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December 2000 IT infrastructure

Up until now, the Protect security system from Denmark has been marketed in Southern Africa by sole agent Erik van Heerden. Following the agreement with Honeywell-TeqTrader, this supplementary system is now available exclusively through Honeywell-TeqTrader's network of southern African outlets.

Honeywell-TeqTrader's Frank Fowles describes Protect as "a really innovative product that will enhance and synchronise with our existing offering".

"We believe this product will generate considerable interest especially from companies wishing to protect high-value areas such as stock rooms, warehouses and computer rooms - as well as any other area left unoccupied for long periods of time, such as holiday homes," says Fowles.

In less than 20 seconds of an unauthorised entry, the Protect system emits a dense smokescreen - at a rate of 375 m3 per minute - that makes it impossible for the would-be thief to orientate himself in the room, let alone look for valuables to steal. Protect can be connected to any existing burglar alarm system as a supplementary protection against theft and vandalism until the police, security staff or armed response team arrive.

When the system is activated, a water and glycol mixture is forced through the unit's heating element to transform it into 'dry' smoke. Fowles says this principle has been used for decades to create special effects in theatres and discos. The smoke can remain suspended in a room for more than an hour, but 20 minutes airing is sufficient to clear the room of all traces. A variety of laboratory tests have confirmed that the smoke is odourless and completely safe for people, animals, IT equipment, machines and other fittings and furnishings.

The Protect system features a range of built-in safety systems to minimise the risk of accidental activation and it is able to communicate with the control centre, where operators can determine whether the smoke protection has been activated. This allows security staff to take the necessary precautions when responding to an alarm.

System operation is protected by a built-in battery back-up feature to guard against short circuits or vandalism. Any attempt at unauthorised deactivation automatically triggers an alarm to the control centre. The system uses less electricity than a normal light bulb and can be activated repeatedly. High operational reliability, minimal maintenance and a long service are aimed at keeping running costs down.

For more information contact Frank Fowles, Honeywell-TeqTrader, 011 805 1201.

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