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When conventional security measures are ineffective, or when planning measures for a new premises that will need to be especially secure, consider installing a security fog device.

Fog systems are usually combined with a remotely monitored intruder alarm. When detection devices trigger, the fog device rapidly blows a cloud of dense, white smoke into the area around it. The fog isn’t harmful and the systems can be designed so they’re effective in small spaces like a shop, or a large open plan warehouse.

The idea of these systems is to deter burglars, and then make it very difficult for those that persist to locate goods within the protected area

  • Consider if a fog device will be suitable before making any purchases. You need to think about whether the fog might drift into residential areas (e.g. flats above a shop), or public areas where it could cause panic, as well as how it might affect smoke detectors forming part of your fire alarm system.
  • Discuss concerns or queries with the quoting company, so you can be certain a fog device is appropriate for the contents/stock within your building.

    - Security fog is suitable for most premises (and if BS EN 50131-8:2019 approved, the fog will be non-harmful). The manufacturers may advise against using in some circumstances where stock could be contaminated or rendered unfit for sale following a fog activation, e.g. pharmaceuticals, food and drink.
  • As security fog systems are usually installed by intruder alarm companies, check the quoting company is NSI or SSAIB  approved and they’ve been trained by the security fog system manufacturers to install the specific product you are purchasing.
  • Send copies of quotations you get from installers and/or suppliers to your insurance brokers before you place an order. This is so they can make sure the systems being considered are acceptable to all insurers.
  • Check the fog system being quoted for is one that complies with BS EN 50131-8 and that it will work in conjunction with the intruder alarm system. So when the fog device is activated, a signal will go to an alarm receiving centre, who’ll call keyholders and the police.
  • Make sure the system should only activate when two separate detection devices have been triggered – to reduce the chances of false activations (there is a good chance that your intruder alarm system already operates in this way).
  • Review your fire risk assessment, especially if any door locks have been changed or added as part of the proposed system installation.
  • If there is a significant risk of someone being inside when the system is triggered, ensure that a suitable audible warning is provided to warn that the system is about to be set off.
  • Request a copy of the materials safety data sheet for the chemicals used, and update your 'Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)' health and safety risk assessment.
  • Once an order is placed, make sure the system is placed under a service contract with the installation company, and provide training for all members of staff who will use the system.
  • The premises should also be provided with external warning notices to deter a break-in or hold-up and otherwise reduce the likelihood of any legal liability for possible injury to trespassers. Furthermore, notification should be provided in writing to the police, the fire service and any alarm receiving centre of a security fog system installation
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Frequently asked questions
Find answers to some common queries about securing property, vehicles and stock, and protecting people against potential threats.