Austin businessman suggests 'Smoke Screen' as new way - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Austin businessman suggests 'Smoke Screen' as new way to keep children safe against shooters

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Austin businessman Eric Howe is from across the pond and he's brought technology with him that originated in the 1970s.

The intent was to protect gold being moved around by the Bank of England.

But now, the "Concept Smoke Screen" company has moved into the U.S. And thermal smoke machines are being sold as security systems.

Howe's theory is, if you can't see it...you can't steal it.

And when the recent massacre in Newton, Connecticut happened, Howe thought up a new use for the smoke.

"We would like to put it into classrooms and have a single machine in each classroom with a teacher with a remote control so with the press of a button, within seconds the entire classroom is filled with a density that nobody can see," Howe said.

Even though the smoke is typically meant to disorient thieves, Howe says in schools, the goal would be to hide the children and leave the hallways clear for authorities to apprehend the shooter.

"In the event of a lockdown situation, the teacher would put the children in the safest part of the classroom, sit them down, press the button and that's all you needed to do," Howe said.

Many may wonder if filling the room with smoke will just make the situation worse. Howe doesn't think so.

"If there were no fog, they could literally shoot at anybody and aim at them as they did in Newton. If they can't see the targets, it makes it very difficult," Howe said.

But when the smoke fills the room, it can be frightening for children. Howe suggests having drills where the children can get used to the smoke and realize that there's nothing to be afraid of.

By the way, Howe says the smoke is completely safe to breathe.

He also says if he installs the systems in a school, they could build an overhead duct system that would allow for 3 classrooms per machine in order to keep the costs down.

And as far as getting the smoke out, he says a small ventilation fan will do the trick in minutes.

What do you think? Should this be in every classroom? Would it help in an active shooter situation? Leave us a comment below this story.

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