Written By: Brad Campbell | October 9, 2023
As long as there have been retail stores, store security has been a top concern for business owners.
Whether it’s a 24-hour corner convenience store or a high-end fashion boutique, the threat of theft, vandalism and even violence is ever-present.
In this article, we’ll explore how to take a comprehensive approach to store security, examining the different types of threats faced by retail establishments and offering practical, actionable suggestions to bolster your retail security measures.
We’ll also shine a spotlight on why Riot Glass security glass is an indispensable solution for enhancing storefront security.
Store security encompasses a wide range of measures and strategies aimed at protecting retail establishments from various threats. These threats can vary in nature and severity, and understanding them is crucial for implementing effective security measures.
Some of the most common threats faced by retail stores are:
Forced entry occurs when individuals gain unauthorized access to a store by using physical force to breach doors, windows, or other entry points. This threat can take the form of burglaries, robberies, or other criminal activities.
Sneaky criminals may break in during non-business hours to steal merchandise or cash, while more brazen criminals may commit smash-and-grab theft during business hours or even target employees and customers during business hours for armed robbery.
To mitigate forced entry, retailers often invest in things like secure locks, sturdy doors, and window bars.
Installing security cameras at entrances and strategic locations can also deter potential intruders and provide valuable evidence in case of a security breach, which can help authorities catch and prosecute thieves after the fact.
However, criminals have become more bold and sophisticated over the years, and thus more robust physical store security measures, such as Riot Glass storefront security glass, are needed if you want to prevent forced entry altogether.
Burglary is a common criminal threat and a form of forced entry that involves breaking into a store with the intent to steal property. Burglars often strike during the night or when the store is closed, making it imperative for retailers to fortify their premises after hours.
Security alarms, motion sensors, and glass break detectors can alert authorities and security personnel in the event of a break-in, while a combination of Riot Glass security glass and scissor gates or roll-down security shutters can physically prevent after hours burglaries.
Smash-and-grab theft is a fast and destructive method employed by thieves to gain access to a store’s contents.
Typically, this involves smashing through glass windows or doors to quickly snatch valuable merchandise that’s on display. The perpetrators rely on the element of surprise and speed to carry out their crimes, with little to no regard for cameras, alarms, and other security measures.
While smash-and-grab theft can and does occur when businesses are closed, we’re seeing an increase in brazen, organized smash-and-grabs that take place during business hours, which have been dubbed “flash robs.”
In a flash rob, multiple — sometimes dozens — of thieves descend on their chosen target in a coordinated attack, entering the business, smashing display cases and windows, and grabbing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise before making their getaway in various vehicles awaiting them outside.
Even if one or several of these thieves get caught, many more get away, and it’s unfortunately very hard for retailers to recover all of their stolen merchandise.
To combat smash-and-grab theft, retailers can invest in retrofit Riot Glass security glazing for storefront windows, doors, and display cases.
These glazing shields make it difficult (nearly impossible, really) for intruders to shatter the glass, providing precious time for law enforcement or security personnel to respond.
In recent years, incidents of rioting and looting have gained prominence as a significant threat to retail stores.
Civil unrest, protests, or large gatherings can escalate into violent situations where businesses become targets for looters. The chaos and destruction that often accompany these events can result in severe losses for store owners.
To protect against rioting and looting, retailers should consider reinforcing their storefronts with Riot Glass security glass, which is specifically designed to withstand extreme impacts and prevent forced entry of all types.
Now that you have a better understanding of the threats faced by retail stores, let’s take a look at some practical suggestions for improving store security that you can implement right away:
Begin your journey to harden your retail security by conducting a thorough security assessment of your store. Identify vulnerabilities and assess the effectiveness of existing security measures.
This type of assessment, known in the industry as a threat assessment, should be conducted by security experts who can provide tailored recommendations.
Ensure that your employees are well-trained in security protocols. They should know how to respond to emergencies, including robberies and break-ins, without putting themselves at risk.
Regular training sessions and drills, held as frequently as every month, can be invaluable in preparing your staff for potential threats.
Invest in high-quality security cameras that cover all critical areas of your store, both inside and outside. These cameras act as a deterrent and provide essential evidence in case of an incident. Ensure they are well-maintained and regularly monitored.
Implement access control systems that restrict entry to authorized personnel only. Key card systems or biometric scanners can enhance security by reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Install intrusion alarms and motion sensors that can alert you and law enforcement in real-time if there is a breach. Modern alarm systems can be integrated with surveillance cameras for a more comprehensive security solution.
Adequate lighting around your store’s exterior can deter potential criminals by eliminating hiding spots. Motion-activated lighting can be particularly effective at catching trespassers off guard and scaring them off.
Depending on the size and location of your store, hiring trained security personnel may be a prudent choice. Security guards can provide a visible presence and respond to incidents as they occur.
Certain types of high-risk retail businesses, like jewelry stores and cannabis dispensaries, can particularly benefit from hiring security guards.
Arrange your store layout to minimize blind spots and provide clear lines of sight for both employees and security cameras. This helps in the early detection of suspicious activity.
Use secure safes for storing cash and other valuables. Limit the amount of cash on the premises and implement cash-handling policies that ensure large sums are locked away securely in a safe, so cash doesn’t build up at the register throughout the day.
Develop a detailed emergency response plan that outlines steps to be taken in case of various security threats. Ensure that all employees are familiar with this plan and that it is regularly reviewed and updated.
While all the suggestions above are important components of a comprehensive store security plan, many of them fail to do one highly important thing: physically keep the bad guys out.
This is where Riot Glass security glazing comes in.
Riot Glass is one of the most innovative and effective architectural solutions for enhancing store security, especially in the face of forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, and rioting and looting.
Riot Glass is engineered using specific formulations of polycarbonates, acrylics, and other plastics to withstand extreme impact and force, making it exceptionally difficult for criminals to breach storefronts and gain access to a store’s interior.
Many Riot Glass solutions are retrofit solutions, meaning that they can be fitted on top of the existing storefront glass, creating a protective barrier over the existing glass and preventing it from breaking due to forced entry attempts or other impacts.
Riot Glass can also be used to replace existing storefront glass, implemented in new retail store construction, or used to build virtually unbreakable display cases.
Here are some key features and benefits of Riot Glass security glass:
Riot Glass is designed to resist high-force impacts from a variety of objects, including bricks, hammers, and baseball bats. It can withstand repeated blows without shattering, maintaining its integrity and preventing forced entry.
In addition to providing forced entry protection, Riot Glass is also effective at mitigating the damage caused by explosions and blasts. This feature is particularly valuable for stores located in areas prone to civil unrest or terrorism.
Riot Glass provides excellent optical clarity, ensuring that your storefront maintains an attractive and welcoming appearance. This transparency allows high transmission of natural light, uninhibited views, and easy window shopping — without sacrificing security.
Riot Glass is available in various thicknesses and compositions to suit the specific security needs of your store. In many cases, different types of Riot Glass can be used for different doors and windows, tailoring store security to different threat levels and optimizing your budget.
Maintaining Riot Glass is straightforward. It can be cleaned like regular glass and does not require special treatments or cleaning agents. In the event that a sheet of Riot Glass security glazing gets damaged, it’s very easy and affordable to replace.
Knowing that your store is protected 24/7 by Riot Glass can provide invaluable peace of mind. Virtually unbreakable Riot Glass sends a strong message to potential criminals that your store is a hard target, causing would-be intruders to move on.
Even determined attackers won’t be able to breach Riot Glass quickly, which gives you plenty of time to notify the authorities of a forced entry attempt and gives them time to arrive and deal with the threat.
With security threats to retail stores becoming increasingly sophisticated, taking proactive measures to protect your business, assets, and employees is more important than ever.
Understanding the various threats, conducting a comprehensive retail security threat assessment, and implementing a combination of security measures are key steps in fortifying your store’s defenses.
Riot Glass security glass, with its exceptional impact resistance, aesthetic appeal, and versatility, should be the first line of defense you implement when it comes to enhancing store security.
By investing in the right retail security measures and technologies, you can create a safer and more secure shopping and working environment for everyone involved with your business.
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