How Do Smoke Bombs Stop Crime?

by | Jul 3, 2024

How Do Smoke Bombs Stop Crime

Making crime go up in smoke? Yes, please. That’s been the mantra of some law enforcement agencies for years—employing fog cannons (a.k.a. smoke bombs) to thwart crime. But did you know these security fog machines aren’t the exclusive domain of the police? Businesses are increasingly taking things into their own hands and tapping into smoke bomb crime prevention.

What Makes Smoke Bombs Appealing for Crime Suppression?

Retail outfits are increasingly frustrated with thieves holding their employees—and businesses—hostage. As a result, owners are investigating how to incorporate robust solutions like fog cannons into their security plans. While smoke bombs may evoke thoughts of the 4th of July or harmless hijinks by kids, they are increasingly becoming part of a multi-pronged security system.

The appeal? The dense haze produced by a fog cannon can be both disorienting and blinding, creating near-zero visibility. And thieves can’t steal what they can’t see.

In most cases, intruders are caught off guard by the smoke. That lessens the likelihood they can grab high-value goods like jewelry or electronics. With the element of surprise on their side, retailers have the upper hand.

Before we get into specific product options, let’s look back at what brought fog machines to the forefront in the first place.

Back in Time: A Historical Perspective

Over time, controlled smoke evolved from an entertainment item (think dance party ambiance) into a serious crime-fighter. Did you know that the first security smoke system dates back to 1974? It protected gold bullion in specialized vaults. In 1993, the first commercially produced security smoke system hit the market.

Security smoke has found traction with many industries. Common users include jewelers, banks, “cash and go” outfits, or anywhere that handles costly merchandise or a lot of cash. It’s no wonder security smoke is becoming popular today with other businesses drawn to its relatively low cost and ease of use as a theft prevention tool.

How Security Smoke Bombs Work

It’s not all smoke and mirrors, so to speak.

Often, but not always, the “smoke” is actually glycol or glycerine mixed with distilled water. Under the influence of the machine, the solution vaporizes, condenses in mid-air, and eventually descends and settles.

Some smoke bombs use actual smoke. An incendiary device ignites at the touch of a button, spewing out the resulting smoke in a controlled fashion. With proper use, the smoke is not harmful, although inhaling it can be unpleasant. The device itself may get very hot, so install it far from flammable items and handle it with caution.

In either case, the haze lingers in the air far longer than any thief cares to stick around.

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When Criminals Get Nasty, Get Revenge. Learn More About FlashBang.A

FlashBang: Security Smoke and So Much More

Deep Sentinel, an industry leader in physical security, is stepping into the world of security smoke bombs with FlashBang. FlashBang is an add-on feature for Deep Sentinel’s signature live security monitoring service, in conjunction with a PoE camera system.

If a crime is in progress at your business property, the live guard can prompt an approval process to activate the system’s smoke bombs. This rapid 2-step approval mitigates the possibility of “misfires.” Upon activation, the device projects real smoke out of the front of the canister. It’s enough to fill a 1,500-square-foot room in a matter of seconds.

The smoke product is non-toxic and food-grade, meaning it won’t spoil any consumable goods. (This was not always the case with earlier renditions of smoke cannons available on the market.)

Smoke will clear in as few as 10 minutes with proper ventilation. In a large, open area with poor ventilation, dissipation may take up to two hours. After deployment, anticipate some ash and residue in the 15- to 20-foot area in front of the canister. With a little cleanup, your business can be up and operating again mere hours after a criminal incident.

Smoke is just one of the crime deterrent options with FlashBang. Users can also exert potent crime-stopping power with pepper spray, high-frequency sirens, and blinding strobes. For advanced crime suppression, there’s nothing more impactful.

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When Criminals Get Nasty, Get Revenge.
With criminals becoming more violent, the response needs to become more aggressive. FlashBang subdues even the most determined intruders with smoke bombs, pepper spray, strobes, and sirens. Visit or call 833.983.6006 for more information.

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