What is fog security?

What is fog security?

This article serves as an anchor point and gives you a broad overview of what exactly a fog security system is and how it can benefit your business or home.

You’ll discover pertinent details about fog cannons, the difference between security fog and smoke, the advantages of adding a fog security system to your current alarm system, and more about the ins-and-outs of our product line. We’ll even provide a detailed analysis of how thieves react when a fog cannon activates.

At PROTECT™, our business has an innovative, specialised focus on the field of security fog. We’re a global provider of fog cannon products who distributes to over 50 countries. That’s a lot of burglary protection.

And that’s the simple answer to the question posed in the title:

A fog security system is a highly effective and safe form of burglary protection.

For systems—like a PROTECT Fog Cannon™—don’t replace your current or traditional security systems. Instead, they act as a supplement to an alarm.

When a potential thief or intruder triggers an alarm, the pre heated generator within has a harmless liquid pumped through and releases a dense fog cloud that fills a room in a matter of seconds. The cloud is white, dry, and very thick—thick enough to obscure all visibility.


Table of Contents

→ How does a fog cannon work?
→ Difference between security fog and smoke
→ The advantages of fog security
→ Analysis of a thief’s reaction when triggering a fog cannon
→ Monitoring intelligently with IntelliCloud™
→ Security accessories for fog security systems
→ PROTECT Fog Cannon™ products
→ Fog security use case examples
→ Summary

The security fog creates a disorienting effect for anyone in the room and blocks the view of target items. Obviously, you can’t steal what you can’t see. But take things one step further, as you also won’t steal something if you don’t have a clear path for escape, either.

Fog security systems act as a deterrent for robbery, damage, and even petty theft. You can use fog cannon security systems in both commercial and residential settings to protect goods that are of high-value or are highly valued.

Image: Police and fog security response time comparison

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly a fog security system is and what it can do for you, read on! This is the definitive guide for fog cannon security.

How does a fog cannon work?

Ideas of using fog as a security tactic began floating around the UK in 1995. So-called “smoke guns” had a widespread use in the world of entertainment—theater, concerts, clubs, and film—since the 1950s. But over the years, the technology developed, and it became viable to adapt it into a crime prevention tactic—eventually becoming the fog cannon.


Image: Sensor 1 relays a signal about the break-in to the alarm system. When the intruder enters the room where the fog cannon is installed, sensor 2 relays a signal to the cannon to activate and discharge fog. Sensor 2 therefore acts as an added security feature so that staff and cleaners do not accidentally activate the security fog protection system.

Just note that there’s a distinction between ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’ that we’ll explain in the next section.

To understand a fog security system, you need to know about the processes that make its key component—the fog cannon—work. It may seem a little technical at first glance. But we’ll break down the components in broad terms and provide a step-by-step overview of what happens when it’s activated.

Key components

The components to that make up the fog cannon are: fog fluid, heating element, microprocessor, user interface.

Fog fluid

The fog fluid is a simple blend of glycol and water. When heated, the liquid turns into fog that is ejected from the cannon to create a dense cloud. The fog itself is harmless and has been rigorously tested in laboratories at the Institute of Technology in Denmark and other world-class labs abroad. We have the documentation to prove it!

Not only is the fog harmless to your body, it’s water-based so it won’t leave a residue on clothing and/or furniture, and it has no detrimental effect on the environment.

Heating element, Heating Sensor, and Pump

The heating element within the cannon acts as the evaporator for the fog fluid and thus creates the fog. The pump then discharges the fog into the room.

After initial heating the fog cannon only consumes 5-10 W when inactive that’s the same as one or two LED light bulbs.

Also, the PROTECT™ i-series is approved to European standard, and every fog cannon sold by PROTECT™ has CE approval as well.


Every cannon has a small circuit board with a microprocessor inside. This connects the device to your alarm system and sensors and triggers the evaporation process between the heating element and fog liquid. The microprocessor can also link with a user interface to provide real-time data.

User interface

PROTECT™ offers a range of user interfaces, so this is left as a broad term. Your user interface could be one of our wireless systems, a control box (IntelliBox™), or our IntelliCloud™ application. With the interface, you or your security company can both activate and monitor your cannon’s use and get service updates.

Fog Cannon process

As a whole, the fog cannon device is a generator that combines all the elements to discharge a dense cloud of thick, white fog that disorients and obscures the vision of any burglar.

Fog system security comes equipped with multiple sensors. When a burglar triggers the first sensor—like on a door or window—it relays a signal to the alarm system. But this may not be a full deterrent for theft.

If the perpetrator continues and enters a room equipped with a fog cannon, a second sensor then relays the signal to activate and eject fog. This two sensor setup acts as a double security feature, so that no one—you, your staff, or a custodian—accidentally triggers the security fogging system.

Alarms aren’t always necessary

Though required most times, it’s not always necessary to use an alarm system for a fog cannon to work properly. Stand-alone systems are also available for specific situations—worker’s huts, containers, or private homes.

These systems have a fog cannon that’s mounted on wheels for greater mobility and use only sensors and a remote control. They can help re-establish security after a recent break-in when doors and windows may not be intact.

The difference between security fog and smoke

At PROTECT™, the distinction between ‘fog’ and ‘smoke’ is very important. Our fog cannons produce harmless fog that laboratories and official governing bodies have tested and approved.

It is not smoke. Smoke, in any form, is harmful body, so it’s important for us to disassociate from it.

But, we also understand that in parts of the world, they know security fog as ‘smoke cloaks’, ‘smoke security systems’, or a combination ‘smoke fogging security system’.

The goal of this section is to provide a clear background and definitions, so you understand the distinction between the two terms.


We’ve established that fog cannons generate a white fog as a means of burglary protection. But originally fog cannons were known as “rapid deploy security smoke machines.”

Sellers marketed them as “security smoke systems” aimed at increasing established security protocols. Burglars circumvented the established way of doing security consistently and were often using violent methods to gain access to items.

Typical anti-burglary systems had a response delay. And often, thieves could easily hide their identity from poor-quality cameras with limited viewing capabilities. The smoke security market opened up as a supplement to these failing security measures. The goal was not to prevent entry, but to stop loss when a thief infiltrated a room.

Developers deployed the first smoke security cannons in 1974 to protect gold stores held in highly targeted vaults. And by 1993, full commercial smoke security systems were in use.

What is security fog? A distinction in composition

As you can see, the term ‘smoke’ had a long-standing, common use background. But at PROTECT™, we want to be clear about the distinction in composition between smoke and fog.

Our fog cannons use a heating source to evaporate fog liquid and create a harmless, condensed vapor—or fog. The fog liquid is a mixture of glycol and distilled water that, when evaporated, produces particles with a diameter of 0.2 to 2.0 micrometers. This security fog has both density and longevity and does not contaminate items in the area.

Our fog cannons do not create smoke.

Creating smoke involves the burning or combustion of a chemical or substance. Though security fog is ‘smoke-like’ in nature, it’s not smoke. It’s not harmful to the lungs and body like smoke. And again, it doesn’t leave a residue on clothing, furniture, walls, etc.

The advantages of fog security

Some advantages of fog cannon security systems may be clear to you now. But to give you the full picture of what security fog intruder protection systems can do for your home or business, we’ll look at some advantages of fog security.

In this section, we’ll dive into the advantages of fog security and then look at the advantages of PROTECT™ security services.

Fog Security Advantages

Protect your valuable items and assets

The first and most obvious advantage to using a fog security system is that it protects goods. Fog cannons supplement alarm systems and prevent items from being stolen because the thieves can’t see them in the first place. The fog doesn’t clear for at least an hour, so it’s not like they can wait for the room to air out. The only option is to leave.

Protect your staff or family

In specific instances in either a home or business, fog security protects lives along with property. For example, fog can be deployed in a jewelry store, so the thief can’t see team members. Here, team members can follow predetermined exit routes, and a thief has no chance to put them in physical danger.

Peaceful resolution to break-ins

As stated, security from fog cannons is not harmful to the body. The fog is an evaporated vapor containing glycol and water. But a common thief probably doesn’t realize this. Therefore, their first inclination is usually to run away. We’ll cover typical reactions from thieves in further detail in the next section.

It’s a deterrent if potential criminals know it’s there

If criminals know a fog security system is in place, the likelihood of targeting a business or home becomes greatly reduced. In fact, it’s encouraged to advertise that you’ve protected your property with a PROTECT Fog Cannon™. No thief wants to deal with security fog.

No residual damage to property

Upon activation, a fog cannon emits harmless fog that lingers for an hour. But another advantage is that it doesn’t leave a residue on furniture, clothing, walls, or fixtures. The property will have no damage at all, so there’s no disruption to business once the fog has cleared.

PROTECT™ Security System Advantages

We have fog cannons for every situation

Many of our competitors have a limited line of fog cannons that can only adapt to certain sized rooms and designs. Our fog cannons will completely cover any room with fog, no matter the design or the size of the room. If you want fog security, we can make it happen.

Yes, even private homes

When we say we have a fog cannon for every situation, we mean EVERY situation. This includes your home. Our Xtratus® model comes with patented mounting capabilities which allow it to fit into the smaller corners of residential rooms. And so, it acts as the anti-theft home security system that isn’t an eye-sore.

Local service

PROTECT™ distributes through local sales offices within your home country. This ensures that you’ll always have fast delivery and access to services when needed.

Our fog fluid is easy to replace

Many fog cannons have fluid systems that are a pain to reload. PROTECT™ fluid is easy to change and the end-user can easily change fog fluid on the Xtratus® and Qumulus® fog cannons. The Xtratus® and Qumulus® have a smart-click system that prevents spillage and allows for a quick, easy refill.

Fluid containers in all other models must only be replaced by an authorised alarm fitter, they are not designed for the end-user to replace. However, we also made it easier for the installers to replace fog fluid, thus decreasing time spent on fluid replacement.

Silent Fog Cannons™ with back-up batteries

Our fog cannons have silent cooling systems installed which won’t disrupt your home life or business. And if the power goes out, most have a back-up battery (not included as standard in the Qumulus® fog cannon) option that will power the fog device for up to three hours. Burglars can’t just cut the power to steal things.

We built PROTECT™ fog cannons to last

For business or home protection security systems, you want equipment that’s durable and lasts a long time. PROTECT Fog Cannons™ live up to this security mantra through two methods.

» The materials used have been refined over the years to make sure that our Fog Cannons last the longest to always work when needed.

» PROTECT Fog Cannons™ are designed so that any part can be changed quickly on site, as opposed to having to send it away and fitting temporary machines, that will cost the user a lot of money.

Analysis of a thief’s reaction when triggering a fog cannon

Reaction to the activation of a Fog Cannon from thieves

At PROTECT™, potential customers often ask us about how thieves react when a fog cannon activates. Whether it’s a warehouse or a kiosk, people want to know what a robber or burglar will do in this situation. Run or freeze in place?

There’s no study that can definitively say what someone will do every single time a fog cannon activates. People can be unpredictable after all. But, most of our customers have told us that in most situations, the robber flees the scene.

Even the most hardened criminals have an element of fear when committing a burglary or robbery. And while adrenaline plays a factor, people are afraid of the unknown.

When our cannon deploys, it disorients and impairs vision completely. Though a criminal may be committed to the crime, they’re much less likely to walk blindly into an unfamiliar space with no path to escape.

It’s human biology.

In the brain, there is the amygdala—a small area in the temporal lobe that controls fear and defensive reactions. And there is the hypothalamus—which also controls fear, but it has controlling effects on other things like body temperature, metabolism, hormones, anger, hunger, and more.

When these two areas of the brain activate in response to a threat like disorientation and visual impairment caused by a fog cannon, the body’s response is to get away from the threat. The amygdala especially dominates in this situation and puts survival instincts over the need for financial gain.

Whether it’s a police siren or the sound of a fog cannon activating, the sounds signal a threat in the brain. Then, when the actual fog enters the equation, the brain’s fear response kicks into full gear. Once you take away visibility, the natural response is to run and avoid being caught.

Security fog puts criminals on high-alert and activates a flight response by design.

Testimony and confirmation

And so, customer after customer responds that, when the fog cannon activates, the robber or burglar immediately leaves instead of targeting items or—and we hope this never happens—innocent people.

Again, people may be somewhat unpredictable. But information from The Knowledge Center for Psychotraumatology at the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern Denmark confirms what the human response will be in most cases. And testimonies from our customers can confirm the response from most incidents.

For staff and fog cannon users

With this understanding of what criminals do when a fog cannon activates, it’s important to inform those who will be in proximity to the cannon.

Be sure to explain in full how a fog cannon works, and what to do if someone accidentally triggers it. Having a response plan in place for a real robbery situation with the use of a fog cannon is also essential for the safety of anyone who may be in the room.

Monitoring intelligently with IntelliCloud™

Innovation is a core precept of PROTECT’s company philosophy. And our goal is to create security system solutions that provide value for our customers. That is why we integrated PROTECT IntelliCloud™ into our innovative fog cannon program.

What is IntelliCloud™?

IntelliCloud™ is a free cloud-solution that acts as part of PROTECT’s security services. It’s a way for our customers to rest easy and know that their fog cannon security systems are fully functional. Through IntelliCloud™ you and your installer can visit one intuitive interface and monitor elements of your fog security system like:

» Connectivity
» Fluid levels
» Battery power
» Power
» Technical Errors

Through IntelliCloud™, you will also get alerts for when a fog cannon deploys and the ability to arm and disarm your fog cannons.

Who is IntelliCloud™ for?

We created our IntelliCloud™ report system for all customers, from a single cannon to those who have multiple fog cannons located at different locations.

How does IntelliCloud™ work?

A PROTECT™ alarm installer will register your fog cannon data into the system. The overview of all of your cannons appears on the main screen. From there, you or your security installer can monitor different locations through an interactive map and generate cannon lists.

The system will email you and your installer when your fog cannons need service. IntelliCloud™ also shows this with a red dot on the map as a warning.

IntelliCloud™ never stops monitoring your system, and can be accessed from any device—desktop, tablet, smartphone—at any time, 24/7. This is our solution to ensure that your system is always working properly.

How much does IntelliCloud™ cost?

IntelliCloud™ is free for both our alarm installers and customers. The only requirement is an IPCard in the fog cannon, and most of the fog cannons on the PROTECT™ product line are compatible even most of those installed already.

Comparing a fog cloud security system with and without IntelliCloud™

Recently, one of our large retail chain customers installed a line of PROTECT Fog Cannons™. The installation went into hundreds of stores all over the country.

Upon rollout, the security manager for the chain could check the status and register each store in the IntelliCloud™ system. During the rollout, they could view the status and register when each store was commissioned, and when the extra security protection became operational.

You can see from each of these features how things would work with and without IntelliCloud™ for this retail chain.

Error Alerts

After registering each location in the system, the security manager began receiving automated emails from IntelliCloud™ containing precise information about the issue. Without IntelliCloud™, they could only monitor errors from the control station at the location, and it could be any type of error.

Upon fixing an error, IntelliCloud™ allows our security manager to see that the error has been fixed, which prevents any extended vulnerability.

Battery Life

IntelliCloud™ monitors battery life for all fog cannons at all locations, so our security manager knows when it’s time to switch things out.

Without IntelliCloud™, it’s generally recommended to exchange the batteries annually to ensure that everything works properly. This saved our retail customer a lot of time and resources.

Fluid Levels

Through IntelliCloud™, the security manager can monitor fluid levels in each cannon. Without IntelliCloud™, the control station will only show that there is low fluid in a fog cannon. Overall, this saves the customer time and money by only changing out the fluid container when needed.

Overall, IntelliCloud™ helps to reduce service calls on your PROTECT Fog Cannon™ system by only visiting once, no pre visits to find out what’s wrong. Plus, you’ll be able to confirm that the system is working at full capacity at any time.

Security accessories for fog security systems

PROTECT Security Strobe™

The PROTECT Security Strobe™ acts as a supplement to an alarm and security fog system. It combines security fog with a light that flashes at high speed and works to cause additional distress for any intruder. With the fog, alarm, and strobe, burglars become completely disoriented and want to exit with haste.


» The device flashes light from 4 to 6 times per second
» You can mount it next to the fog cannon
» It’s also energy efficient and consumes less than 5 W

PROTECT Security Sounder™

The PROTECT Security Sounder™ acts as another supplement to your security fog intruder protection system. When combined with the PROTECT Security Strobe™, you get a security light with sounder that causes sensory overload for any burglar. When activated, any criminal will flee immediately.

» The siren plays at 120 dB
» Multiple delay settings
» Mountable next to your fog cannon
» Has a battery to keep sounding in case the power is cut

PROTECT Fog Cannon™ products


This is PROTECT’s newest model from 2020, that combines increased fog production over previous models with energy efficiency. PROTECT™ designed this model as an all-around machine for business and domestic use. It works well for medium-sized rooms and comes with our IPCard pre-integrated for use with PROTECT’s IntelliCloud™ system.

» Generates 20% more fog than previous versions—in the same timeframe
» Save up to 50% on standby power usage from previous models
» Backup battery has extended operation times
» Slim design allows for better installation in corners

PROTECT 1500i C™

Another new model, the PROTECT 1500i C™ adds innovation and additional coverage to the product line. While the 800i C model can put out 850 m3 of fog in 60 seconds, the 1500i C model surpasses that number and can project a full 1600 m3 of fog in 80 seconds. It is designed for larger rooms, plus you get increased savings from a 50% increase in power efficiency while in standby mode.

This model also comes equipped with an IPCard, so you can monitor and partially service the device from remote via IntelliCloud™.

» 20% additional fog in the same amount of time as previous models
» Equipped with an adjustable and flexible nozzle that making changing angles quick and easy
» Additional sensor information relayed by the liquid canister to prevent dry canister situations

PROTECT Xtratus Flex®

PROTECT™ designed the Xtratus Flex® with private home and holiday housing in mind. This is both a design and technical marvel in the world of security fog that puts out 250 m3 of fog within 16 seconds. With the Flex model, you get the option to choose from 3 distinct discharge settings. This allows you to maximize your protection within your space and reduce the amount of discharges if necessary.

» Options for 2 ,3, or 4 fog discharges per container
» The fluid cannister can easily be changed by the end-user
» Completely and totally silent in standby mode
» Equipped with a 3-hold nozzle
» 2-year warranty included

PROTECT Xtratus®

The designers at PROTECT™ also created the PROTECT Xtratus® for private and holiday home usage. This high-speed and streamlined design allows you to install it in your home discreetly, so it stays out of sight and out of mind. It comes with the same features as the Flex except that there is only one discharge setting.

» 2 shots available in each fluid can
» Fits flawlessly into room corners
» Sabotage isn’t an option with its steel casing
» The end-user can easily replace the fluid cannister


Another fog cannon designed as a more elegant option for private homes, the QUMULUS model has a long, sleek design. It’s made to fit both vertically and horizontally within room corners and comes with a larger fluid container than other models. You can also upgrade the QUMULUS model with a variety of expansion boards.

» One container contains enough fluid for 4 discharges
» Has a pulse function that lasts up to 4 minutes
» Compatibility with any alarm system on the market
» End-users can change the fluid container themselves
» Fog adjustment to accommodate nearly any sized private home room


The FOQUS model is PROTECT’s solution for smaller spaces—sheds, depots, garages, cellars, etc. The developers geared this model more towards private homes, but it’s not unheard of for businesses to want to protect small spaces as well. Even with its compact size, the FOQUS™ packs a punch as it can cover a 25 m2 room in as little as 25 seconds.

» Adjustment settings to match the size of the room
» Has a 3-minute pulse function
» Is compatible with PROTECT’s IPCard™
» Warranty 5 years
» Enough fluid in one container for 20 discharges

PROTECT  600i™

The 600i is easily our best-selling model, as it’s the perfect professional fog cannon for medium and large-size office and shop spaces. However, don’t discount this product for domestic use as it’s effective in big living rooms, basements, wine cellars, and garages. It puts out a solid 700 m3 of fog within 60 seconds and has a turbo function if you want to turn up the volume and deploy fog at twice the speed.

» Adjust between 290 to 700 m3 to complement the size of the room
» Has up to seven discharges in one full container
» IEC 62642-8 tested and approved

PROTECT 1100i™

PROTECT™ designed the 1100i model with burglary and robbery of large spaces in mind. This product protects larger offices, stores, and warehouses with a discharge rate of 1300 m3 of fog within 60 seconds at full speed. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing that high-value goods in your business are protected.

» Holds fluid for up to 4 discharges per container
» Has a pulse function that goes for up to 4 minutes
» IPCard compatible
» 5-year warranty available

PROTECT 2200i™

The PROTECT 2200i™ is the most powerful fog cannon on the PROTECT™ product line. This model is the perfect option for large spaces like shopping centers, grand entrance areas, warehouses, and sizable office spaces. This model has also worked within some larger private home areas like cellars, stables, and hallways. Each model comes with a variety of features and runs under IEC 62642-8.

» Pulse function activates up to 10 minutes
» Contains fluid for up to 5 discharges per container
» Comes in both black and white
» 5-year warranty available

Fog security use case examples

Example of use cases of fog security

You’ve read everything about fog security—it’s background, criminal reaction to a fog cannon, and its advantages for business and private security, and more. You’ve also seen a variety of options from the PROTECT™ product line, along with accessories.

But if you’re still unsure about what a fog security system can do for your home or business, the use case scenarios below detail the factors and set-up to help you understand what PROTECT™ can do for your security system.


Nothing is worse than losing items with sentimental value. But with the Xtratus® and Xtratus Flex® models, PROTECT™ has revolutionised the way individuals protect their private homes from robbery.

Imagine losing jewelry, silverware, and/or priceless art in a matter of seconds. Our fog cannons help individuals to keep irreplaceable objects in their possession as they work fast and flawlessly—up to 250 m3 of fog discharges within 16 seconds! And each container has up to two shots per fluid can.

For homes, the Xtratus® and Xtratus Flex® models fit tightly in nearly any position. This way, your home remains protected from theft with no infringement on decor or design. The fog cannons always fit discreetly and won’t become an eyesore.

Protect your office, hallways, living room, garage, basement and more at a low cost. And if the fog cannon discharges, it won’t leave a residue. Your furniture, clothing, walls, and fixtures will all remain undamaged.

Fog security is one of the best supplements to any home security system.

Small Business

Whether you’re a business owner or security manager, securing your business’ assets is a key priority. And even more important is the security of your staff.

With fog security, you’ll be able to sleep well knowing that you’ve protected your business from theft. And if something happens, you’ll minimize or even negate any losses and be back up and running with no loss of time. After all, there’s no residue or harmful effects from the fog.

The PROTECT Fog Cannon™ product line has the tools you need to secure any room, large or small. You’ll be able to conceal your fog cannon installations and keep your business looking nice and tidy. PROTECT™ has products to help you protect specific rooms, interior areas or even the entire office space—all will low maintenance costs to protect your bottom line.

Through PROTECT™, your business receives a quick return on investment, and the cannons come with a warranty of 5 years. All of this is on top of free cloud monitoring from our IntelliCloud™ application, along with professional installation and technical help.

New Zealand Case Study

Recently, PROTECT™ New Zealand won a tender from the government to install hundreds of fog cannons in locally owned liquor stores, petrol stations, and convenience stores. A recent tobacco tax caused a spike in robberies and thefts, so the government needed to act fast to curb the crime issues.

Fortunately, a PROTECT Fog Cannon™ was installed at a store in Hamilton when three men armed with knives and wood planks entered, intending to rob the place.
The cashier pushed a panic button to deploy the fog cannon, thus a thick barrier of fog was created between the offenders and the cashier.  Once the fog cannon deployed, the men fled. Nothing was stolen, and no one was injured.

This fleeing trend happened all over the country wherever the fog cannons were installed. And within a short time after deployment, New Zealand saw a 40% national decline in aggravated robberies—all thanks to PROTECT Fog Cannons™.


The sole focus of PROTECT™ is the innovation of fog security systems. We’re the global leader in the field with distribution in over 50 countries throughout the world. PROTECT™ works with international companies like 7-Eleven, Tesco, SPAR, and Hugo Boss along with many more small and regional businesses.

After reading this article, you now have a better understanding of what a fog security system is and what it can do for your home or business. If you’re considering supplementing your security system with fog cannons, go with the best in the world.

Contact us to see how PROTECT™ can help you keep your most valuable goods safe.

PROTECT security accessories

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