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Loss Prevention Equipment: Spend a Little Money to Save a Lot of Profit

Aug 17, 2007
Small, family owned stores or large "big box" retail businesses all suffer the same problem: theft of money or inventory. Last year, alone, retailers brought in more than eight hundred billion dollars, but lost more than two hundred billion to "shrinkage." This shrinkage may result from outright, gun-toting robbers, to shoplifters, to untrustworthy employees.

In certain areas, vandalism can be a serious and costly consideration. Whatever the cause, Loss Prevention Equipment can significantly reduce or prevent such occurrences, and help local law enforcement successfully respond to those thefts that do happen.

Loss Prevention Equipment and technology have evolved rapidly in the past few years.

While strategically located convex mirrors are still a useful and economical method of monitoring difficult "line-of-site" locations in your business, the wide variety of sophisticated Loss Prevention tools now readily available allows for cost-effective configurations to suit virtually any retail business budget.

Examples include:

* Closed Circuit Television systems, (CCTV);
* A variety of cameras and monitors;
* Access Control systems;
* Digital Recorders or Time Lapse VCR's;
* Cash Register interfaces;
* Counterfeit Money Detectors; and,
* Security Tags and Gates.

Depending on the resources available for dedication to Loss Prevention Equipment, one, or a combination of the foregoing can provide a viable solution to your security needs.

CCTV systems, whether used with one camera, or a series of cameras, send their feed to a monitor or monitors, or a choice of recording devices. They can be hard-wired or wireless;

Cameras come in a very wide variety of shapes and sizes, from those that are conspicuously mounted to provide observation and deterrence, to small, virtually undetectable units, which can be used to monitor cash registers or other highly-sensitivity locations.

Some are designed to automatically sense and adapt to varying lighting condition, while others are specialized to accommodate consistent dim lighting. Color or black and white transmission options are available. Dome cameras, similar to what may bee seen in casinos, located in ceiling areas, also allow for great coverage;

Single monitors can be configured to work in conjunction with multiple cameras, providing a "flip" sequence of images of specific areas; alternatively, several monitor can be linked with several cameras to provide constant surveillance of "hot spots,";

Access controls include coded key pad door locks, to allow only those individuals with proper security clearance to enter controlled areas;

If the Loss Prevention need is to record locational activity, choices range from time lapse VCR's to digital recording devices;

Cash Register Interfacing is designed to discover and prevent "Point of Sale," (POS), theft. It allows ownership/management to extract the data from a cash register that prints on the receipt and overlay this data on a video picture of the check out area.Front end cameras are positioned to see the cashier, the register drawer, items purchased and the customer.

The recorded scene can then be easily reviewed to verify that the check-out was legitimate. An overt interface, which is obvious to both clerks and customers, deters theft by establishing fear in those with ulterior motives. A covert, or hidden, interface may not prevent the theft, but will provide evidence in support of prosecution.

POS thefts include short rings, no rings, substitute scanning, pilfering and short changing;

Some sort of counterfeit money detection is routinely used. Surprisingly, the commonly seen security pen markers, according the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crime unit, have an 83% failure rate. Their accuracy is diminished by certain chemicals in common products such as bleach and soaps. This puts the retailer at risk both for missing the true counterfeits, and falsely accusing a customer who is using authentic currency.

The better solution is the use of electronic devices which range in ability from simply verifying the authenticity of currency, to identifying false checks, credit cards, driver licenses, etc.

Finally, there are the familiar security tags and gates commonly seen in drug, clothing and music stores.

To find the optimal Loss Prevention Equipment solution, utilize on-line research, coupled with consultation with an experienced equipment manufacturer or retailer, who can assist you with the design and installation of the appropriate system.
About the Author
This article published by the editorial staff of National Tollfree Directory. For more information about CCTV Systems and Retail Loss Prevention Equipment, visit Shortage Control, Inc. at
. Please direct any feedback on this article to editorial@strbusinessmedia.com.
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