fire exit

Deterring Loss at Every Exit

March 30, 2020 Published by

Delayed egress at fire exit and emergency doors is a common tactic used by Loss Prevention in retail stores. It helps retailers keep merchandise from flying out their back doors – reducing shrink.

But with the rise of active shooters and emergency situations, this once standard loss prevention strategy is no longer a viable option. Retailers must now factor in these new threats to employee and customer safety, plus the methods used to deter unwanted behavior.

Yet removing delayed egress from these vulnerable points requires a new solution. That’s why retailers are leveraging public view monitors (PVMs) to fortify these areas to enhance their loss prevention programs.

Why Delayed Egress No Longer Works

Placing delayed egress at fire and emergency exit doors works by delaying the release of a door lock for some time before unlocking the door to allow free exit. Because these emergency doors tend to be located in unattended areas, the extra time delay blocks the thief’s quick exit and increases the chances of getting caught.

While delayed egress is an effective way to deter retail crime in these areas, the solution no longer aligns with safety programs today. With the increase of active shooter situations and violent crimes, customers need to be able to exit the premises quickly and safely. In these cases, delayed egress acts as a barrier that puts people’s lives at risk.

As a result, loss prevention professionals must now find a solution that helps deter retail crime without jeopardizing the safety of employees and shoppers alike.

How PVMs Work to Deter Crime and Improve Safety  

Installing PVMs by fire and emergency exit doors helps loss prevention professionals solve two of retail’s most common challenges – deterring shrink and keeping employees and shoppers safe. Because PVMs can display what is happening inside and outside the door, it makes perpetrators rethink their decision to steal from the store.

How? It lets the dishonest shopper know that these areas are being watched. In fact, face blocking technology can be leveraged to increase the deterrence value of the PVM. Likewise, a second camera outside the door can also be displayed on the inside PVM to increase deterrence value and catch any potential getaway car driver waiting outside. And in case the bad guys were successful, the information captured can be provided to authorities to assist in the investigation.

Outside of discouraging unwanted behavior, deploying PVMs in these areas effectively replaces delayed egress and facilitates the swift evacuation of staff and customers in case of an emergency. PVMs also improve safety in these areas by allowing associates to quickly see any activity happening outside the door, which helps them proactively mitigate potential negative situations.

PVMs can be configured in multiple ways to enhance security measures. For example, the monitor can be set up to:

  • Switch views from inside the store to the outside of the store every 30 seconds
  • Display both views on the monitor as a split-screen
  • Show the outside of the door only

As the security needs of today evolve, PVMs present retailers with an effective solution to reduce shrink while keeping employees and shoppers safe. The versatility of PVMs allows retailers to enhance their loss prevention programs beyond fire and emergency exit doors to extend their benefits across the whole store.

Want to learn how you can leverage PVMs at your fire and emergency exit doors?
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