Not all retail shops hire night watchmen for maintaining security over the property, even if some of these shops are located in relatively vulnerable areas. The main reason? Cost-cutting, as some shops operate small and do not have sufficient revenues yet to cover salaries for security personnel.
Commonly targeted shops
While other commercial establishments like banks and warehouses also catch the eye of individuals or groups with criminal intent, there’s no denying that small retail businesses get the lion’s share of burglary attempts.
Examples of businesses that are commonly targeted by thieves include drug stores, gas and service stations, and convenience stores. Prescription drugs, money from the cash register, car parts, liquor, and various types of grocery goods are the usual items stolen from such establishments.
Passive security measures
The logical alternative solution is to install electronic security devices such as modern burglar alarms and CCTV cameras. It can be less costly for a small retail business to pay for a one-time high-quality burglar alarm installation and periodic maintenance than to pay a monthly salary for security personnel. These effective techniques for securing a place can deter would-be opportunistic burglars.
What’s more, fitting your business space with good security devices can provide several other benefits, such as employee safety, increased peace of mind and productivity for the staff, and protection for your business’s reputation and integrity.
However, not all analogue CCTV systems and alarm systems offer the same quality and results.
- Older and lower-quality systems may not reliably work as expected in some situations, such as when there is power outage.
- In some cases, the systems are not at fault, but the circumstances are not favorable. The quality of images, for instance, may not be useful either because of bad lighting, or when the perpetrators are wearing masks.
- On the other hand, some alarm systems can be disabled and locks can be forcibly opened or picked by skilful burglars.
That’s why choosing the top-quality security devices and solutions is absolutely recommended to ensure that you achieve the best results. Here are five of the best security technologies you should consider for your small business:
1. Smart CCTV
Burglars are more likely to be caught if their actions are recorded on CCTV systems. They can be apprehended by the police after getting some leads and identifying the perpetrators based on the image.
Analogue CCTV systems are just simple video recording systems, which have unprocessed outputs. The raw data will need to be tediously analyzed by investigators; this includes comparing the facial features of the burglars to the mugshots available at the police precinct.
A smart CCTV, on the other hand, has a facial recognition feature that can be connected to police database for faster and easier analysis and identification. This can also be accessed via internet through smart phones or laptops.
2. Smart alarms
Since most small shops are closed up and left by the owners and employees at night, nobody would be around to guard these. These small shops can benefit from smart commercial security systems because of long-distance connectivity.
A smart alarm system, for instance, can notify the shop owner even if he is on the other side of the globe. This system is integrated in the internet of things that can be monitored using a mobile device.
A smart alarm can either be set to silent on site, but can send an automatic emergency alert to the owner and the police if intruders enter the shop.
3. Biometric locks
Purely mechanical locks can easily be picked by skillful burglars, but biometric locks can only be opened using the authorized biometrics. The most common type involves fingerprint scanners but more advanced types also include facial recognition and voice activation.
These biometric locks may also serve a secondary purpose of punching-in the employees of a retail shop for work.
4. RFID scanners
Many retail shops in the malls have RFID scanners that detect the RF tags of consumer items. If a shopper attempts to shoplift an item, an alarm will sound at the door where the scanner is placed.
Updated versions of the scanners also track the movement of items within the shop. This technology is not new per se, but it can be integrated with database and with the internet of things.
5. Smart motion sensors
Multiple mini motion sensors can be installed within a retail shop. These sensors can then be switched on to detect body heat signatures in contrast to the ambient heat of the room.
This device can be connected to specific CCTV cameras, barriers, alarms or floodlights to dazzle intruders once they are detected.
By selectively switching on cameras and lights, this device also helps conserve energy and data storage for the videos.
Integrating the various smart security devices mentioned here can help ensure that small business owners will always be notified and their commercial spaces will always be kept secured.
Michael Dunne created Safecell Security Ltd in 2001 and acquired Authorized Access in 2013. He is now Managing Director of both companies and oversees the strategic development and day to day running of the businesses. Michael has spent over 20 years in the security industry and specialises in the Design, Installation, Maintenance and Commissioning of electrical security systems such as Intruder Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV, Warden Control and Access Control and all Physical security including Key Cutting, Safe & Lock Picking, Suited Key Systems, Automated Barriers & Gates and Shutters, throughout the North West of England.