A couple months back, we created a post sharing some tips for Adding Restaurant Security. In that post, we share some of the unique security challenges of the restaurant industry, as well as some useful solutions. Of course, no two types of business share exactly the same security concerns. Therefore, we encourage customers to use industry and property-specific security plans and equipment for their own applications. In this post, we share some valuable retail security tips for those working in the retail world.

Like any other type of business, retail locations bring about unique security issues. For starters, we’ll discuss some tips for stopping theft. This will include both theft from outsiders as well as employee theft. Then, we’ll see how you can beef up your burglar alarm to add security to your retail location. Modern security systems add tremendous security, as well as opportunities to track activity within your business. Finally, we will also look at some key and lock security tips to make your property less accessible to unwanted “guests!” Now, let’s dive in with look at preventing retail theft.

Theft Prevention

Obviously, retail theft has long maintained a spot at the very top of the list of concerns amonng business owners in this industry. As we mentioned before, theft comes from both outside and inside of a retail location’s circle of employees. Therefore, securing access to product and tracking activity in your business deserve top priority. In this section, we’ll address this issue using a couple different approaches. First, we’ll share the benefits of installing cameras. Then, we’ll explain how our access control systems add valuable retail security.

A sign reading "Warning, CCTV in Operation"

Installing exterior and interior cameras in your retail location can add security for your patrons and employees alike.

Putting “Eyes” in Your Business

Commercial security cameras can help solve and even prevent crime in your business. Our cameras record video 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, they will capture anything that happens on your property for future viewing. This allows you to potentially solve any crimes after they occur, or review any suspicious activity reported by employees or customers. Additionally, the presence of cameras alone often discourages criminal activity from occurring in the first place. Both burglars and employees alike will likely think twice about putting their devious actions on tape after you install surveillance.

Finally, cameras also provide a unique security benefit in the case of missing money or products. When a store experiences theft, employees can often feel like suspects, especially if they worked a shift around the time your items or cash went missing. Reviewing footage of your employees’ shifts can help clear them of any wrongdoing, adding both security and valuable peace of mind! For these reasons, we strongly advise you to work with a professional security company (such as ourselves!) to design an effective surveillance system. Next, let’s review the benefits of access control, one of our most powerful retail security measures.

The Benefits of Access Control

Over the past several years, access control systems have gotten increasingly popular. This security measure involves using advanced lock equipment to control access to your property. Access control systems utilize electronic locking hardware to operate specific doors within a business. Rather than using a key at these doors, users approach a keypad or a reader and present either a code or a physical credential such as a card or fob. Users who present an approved credential will then be able to open the door after the reader interacts with the door’s electronics to unlock it. Business owners can assign each credential to open only certain doors at specific times, giving them tremendous control over who can open which doors, and when.

In addition to controlling access to certain doors, access control systems include software that tracks access as well! Every time an employee approaches an access door, it creates a time-stamped event that you can view on a computer by logging in to your access control system. This allows you to easily track employee activity within your business. Furthermore, it allows you to see if anyone tries to enter doors in your business that they should not attempt to enter.

For example, if an employee without the necessary permission attempts to use their credentials to enter a secure room, the system will both deny access and “flag” this event. At that point, you will know which employee attempted this breach. The security and flexibility offered by these systems makes them an extremely valuable piece of any commercial security plan. Now, let’s take a look at some tips for using your security system to add retail security.

Burglar Alarm-Related Tips

Burglar alarms form the cornerstone of just about any commercial security plan. These systems serve a couple main purposes. For starters, they provide a blaring siren response when they detect a breach. This alerts anyone on premise to the situation, and the siren generally scares off the intruder. Furthermore, monitored security systems also call out for help by notifying our central station upon alarm activation. In turn, our central station can also dispatch the police if neccesary. In this section, we’ll discuss both security equipment and means of monitoring for superior retail security!

Equipment that Covers all the Bases

When we install a security system, we always begin with the basics. Door sensors, window sensors, and motion detectors form the base of most commercial alarms. However, when installing a security system at a retail location, we often add additional security. For example, glass break detectors can detect someone breaking through a display window before they ever breach your store. This provides an even greater level of security than a motion detector, since motion detectors do not catch thieves until they’ve gotten inside of a property.

A panic device's activation button.

Panic buttons such as this model made by United Security Products can call for help through your alarm system silently when needed.

Additionally, we also install panic devices in our retail locations that can add security and safety in the case of a holdup. We can program these buttons to make no noise when activated, so they won’t escalate an already tense situation. Moreover, we can install panic devices in set locations, such as under counters, and provide employees with mobile panic buttons as well. This means that employees will always have the power to create an emergency police dispatch at their fingertips at all times. For more information, check out our post sharing Panic Button Options for Your Security System. Next, let’s look at our preferred security monitoring service for retail security.

True Commercial Security Monitoring

When we install an alarm system, we must create a communication path between the security system and our central station. Traditionally, this involves connecting an alarm to a property’s phone lines. However, we offer much more effective and dynamic security through our Alarm.com interactive monitoring service. For starters, using a cellular dialer provides the most consistent monitoring available. Phone line-based monitoring will fail if your property’s phones go down, or if a burglar cuts the lines before breaking in. On the other hand, cellular monitoring remains unaffected by these actions.

Furthermore, our interactive customers can use the Alarm.com app to remotely arm and disarm their security system. Therefore, you will never drive home from work and have to wonder if you set your alarm. Now, you can simply pick up your phone and check your alarm’s status! If you did forget to arm your business, you can do so with the press of a button.

Finally, this monitoring service comes with the ability to create instant security alerts. For example, most customers opt in for alerts created by emergency alarm activations. Furthermore, low sensor batteries and system arming and disarming events can also create notifications. Moreover, you can even create notifications for alarm events that do not happen. This means that if your alarm does not get disarmed at opening time, or armed at closing time, you will receive an alert so you can check in on the situation. This level of security and customization makes our interactive security very popular with retail locations! Now, let’s turn our focus to lock and key security.

Lock and Key Security

Door security represents one of the most important aspects of any security plan. Of course, doors represent the quickest and easiest means of entry for a burglar. Therefore, this area deserves special attention. Installing high-quality locks represents one of the very most effective means of keeping the wrong people out of your business. Locks that guard against picking and drilling, such as our preferred locks by Medeco, can provide tremendous security to thwart the most common attacks on a building’s doors.

Furthermore, these same Medeco products also address another important retail security danger: key control. Obviously, even the best commercial locks don’t secure your property against someone with a key. Medeco, and other lock manufacturers that use key-control measures, offer each of their suppliers a patented keyway. This means that when we install Medeco locks, other locksmiths cannot create a copy of your key. Instead, all key copies must be created by us.

A brass Medeco deabolt

Medeco deadbolts provide top-of-the-line retail security in the form of both superior locking hardware as well as key control.

Furthermore, when creating your Medeco locks, we also work with our customers to create a list of individuals authorized to create copies of keys. Therefore, even if one of your employees did come to us to create a copy of a key, we would not do so unless their ID matched up with one of the names on our key copy list. This level of security ensures that when you take employees’ keys back at the end of their employment, they won’t come back with keys they created for the purpose of robbing the business down the road. The combination of lock quality and key control offered by Medeco makes these locks a very popular retail security option!

Putting it All Together for Complete Retail Security

We hope that this post helps you create effective retail security on your property. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us. We will happily walk you through the process of creating a complete security plan for your application. Furthermore, we also offer free site surveys to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can come up with solutions for any security concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make suggestions of our own based on your retail location’s layout and vulnerabilities. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep your store, as well as your employees, your most valuable products, and your hard-earned money, as safe and secure as possible!