showrooms with high value vehicles on-site
    • Art galleries & museums with valuable exhibits and assets to safeguard
    • Banks that need to protect vaults and ATMs

    How do fog cannons work?

    1. Detection – An intruder breaks into a property and this is detected by your security system, which triggers an overhead fog cannon to activate.
    2. Activation – The fog cannon rapidly dispels a smoke screen into the room, making visibility close to zero. The intruder can no longer see what they were trying to steal and they naturally retreat to the building entrance.
    3. Retriggering  – In order to maintain zero visibility in the room, the fog cannon continues to operate periodically. The fog typically lingers for a 45-60 minute period.
    4. Capture -The police arrive on the scene. If the intruder is still on-site and emerges from the building when the fog clears, they will be arrested.
    5. Trace – Some models of fog cannon are able to provide forensic traceability. This enables police to identify perpetrators away from the scene of the crime. A special substance in the fog acts as an invisible fingerprint, which shows up under a UV black light.

    About BusinessWatch

    We specialise in providing expert security services to all manner of businesses across the UK. From CCTV systems to intruder alarms and access control, we are here to help safeguard your property and people. To learn more about our NSI approved security solutions, including fog security systems, contact our friendly team today.