Non-lethal anti-theft smoke system displayed at IFSEC


Local company Transaction Control Technologies (TCT) demonstrated the innovative SmokeCloak anti-thief and robber security system at the IFSEC safety and security conference in Midrand this week.

SmokeCloak can fill an area with impenetrable smoke within seconds in order to confuse thieves and force them out of the premises. A double garage takes around 30 seconds to completely fill. An optional strobe light disorients intruders and makes them dizzy.

The smoke is created by vaporising a glycol solution, creating a dense white fog that reduces visibility to less than 30 centimetres, but when tested at IFSEC, this author could not see even a single centimetre in front of him. TCT says the smoke is completely harmless to people and property, such as electronics and the author found it to be far less caustic than the smoke found at nightclubs and other places. A 1.7 litre reservoir is enough for about 8-12 discharges. The smoke lingers for around 40 minutes and can keep deploying until the alarm is switched off.

Darren Thomas, Manager: New Business Development at TCT, said that the system has been installed in banks, jewellery stores and other businesses in South Africa. He said that in all cases when the smoke has been deployed, robbers flee the scene and no-one has ever been shot. An entry level system costs R19 000

TCT said that most properly loss occurs in the initial minutes of a break-in, before police or security teams have had a chance to respond and that is why many top banks and other firms use the system.

SmokeCloak was developed by a man in the United Kingdom around 20 years ago, who was repeatedly robbed before coming up with the idea. The product has been available in South Africa for around ten years and is distributed here by TCT, but the company has sold a few systems elsewhere in Africa.

SmokeCloak is also used to train firefighters as it gives a realistic yet non toxic simulation of smoke.