Keeping your convenience store secure is necessary for the safety of your employees, customers, business, and community. Many convenience stores provide essential services, selling easily accessible food, healthcare products, automotive gear, and more. So, guaranteeing a safe environment with dependable business security is critical.
Learn the best convenience store security tips to keep your business as safe as possible.
Top Security Risks Facing Convenience Stores
Shoplifting remains one of convenience stores’ most significant security concerns, especially those without cameras, adequate lighting, or other security essentials. Cigarettes, lottery tickets, liquor, and other alcoholic products are among the most high-value stolen items and are usually kept behind the counter. Even if most shoplifting incidents are of relatively inexpensive products, they can still add up to a lot of loss.
Outside of shoplifting and petty theft, convenience stores are also frequent targets of armed robbery. These severe security risks put the lives of employees, customers, and witnesses in immediate danger and must be taken seriously. Many convenience stores implement bullet-proof glass, restricted hours, silent alarms, and other security measures to reduce the risks of robberies. Convenience stores are also susceptible to break-ins, vandalism, cash fraud schemes, and various other crimes.
Beyond criminal activity, convenience store owners must also consider safety and liability. Anything from a recently mopped floor to glass on a shelf can pose safety risks to employees and customers. Even if you did everything right, your business may still be held liable if a customer blames you for an injury without video footage to disprove it.
With an often bustling flow of customers, products, and sales, it can be challenging for convenience store owners to protect their property and staff — let alone their inventory. Nevertheless, safety and security are among the most critical aspects of the job. Fortunately, technology makes convenience store security more manageable with motion detection, around-the-clock surveillance, and various other functions.
Convenience Store Security Tips and Practices
Investing in a high-quality security system is essential to protecting your convenience store. Security measures such as cameras and remote video monitoring won’t just help you prevent shoplifting and criminal activities — they’ll also help you develop a safer, more trusting workplace.
1. Install a Robust Surveillance System
While every property has different needs, dependable convenience store surveillance typically comprises three layers:
- High-resolution cameras: Surveillance cameras with motion-detection features should be placed strategically inside and outside your property. Specifically, focus on entry points, cash registers, and parking spots to capture all activity. Higher image quality will help you capture facial details and smaller movements, which may help when responding to crimes.
- Adequate lighting: Lighting your entry points, corners, and blind spots will further improve your cameras’ image quality, especially at night. Prominent lights also give intruders fewer places to hide.
- 24/7 remote monitoring: Partnering with a security provider, including Alarm Detection Systems, guarantees someone can always have eyes on your property, even after hours. A trained expert from our central monitoring station will respond to unusual activity, such as an alerted glass break sensor. From here, they will contact you and the authorities as needed. Monitoring teams can also help respond to burglaries, fires, and other emergencies.
2. Display Alarm System Signs Prominently
Signs and stickers indicating that your property is under surveillance can help you deter criminal activity. Make sure these signs are clearly visible, even at night, using bright colors, adequate lighting, and legible words. Though signage won’t eliminate crime entirely, it may reduce incidents and make intruders more likely to disturb another business instead. Visible signage can also improve your business by making customers feel safer.
3. Train Employees on Security and Safety Practices
Your staff is often your first layer of defense during a security incident and should understand their responsibilities and safest actions. First, you must reliably train staff in basic emergency response protocols, such as fire safety and using the alarm system. Consider implementing accessible communication options, such as text messages, two-way radios, and intercom systems.
Convenience store employees should also be able to:
- Identify suspicious individuals or activities
- Contact the owner or manager
- Contact emergency response teams
- Clean spills and other hazards effectively
- Operate first-aid and fire safety equipment
- Guide customers to safety during emergencies
- Remain calm during emergencies or threatening situations
4. Adopt Cash Security Strategies
Convenience stores should conduct counts of their cash boxes at the beginning and end of each day. This practice will help you track all of your transactions and keep cash from getting lost. Reliable cash storage also keeps your money out of customers’ sight — and, thus, out of their reach.
That said, one of the best ways to secure your business’s funds is by regularly depositing it in a secure bank account. Limiting your on-hand cash can make your convenience store a smaller target to robbers and help you maintain better organization.
5. Regularly Check Your Surveillance Coverage
Trees, traffic, weather, shadows, and various other factors can impact the reach of your surveillance system. A trained security team, such as Alarm Detection Systems, can help you determine your property’s most significant obstacles and risks for the best setup. However, you should continue to review your security coverage to identify additional concerns. Then, update your current setup with new cameras, lights, glass break sensors, and other equipment as needed.
Seasonal shifts, including changing trees and snow, can limit your camera’s reach and leave your property vulnerable if you don’t plan for them. For example, if you set up exterior cameras near trees during autumn or winter, their views may be blocked by leaves during the spring and summer. Other variables, such as traffic, wind, and loud noises, may impact audio sensors or motion detective devices with frequent false alarms. These can significantly reduce your trust in your security.
Keep Your Convenience Store Secure with Alarm Detection Systems
Staying proactive about your convenience store security lets you maximize the safety and longevity of your business. Additionally, it shows your employees and customers that you take their safety seriously.
At Alarm Detection Systems, we have over 50 years of experience protecting various commercial properties. Get a quote today to learn how we can keep your convenience store secure.
About Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Alarm Detection Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in the country. Family-owned since 1968, we provide business alarms, fire alarms, card access, security cameras, and home security systems. Proudly servicing Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin in the Midwest. Call us at 630.844.6300 for more information.