As if the increased rates of inventory shrinkage weren’t bad enough, retail burglary is on the rise too – and retailers are suffering the impact on their bottom line. Not only do those emergency overnight glass repair fees and security fees add up after a crime, burglary can also result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profits. Even worse, the perpetrators are rarely caught; retail burglary has the lowest arrest rate of all serious crimes reported to the FBI annually.
Since you can’t catch them and it costs a lot to clean up after them, the best way to deal with retail thieves is to prevent their access to your business. The easiest ways to do this are with physical security measures such as security screens and grating, bollards, increased lighting, video surveillance, and strengthening the glass at your location.
Let’s talk about your glass strengthening options.
For retailers looking to shore up their security by slowing down thieves, the clear solution lies in glass security film. This cost-effective measure can be applied and anchored to the inside and outside of your vulnerable glass doors and windows.
By essentially sticking the window together, security film resists shattering and prevents criminals from coming inside your store. Though window film will eventually fail in response to repeated attacks, it slows down thieves enough that they may get nervous and leave or they may still be trying to break into your store when police arrive on the scene a few minutes later.
One of the market-leading solutions for security film is TRI-SHIELD, which meets ASTM F1233 Level 1.0 anti-intrusion tests to resist attacks from low-powered weapons such as rocks, bricks, and hammers. This triple-layered defense system uses an advanced design to anchor securely to your glass and frames, so you can increase security in your store.
“Bulletproof” or Ballistic Glass Polycarbonate
Establishments requiring more protection, such as banks, government buildings, and retail locations looking to minimize smash-and-grab damage may want to consider “bulletproof” glass solutions. Here’s a quick tip though: official Burglar Resistant Glazing Material isn’t really glass at all, it’s actually acrylic or polycarbonate, sometimes layered with glass, that protects against storms, bomb blasts, car crashes, hammers, flame, and both low- and high-powered weapons.
Though these plastics can’t really stop bullets (nothing can), they do resist shattering when pierced by a bullet, meaning that a criminal must shoot the glass quite a few times before he or she can gain access to the building. Effective “bulletproof” glass is classified as UL 972, and is then further categorized by levels based on how thick the glass is and how many bullets, of which caliber, it can withstand before shattering.
When considering bullet-resistant solutions, you should know that acrylic is more affordable, but polycarbonate is more impact resistant. Polycarbonate holds up better to high-powered weapons and, though it can be pricey, may make you eligible for significant discounts from your insurer once you install it.
But “bulletproof” glass isn’t without its challenges. Many of the mounting systems for these materials require hard-to-remove glue and ugly, bolted-on mounting systems – and the glass itself isn’t breathable, so your attractive clear windows are likely to become an icky, fogged-up mess from condensation. However, there is a solution.
All-new Invisicade, from NGS Films and Graphics, is an innovative, nearly invisible rail system that’s vented to maintain airflow and eliminate condensation, and that keeps your windows looking lovely as you increase your storefront protection. In addition, because it’s glue-free, Invisicade makes it easy to replace your polycarbonate panels if they become damaged or marred. For busy retailers, no-hassle security is always a great idea.
Don’t Forget About Vandalism
Loss can be anything that impacts your bottom dollar, which means that part of counteracting loss at your location can come from minimizing vandalism damage so you can keep your storefront looking great.
Flexible, low-cost solutions such as anti-graffiti film help protect your building from the long-term damage that results from etching, scratches, or tagging. The film helps protect your storefronts by providing an invisible layer that can be peeled off to easily remove unsightly vandalism. That’s right, no buffing or polishing should be required, which means your storefront can get back to looking good as new in mere minutes.
Preventing Loss Requires Staying a Step Ahead of Thieves
If you’re ready to fight against loss at your retail or commercial location, you’ll need to keep thinking and keep protecting your vulnerable glass from becoming a target for burglars.
Though organized retail crime (ORC) rates have been steadily increasing since 2015, ORC perpetrators still only comprise a small percentage of the total burglaries your business will experience. Most thieves are simply opportunists. And, according to the FBI, once a store has become the victim of theft, it’s likely to become a repeat victim.
Don’t give criminals the opportunity to break into your store even once. Consider moving valuables out of sight to the rear of your store, train your employees to follow highly secure closing procedures, and collaborate with other retailers near you to address crime concerns head on. With more of the good guys working together, we can all prevent retail losses.
Learn more about the security films and barricades developed by industry-leading window film experts, NGS Films and Graphics. Contact glazing security expert James Beale for more information on how you can prevent retail burglaries.