Written By: Brad Campbell | December 1, 2023
When you think of retail security systems, the top things that come to mind are probably traditional measures like surveillance cameras and alarms.
While these are important components of any comprehensive commercial security system, there’s one important thing they don’t do: physically keep bad guys out.
In other words, cameras and alarms work as deterrents and can help catch criminals in the act or aid with prosecution later on, but they don’t prevent forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, or looting.
This is why it’s so important for retail business owners to safeguard their property and merchandise using additional retail store security system components that provide physical security.
1. Riot Glass® Security Glazing (the always-there forced entry prevention solution)
2. QMI Security Shutters (for additional after hours security)
3. Access Control Vestibules (a buffer zone for high-risk retail stores)
If you can choose only one physical retail security system upgrade to implement, Riot Glass forced entry-resistant security glazing should be your top choice.
Riot Glass forced entry prevention solutions employ specific formulations of polycarbonates, acrylics, and other impact-resistant plastics, resulting in security glazing shields that outperform and outlast comparable types of security glass.
For store security applications, we typically recommend containment-grade (non-ballistic) Riot Glass or ArmorPlast® glazing, which won’t stop bullets but is virtually unbreakable in the face of even the most determined forced entry attempts.
In fact, Riot Glass recently passed one of the most rigorous forced entry resistance testing protocols that exists; the ASTM F3038 forced entry test.
Many of these forced entry-resistant glazing solutions can be retrofitted right on top of a storefront’s existing glass using specialized retrofittable framing adapters that fit into or onto the storefront windows’ and doors’ existing framing systems.
This results in a highly cost-effective solution for store owners, since it doesn’t require costly glass replacement or framing upgrades.
The best part about Riot Glass, especially compared to some traditional solutions like permanent window bars, is that it provides always-there storefront glass protection without altering the appearance or functionality of the glass.
Its high optical clarity and glass-like appearance mean that your storefront windows retain full visibility, continue to allow natural light in, and keep showcasing your products to attract window shoppers — Riot Glass doesn’t hurt the curb appeal of businesses at all.
Benefits of implementing Riot Glass in a retail security system:
When it comes to after hours retail security, there’s a more traditional solution that still works well for many types of businesses: security shutters.
Rolling shutters and side-folding grilles and gates, such as those offered by QMI Security Solutions, are an excellent option for providing additional after hours security.
These shutters and gates slide over the glass and lock into place, making it even more difficult for would-be intruders or vandals to damage the glass and force entry to the business.
While these types of solutions only work when businesses are closed, they complement an always-there solution like Riot Glass very well.
Riot Glass’s invisible glass protection works 24/7 to prevent all types of forced entry, including smash-and-grab theft during business hours, while QMI security shutters provide an additional layer of after hours glass protection.
Riot Glass and QMI work together to give you even more peace of mind knowing that your store is further protected against threats like burglary and rioting and looting.
Benefits of adding QMI security shutters to your retail store security system:
For certain types of high-risk retail businesses, such as high-end jewelry stores, pawn shops, cannabis dispensaries, and cash-handling businesses, you can create an extra secure buffer zone through the addition of an access control vestibule, or mantrap.
Access control vestibules are essentially a double entrance, with a set of interlocking doors (one on either side of a self-contained vestibule).
In order for someone to enter the store, they must first come through the front door, which then closes and locks behind them, and wait for authorization to pass through the second door.
This buffer zone can help prevent an unauthorized individual from following another customer in, as well as mitigate the threat of armed robbery that certain types of high-risk businesses face.
An access control vestibule can be made even more secure through the use of containment-grade or ballistic-grade Riot Glass, ensuring that criminals cannot force their way through either of the doors.
Using bullet-resistant security glazing for an access control vestibule can provide active threat mitigation, protecting employees and customers already inside from ballistic attacks.
Benefits of access control vestibules for high-risk retail store security systems:
A comprehensive retail security system extends beyond conventional measures, such as alarm and surveillance systems. It’s important for store owners to incorporate physical security measures to not only deter would-be intruders, but also physically keep them out.
By implementing an always-there forced entry and smash-and-grab prevention solution like Riot Glass, and considering additional options, such as security shutters for after hours protection, retailers can mitigate a full range of security threats.
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