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05/04/2011   What you can't see can’t be stolen?

Many of our Policyholders are being really pro active and have made substantial investment the additional protection and security provided by Fog or smoke generating machines.

Well done to those of our policyholders who have invested in their security!

These installation are expensive, especially when they are fitted so to merge in with existing shop decor and surroundings. Careful planning is required in order that you obtain maximum benefit and protection from your new investment.

Recently we experienced a few incidents which have highlighted a number of issues which emphasise the need for careful considerations at the planning stage

For example consider:

a)      Are you looking to provide protection against robbery when you are open for business?

b)      Are you looking to provide protection against robbery when you are open for business perhaps due to high values being left out of safe?

c)       Maybe it is for ram raid protection?

Of course you want to benefit from protection at all times, however there may be other issues to consider such as:

a)      Location. Are you in a shopping centre and will the management agree to this type of equipment being operative when you are trading?

b)      What of the risk of injury to your own staff or customers who may be present when the equipment is activated

c)       Which is the preferred method of triggering the device, panic alarms or separate switch?

Careful planning and integration into your intruder alarm can pay dividends.

Ideally you need to get your alarm engineer involved so that the smoke generates when there is an alarm condition such as when the pa's are activated or when the perimeter protection is breached when the shop is closed.

Rarely is the cheapest option the best. Problems can arise if you use 2 contractors e.g., the smoke equipment supplier and your alarm installer. If the unit fails to operate each could end up blaming the other, so beware and get your alarm company involved at the planning stages. Decide how and when you want the unit(s) to operate and submit a specification to your insurers for their additional input and agreement to the proposed specification.

Smoke generating systems are designed to fill an area with dense smoke when the alarm activates making it impossible for a thief to see the stock.  When used for daytime protection they are normally operated by the activation of the hold-up alarms and are then usually designed to roll the smoke from the rear of the shop towards the front door to drive the thieves from the shop.  It must then be possible for the thieves to escape by either using the mechanical override to the electric locks on the entrance doors or the electric locks should be released by the operation of the hold-up alarms.

When used for night time protection the smoke system should be operated by the second activation of the intruder alarm.

If you plan to make the equipment operational during business hours you will need to train your staff upon how to make an exit (probably) to the rear of the premises from the sales area in the event of activation and whether such activation should be via the PA’s or separate button.

The equipment is expensive and requires careful planning and management. If you require any assistance and advice we shall be happy to discuss the subject with you. Please contact our offices for more information and guidance.

Contact details of Smoke/Fog Machines suppliers are as follows:

Fog Bandit http://www.bandituk.co.uk.

Contact: Paul Dards Tel: 01604 839000

Smokecloak http://www.smokecloak.com

Contact: Carl Gibbard Tel: 01205 821002

Smoke Screen http://www.smoke-screen.co.uk

Contact: Enzo Koflach Tel: 0870 777 0434


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