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Riot Glass® retrofit systems consist of custom-made security glass and framing designs that provide maximum protection against forced entry and ballistic threats.

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Riot Glass® can be used to secure any building. Virtually invisible yet nearly indestructible, it blends seamlessly in almost any existing window, door, or

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Do These 6 Things To Improve Your Retail Store Security System

Written By: Brittney PhillipsSeptember 21, 2022

Organized retail theft costs retailers billions of dollars every year. If you operate a store of any type, it’s of the utmost importance to implement the right retail store security system measures to protect against forced entry and burglary, rioting and looting, and smash-and-grab theft.

Hopefully, you already have some of the security components discussed below in place. But, if not, consider making these security upgrades sooner rather than later to protect your retail store and its valuable merchandise.

retail store security

6 Ways To Upgrade Your Retail Store Security System

  1. Integrate an access control system
  2. Add security cameras
  3. Invest in a monitored alarm for your retail store security system
  4. Install exterior lighting
  5. Rearrange your retail store’s layout
  6. Reinforce vulnerable doors and windows with polycarbonate security glazing

1. Integrate an access control system

Access control systems allow you to tightly control who goes in and out of key entrances, including exterior doors and doors to restricted areas, such as employee offices and stock rooms.

Common types of door access control systems for retailers include:

  • Keycard
  • Keypad (PIN or password)
  • Biometric readers
  • Smart locks (smartphone controlled)

All of the above access control systems can work to secure your retail store’s doors, but there are some factors to consider before choosing one.

For example, although keycard-controlled locks are efficient, keycards have a tendency to get lost or worn out over time, thus needing to be replaced every so often. Additionally, if a keycard falls into the wrong hands, it poses a security risk.

access control system

Keypads are secure, but people can forget PIN numbers and passwords. You’ll also need to change these periodically to ensure security, and then update all the people who need access with the new code.

Biometric readers and smart locks that people can open from their smartphones (which also often have built-in biometrics) are two of the most secure and convenient options for retail access control systems.

2. Add security cameras

Although security cameras don’t prevent forced entry and theft, they are a good deterrent. They can also help you catch criminals in the act or, in the worst case, aid in catching and prosecuting them after a theft.

Make sure to install modern security cameras that you can monitor from your mobile devices or a home computer, so you can see what’s going on at your store from anywhere.

security camera

Install these surveillance cameras at key locations, including near all entrances. Add at least one camera facing the street or parking lot outside your store, as well.

3. Invest in a monitored alarm for your retail store security system

Monitored alarm systems are another good burglar deterrent and notify you and the authorities as soon as there is a potential forced entry attempt underway at your retail store.

monitored alarm

Retail alarm systems are available in different varieties, including both silent and audible types. 

Audible alarms are a better deterrent to would-be intruders, but you need to make sure to follow local guidelines regarding automatic shut-offs after a certain amount of time (in case they get triggered accidentally).

Your alarm system should be able to detect and go off whenever someone is tampering with a door or window on your property.

4. Install exterior lighting

Criminals love the dark, so the more illumination you have around your retail store, the better.

Install flood lighting in out-of-reach places outside your business where it shines on entryways, parking lots, walkways, alleyways, and anywhere else that a burglar might prowl around looking to gain access to your building.

Consider a mix of always-on lighting and motion-sensing lighting, which lights up only if someone moves close enough.

This type of exterior lighting will deter would-be intruders, as well as make their activities visible to passing police patrols or civilians.

5. Rearrange your retail store’s layout

To protect against smash-and-grab theft, rearrange your store so the most expensive merchandise is towards the center of the store, away from exterior windows.

retail store layout

If criminals can’t see expensive merchandise from outside, they are less likely to target your store. And, if they do still attempt smash-and-grab theft, it will be harder for them to make their getaway from all the way inside your store.

6. Reinforce vulnerable doors and windows with polycarbonate security glazing

Containment-grade (non-ballistic) polycarbonate security glazing, such as ArmorPlast® AP25, is the best way to create physical barriers to forced entry over vulnerable windows and doors.

armorplast graphic

Any window or door that a would-be intruder can potentially access should be protected by this type of security glazing. This includes glass storefronts, display windows, glass doors, and panes of glass in back or side entrance doors. 

We also recommend reinforcing display cases inside your store with polycarbonate to deny smash-and-grab theft attempts.

Polycarbonate is the best type of retail security glazing because it is virtually unbreakable. Even though containment-grade polycarbonate doesn’t stop bullets, it can get riddled with bullets and still won’t significantly diminish in strength or allow entry.

Also, especially for high-end retail stores, polycarbonate glazing is far superior to traditional security solutions, such as window bars and grates.

Such traditional solutions are unsightly and hurt the curb appeal of your business, not to mention they reduce visibility and block out natural light. Polycarbonate is basically invisible, fortifying your business without making it look fortified.

Benefits of polycarbonate retail glazing:

  • Creates an invisible barrier to forced entry over existing glass
  • Virtually unbreakable
  • Prevents burglary, looting, and smash-and-grab theft
  • Doesn’t block natural light or reduce visibility
  • Can be retrofitted into or onto existing framing systems (very cost effective)
  • Keeps the bad guys out!


Any retail store security system needs multiple components to provide the highest level of security for your property. 

retail store security system

Things like cameras, alarms, lighting, access control, and store layout design are all important parts of retail security, but they don’t physically prevent forced entry. 

That’s why you should always reinforce your building’s glass doors and windows with security glazing to complete your security system — this is where Riot Glass can help!

We have decades of experience helping retailers harden their store security with our industry-leading security glazing products. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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(800) 580-2303

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