Why we need reform
One of the major problems faced by the industry is that the way performance metrics are reported differs depending on who you're talking to. Why is that?
Regulation EN 50131-8 specifies how we as manufacturers should objectively measure the performance of our fog generators. One of the factors it looks at is the m3/minute measure. One.
It also looks at a test known as 'obscuration density'. This measures how good that machine is at reducing visibility in an objective and measurable way. Sounds useful, right?
Unfortunately, for reasons that are lost in the mists of time, EN 50131-8 does not require that anyone reports the results of these tests - so it is entirely possible to quote a m3/minute rating without the important, scientifically measured 'obscuration density'.
This means, in most cases, people are only getting part of the picture.
We don't think this is good enough, and that's why we're being so brutally honest about it. The good news is we have the ability to challenge it. Two of the delegates that form the working group tasked with reviewing this standard are from Smoke Screen, and I'm one of them. I'm making it my mission to ensure the shortcomings of this regulation are addressed.
In the meantime, our advice remains consistent. In order to properly specify any security fogging system, don't bother comparing datasheets. It's much better to consult companies who have specific expertise in this area. Remember, what you are trying to do is reduce loss, mitigate risk and enhance peace-of-mind. And that's what we're trying to do, too.