Security fog

If you’re looking for a security solution that can easily and quickly protect a range of premises, find out more about security fog here

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How is your premises secured for the moments immediately after a break-in?

While alarm systems can notify the relevant authorities and security cameras can provide footage for an investigation, security fog offers an immediate response once activated.

Essentially, security fog offers a security solution that works on a simple concept – if an intruder can’t see the area they want to steal from or vandalise, they won’t be able to cause any damage.

What exactly is security fog? How does a generator work? What price points are they available at? We’ll provide the information to help answer these key questions.

In this article, we’ll cover:

You can go straight to the sections that you want to learn about the most. Or, read the article in full for a more detailed understanding of security fog and how it could benefit your small business.

1. What is a security fog generator?

Security fog releases a dense smoke-like substance (made of microscopic particles), meaning that if intruders can’t see the area then it’s not possible to steal from it.

This is a preventative measure, which aims to minimise damage after a break-in has happened. Also, some would-be intruders may be deterred by the security fog signs too.

The fog can be so dense that it’s only possible to see a very short distance in front. Plus, the fog stays in the air and usually doesn’t immediately disperse. It can stay in a room from around 10 minutes through to an hour, depending on the machine.

The fog is a mixture of water and glycol. The glycol percentage is what determines how dense the fog is.

What are the benefits?

One of the main benefits of a security fog generator is that it works within a very short period of time (seconds or minutes). Time is the focus for security fog, including both the quick response of the device as well as the element of surprise for the intruders.

The number of nozzles (one or two) is what can increase the amount and speed of the fog.

Security fog offers an immediate barrier and protection between intruders and your stock. That being said, once the device has been activated, the fog is likely to show on security camera footage, obscuring the intruder.

How does it work?

The generator has cylinders in it (either single use or refillable). There are different sizes and capabilities of devices available, depending on the size of the area to be covered, and the required functions.

Where to place the generators

Security fog generators tend to be available with a discreet design and colour scheme to blend in, or bright colours to stand out, depending on if your business requires a more covert or overt approach to security.

Most devices can be mounted to the ceiling, the floor or the wall, making them a versatile option.

Security fog generators often only require minimal maintenance or engineer visits.

How to choose

When choosing a security fog generator, some key factors to consider include:

  • Where is it manufactured?
  • What standards does it comply to e.g. British and international standards?
  • What size and type of area will it be used to cover?
  • How easily can the cylinders be changed?
  • How much power does it consume?
  • How much space does the generator need?
  • How visible is it? E.g. does the colour and design stand out or blend in
  • How dense is the fog?
  • How quickly does it spread across a room?
  • What is it made of?
  • How many cylinders does it have?
  • How do the systems communicate?
  • Does it have any anti-tamper/vandal features?
  • How is the level of fluid monitored?
  • Can it be operated remotely?

Where can it be used?

Some examples of where security fog could be used are:

  • Large areas to be covered – such as warehouses, or garages (for mechanics and other car businesses)
  • Luxury stores – e.g. jewellery, clothing, electronic goods
  • Vulnerable businesses – e.g. those with only one person attending them, those that are left unoccupied overnight, or located in out-of-the-way places
  • Showrooms – in this type of business, goods have to be on display prominently, so security features such as window grilles and door bars aren’t suitable

It can be used in a home office or in a commercial premises. The type and level of security fog is likely to differ, depending on the nature of business and its requirements – the security needed to protect a home business in comparison to a jewellers, for example.

Is it safe?

Security fog devices should be safe for people, pets and stock. It shouldn’t leave residue or marks. Similarly, the smoke shouldn’t damage computers either.

It creates a dense fog without effects to disorientate the intruders. Plus, the fog may be ‘dry’ – another way in which it doesn’t cause any damage or harm to your stock, premises and team members.

As with any product or device, the installation and operation processes need to be followed correctly to ensure that damage isn’t caused.

Security fog and business security systems

Some security fog generators may be combined with an alarm system – but not all systems are compatible with every type of alarm system.

Security fog generators connect to the mains power, although some can operate using battery power. The insulation amount determines how long the security fog generators can work without mains power.

They can work alone, or they can be incorporated into your wider business security, in addition to an alarm monitoring service or security cameras. Sirens and strobe lighting can also be used to build a security system that’s best suited to your business.

Some security fog generators can be built into a wider security system with remote access or smart features that can be controlled via an app.

When using security fog, signs have to be displayed to inform people that it’s in use – like you have to when using CCTV cameras.

2. How much does a security fog system cost?

Security fog devices often offer a cost-effective security solution as they have low running costs. How much a system costs you will depend on whether you’re using a company to fit and monitor it, or if you’re buying a device to install yourself.

A specialist security company will assess your business’ specific needs before deciding on what to charge for installation.

Alternatively, if you buy the device to install it yourself, you can expect to pay in the region of £1,000-£2,000.

Assess how many activations per refill of the cylinders are available: the more activations per refill, the more cost- and time-effective the device.

When it comes to installation costs, this is the labour time required for a professional to install the security fog device. If you opt for a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, you should also factor in your time away from your business.

In addition to the purchase and installation price, the costs are also likely to include maintenance and servicing, as well as replacing the cylinders.

You should also think about a device’s power consumption and what the impact of this may have on your business energy costs.

What are the next steps?

From reading this article, you’ve learned more about how to incorporate security fog into your business security system. We’ve looked at what security fog generators are and how they work, as well as offered advice on how to budget for them.

Written by:
Scarlett writes for the energy and HR sections of the site, as well as managing the Just Started profiles. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.
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