How can I best protect my store? Smaller, high-turnover retail

Protecting a store’s stock and assets is critical. In a fast-paced business environment where turnover is high volume and margins are often small, losing stock or takings to theft can literally drive a store into the ground. Therefore, a proper security plan is essential. However, many business owners take little time to consider whether their business needs are being met by the hardware they have deployed – more still consider security to be a ‘set-and-forget’ proposition – which it is not.

A solid security system needs to be properly planned and thought-out. How much space needs to be covered by cameras and alarms? What are the most critical assets present, and how best to protect them? Who is going to monitor the security system, and from where? Do I need automated alerts and responses, or can I monitor cameras sufficiently myself? What is the best position for my cameras in order to maximise coverage and my investment? Is the majority of the tobacco and cigarette stock behind a counter, or partly on public display? How much is locked away in a storeroom at any one time, and who can access it?

There are many aspects to consider, and it pays to call on experts to help with planning and deployment. While the upfront investment may seem prohibitive, it will save money in terms of operational efficiency and upkeep. Many products are high value and easy to re-sell, making them a compelling target. Risking your stock simply isn’t worth it.

Security cameras come in many forms, each with a specific purpose. Some are wide-angle for monitoring a large space, others mount to the roof for blanket coverage of the floorspace, others are high-definition and able to pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) to focus in on a defined space such as point-of-sale. Work out the best way to maximise a camera budget by balancing the amount of space to be monitored with the most suitable cameras.

Perimeter security can take the form of outdoor cameras, with secure housing that can withstand rain, snow, heat and dust. Cameras can also be heat and motion-sensing adding more layers of protection to a store.

Fog is another popular option, protecting a retail premises by emitting thick cloud-like vapour that instantly ‘blinds’ a would-be thief and rendering them incapacitated. This is especially useful for high-value items such as cigarettes and tobacco products, which are often primary targets for theft.

Smart Event technology such as intrusion detection and line crossing should also be considered. This security feature triggers a built-in siren and strobe light in the event of someone crossing into a specific area.

Checklist for optimum security:

  • Security cameras in optimal position for maximum effect
  • Security camera firmware must be kept up-to-date
  • Fog or smoke emission device such as the SmokeCloak24
  • Strobe lights and sirens for deterring active theft
  • Consider physical patrols for extra protection
  • In-house or outsourced monitoring of security cameras and other systems
  • Alarms set each night when the store closes
PMT Security