A thief wearing a ski mask and nondescript clothes breaks into your home or business. If you spot him, you have two options of defense: You can reach for your loaded pistol or push a panic button located somewhere in the building.

What happens immediately after pushing the panic button is the most impressive way to protect what you hold dear. Within 0.1 seconds, the place where you and the intruder are fills with a thick, penetrating fog. The intruder doesn’t know if the fog contains nerve gas or if it’s some kind of debilitating mist. If the intruder doesn’t respond quickly, he will become disoriented in that fog and be there when the police arrive. The police can see through the fog with their equipment and arrest the perpetrator.

Your Options

Here are two options that show the aftermath of the decisions you might make.

If the intruder arrives with a gun in hand, hopefully you can reach your firearm without him seeing you. The intruder still may shoot you, or you may shoot him. If one of you is skilled enough to shoot a person, you or the intruder may have a long hospital stay and/or intensive rehabilitation. You’ll also have to endure a police investigation and possibly a court trial. If you shoot the intruder and you’re accurate, then you’ve protected yourself and your business, but you’ll carry the burden that you’ve shot or killed someone.

I believe in the right to keep and bear arms and to have a concealed-carry weapon. If an intruder comes into my house or business, the law gives me the right to take action to protect myself. However, whatever choice you make in this situation, you’ll encounter many problems you haven’t had previously.

With a fogging system, neither you nor the intruder must make the decision to shoot. The intruder is enveloped in a thick fog that lasts long enough for law enforcement to arrive and capture him. Even better, the fog doesn’t damage any of your belongings and won’t have any detrimental effects on your gun, either. Even if you’re eating a sandwich when the intruder arrives, you can finish your sandwich later.

Total Security

Hillary Dube and her fiancé, Ross Rivkin, own HNR Gunworks in Inverness, Fla. As she put it, “The last thing that either Ross or I want is to shoot someone, especially if there’s a non-lethal way to stop an intruder and keep him from possibly hurting us and/or stealing the guns we’re selling. So, we bought a Bandit fog machine that’s made in Belgium. Countries in Europe, Asia, and more have used this technology to protect homes and businesses from kidnappings and burglary.

“Because of our shop’s high-risk inventory, we have a very expensive security system already in place with after-hours devices that detect motion, whether it’s from a broken window or a car crashing into our doors,” Dube explained. “However, criminals are becoming more brazen, often attacking during daylight hours. We’ve researched different types of security devices to stop intruders without using deadly force; causing either the criminal to leave our store immediately or capturing the thief. That’s how I found Intrusion Technologies, with its goals of deterrence, detection, delay and defeat.”

To secure their gun shop, Dube and Rivkin enlisted the help of Zeke Mathena. Mathena is VP of Intrusion Technologies’ Tactical Division, and previously led a SWAT team in Connecticut for about 30 years. Dube trusted Mathena because he “knew their value for protecting homeowners and businesses.”

Dube and Rivkin tested the Bandit fog system before integrating into their gun shop’s security measures. According to Dube, “Besides protecting us and our inventory, one of the features I particularly liked was that the Bandit left no residue and required no cleanup after being activated. When I first heard about the Bandit, I wondered how I’d keep the guns from being damaged by the fog. Then I learned the fog had no ill effects on people, guns or anything else it touched. I also liked that I could activate the Bandit system in several different ways; including pushing an emergency button beside my desk. I’m on the retail side of our business, and Ross does the machining and gunsmithing. Each of us has a panic button nearby.”

Just before testing the Bandit system, Dube had brought donuts to the shop to treat the installers. After the fog was dispersed, they ate the donuts that were within the operative range of the Bandit fog.

“If an intruder enters our business’ front door and I punch the panic button, that intruder can’t move halfway from where he is to where I’m sitting due to the fog’s quick activation,” Dube reported.

Fogging System Pros

When Michael Rehfeld, president and CEO of Intrusion Technologies, met Mathena, they discussed the possibility of developing a device to stop an active shooter or burglar instantly. They came up with the notion of using a theatrical fogging system like those used in movies, on TV and at football games when teams run out onto the field. But Rehfeld and Mathena discovered they needed a fog machine that would produce thicker and more intense fog than the theatrical machines did.

After testing different brands of theatrical foggers found on the internet, the men settled on Bandit. It produced the densest fog and could deploy far more rapidly (1,000 cubic feet per second) than any other fogging machine they tested.

“The Bandit is like a theatrical fogging machine on steroids,” Rehfeld says. “The Bandit is an Active Intrusion Mitigation System (AIMS) designed to address active intruders and, more importantly, active-shooter events. We looked at various components we could add to the security systems we were installing to stop an intruder as soon as he was sighted or shots were fired. Through our research, we came across the Bandit device and consider it the most effective, non-lethal way to engage an intruder and keep him from carrying out a crime.

“The system works due to the intruder losing all visibility within seconds after the machine’s activation. A fast-thinking, quick-running intruder can leave a facility as soon as the fog goes off without stealing anything or injuring anyone. Other criminals who aren’t as fast will become enveloped by the fog that then prevents them from seeing. Also, the intruders can’t engage any targets because they can’t see the people in that building.”

The Logistics

“We wanted to know how long the fog would last after we set it off,” Dube said. “We had several people inside the building, closed the doors and windows and set off the fog machine. The fog remained so thick that we couldn’t see anything for 15 minutes. But to get rid of the fog quickly, we only had to put fans in our doors and windows.”

But once the Bandit is activated, how do employees move out of the fog or get guns to defend themselves? “We developed several different routes that we could take to escape the fog or to get to a gun if we had an intruder,” Dube said. “People who are familiar with a store, business or house have mental pictures of their layouts. Once the fog machine starts blowing the thick fog at the intruder, the homeowner or business owner should already have a predetermined route to take that he or she has practiced using.”

The Bandit fogging system is integrated into the alarm system. So, once the button is pushed to deploy the fog, the police department is called automatically and given the location of the active shooter or thief.

“From actual deployment of the Bandit system in Europe, we learned that the suspects immediately ran out of the facility as soon as the fog system was dispersed,” Rehfeld emphasized. “There never was a case where the intruder stayed inside the building after the fog system deployed.”

The Bottom Line About a Fogging System

Since no one wants to shoot a person, having the ability to force an intruder out of a facility using dense fog prevents both theft and bodily injury everywhere it’s been used. However, because of the other components of this security system, the system won’t deploy if a big lizard runs across the floor of HNR Gunworks. These components can monitor whether or not the fog system needs to be deployed.

As of this writing, we know of no schools or churches that have integrated AIMS into their security systems. But if the threat of an active shooter continues to grow, more municipalities, businesses, churches and homes will institute this type of system. International clients include BP, Barclays and Brinks.

“AIMS utilizes the fogging unit in the hallways and common areas of schools and churches but not in the classrooms,” Rehfeld reported. “If a suspect attempts to move through the hallways of a school, our AIMS automatically locks down the classrooms when an intruder’s detected. This action protects students and the teachers, while either forcing the intruder out or capturing him or her in the dense fog.”

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This article was originally published in Personal Defense World 2019. To order a copy, please visit

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