EAS Glossary

Activation – The act of taking an EAS label or tag from an inactive state where it will not cause an alarm to an active state where it is in communication with an EAS/ Security detection system and an alarm will sound.

Activator – A device used to activate labels and tags so they are in communication with the EAS/ Security detection system.

Acousto Magnetic (AM) – One of a number of frequencies used in electronic article surveillance. AM sees EAS antenna and security tags communicate at a frequency of 58 KHz, which means a signal is sent out in pulses or bursts between 50 and 90 times a second.

Alarming tag – Alarming tags are designed to offer multiple layers of security. Not only do they set off the EAS alarm when a shoplifter attempts to leave a store with an item, they also independently sound an alarm should someone try to tamper with the tag.

Alligator tag – An EAS security tag with a hinge that clamps onto apparel and is further secured by a locking pin.

Antenna – Usually housed near the shop entrance at the doorway, under the floor or even overhead an EAS antenna communicates with security tags and labels. It sends out a signal, the tags respond, and the antenna registers that response. When tags come into close proximity of the antenna and are leaving the store without being deactivated or removed, an alarm will sound.

Benefit denial – Benefit denial is a loss prevention strategy that sees a product negatively impacted should someone attempt to steal it. The most common example is ink dye tags. When a thief attempts to open then or remove them without the correct detacher, ink releases and renders the item unusable.

Book label – A security label that has ultra low-tack adhesive. It protects the book but does not damage the pages when the label is removed.

Bottle tag – A hard security tag that is purpose-designed to be attached to valuable bottled merchandise such as liquor.

Cable tag – A cable tag is a hard tag that attaches to a product via a lanyard or cable. Suited to merchandise like shoes and handbags, the cable is made from materials that cannot be easily cut.

Capsule Label – A small security label that is specifically designed and FDA approved for use in dry foods such as dietary supplements, vitamins, cosmetics, non-liquid pharmaceuticals, and health and beauty aid products.

Clutch tag – A small round security tag that does not incorporate electronic components but rather accommodates pins. most frequently with ink dye that releases if the tag is illegally removed.

Contact Deactivation – Using a deactivation pad to take an EAS security label from an active state where it is in communication with an EAS antenna to an inactive state.

Deactivation – Changing a label or tag from an active state where it is in communication with an EAS detection system to an inactive state.

Dead Label – Another term for an EAS label that is in an inactive state.

Detacher – A specific tool designed for the removal of EAS tags. Detachers can either be mechanical or magnetic.

Detection – The act of recognizing an active EAS security label or tag.

Disposable label – An EAS security label that is attached to or inserted inside merchandise or packaging and is not intended to be removed at the point of purchase. A disposable AM security label can be activated and deactivated an unlimited number of times. A disposable RF security can only be deactivated once and cannot be reactivated.

Double Checker (Verifier) – A device used to check the presence of active EAS tags. It is usually fitted to the POS counter.

Dual tagging – The use of both Radio Frequency (RF) and Acousto Magnetic (AM) security labels on the same product to reduce inventory and operational costs.

EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) – A loss prevention system that sees security tags and labels applied to merchandise. These tags and labels are then monitored by an antenna which is housed near the exit of the store. The antenna sounds an alarm should the tag come within proximity of the exit.

EAS Pedestal (Antenna) – Usually positioned in the entryway of a store, an EAS pedestal communicates with active tags and labels within the retail environment, sounding an alarm when live tags and labels come within proximity of the exit.

EAS security tags and labels – Available in a variety of sizes for use on all manner of products, EAS security tags and labels are affixed to merchandise to combat theft. Tags and labels are monitored by an EAS antenna at the exit of the store. The antenna sounds an alarm should the tag or label come within proximity without being deactivated or detached.

False alarm – The situation where an EAS antenna sounds an alarm without there being an intent to shoplift. Reasons this may occur include the tag not being detached at the point of sale, the label not being deactivated at the point of sale, a shop display being positioned too close to the antenna, or a system malfunction.

Frequency – In EAS, frequency refers to the number of times the antenna communicates with the labels or tags each second or minute. There are two frequencies commonly used – RF (Radio Frequency) and AM (Acousto Magnetic). RF operates in a sweep at 8.2 MHz while AM operates at 58 KHz, which means a signal is sent out in pulses or bursts between 50 and 90 times a second.

Hard tag – Hard tags are plastic tags that are affixed to clothing and other products to protect stock from theft. They may incorporate ink dye to deter theft or house an electronic component that communicates with an EAS antenna.

Hard tags come in a variety of shapes, such as pencil, square and clam shell. They also come in different strengths, and include a series of components: the tag, a pin which passes through the product into the tag, and a locking mechanism (either mechanical or magnetic).

Halo Effect – The perception that all merchandise is protected due to some merchandise in the store having EAS labels or tags.

Hang Tag – A security tag that is affixed to a product using a zip tie or soft tie. Hang tags are commonly used for items like jewelry, small leather goods, sunglasses, or soft homewares.

Hook stoplock – Affixed to the end of a display hook, a hook stoplock prevents packaged merchandise from being removed without the assistance of the sales assistant. Hook stoplocks are commonly used to protect valuable or commonly stolen items like electronics, electronic accessories, cosmetics, batteries and razors.

HyperLock strength – This refers to the strength of the mechanism used to lock a security tag. In order to be unlocked, Hyperlock requires a combination of multiple high-powered magnets arranged into a single detacher body. HyperLock detachers are difficult for would-be criminals to manufacture, source and carry around.

Integrated source tagging – An adhesive EAS label applied within a product or its packaging at the point of manufacture.

Lanyard – A cable which affixes a security tag to a product such as shoes or handbags. Lanyards either have loops at both ends, or have a pin at one end that inserts and locks directly into the security tag

Live label – An EAS security label that is in an active state and will sound an alarm when in proximity to the EAS antenna.

Liquor security tag – A hard security tag that is purpose designed to protect valuable bottled merchandise such as wine or high-end liquor.

Locking mechanism – All tags have a locking mechanism that secures the pinhead within the tag. The most common mechanisms are mechanical locks and magnetic locks.

Mass or bulk activator – A device that enables a group of EAS labels to go from an inactive state to an active state all together at one time so they can be detected by an antenna.

Mass or bulk deactivator – A device that allows a group of EAS labels to go from an active (live state) to an inactive state, so they are no longer in communication with an EAS antenna and no alarm will sound.

Microwavable security label – A label designed to protect meat products. These labels are usually affixed to meat packaging or integrated into a meat soaker pad.

Multi–polar strength – Multi-polar is the latest proprietary technology that requires sophisticated magnets to release a security tag. Multipolar tags cannot be released by any other magnet detacher, no matter how powerful.

Optical tag – A hard EAS tag that is purpose-designed for use on optical products like glasses and sunglasses.

Pencil tag – A long, slender security tag suited to clothing and apparel.

Pick Rate – The ratio of the number of times an EAS system detects an active EAS security label or tag versus the number of times it does not.

Pin – The security pin is the component of hard tags that passes through a product and then locks into the tag. Pins come with different pin-head sizes. It’s generally noted, the larger the pin head size the harder it is to remove illegally as larger pins cannot be pulled through products without incurring damage. Pins are also available with ink dye.

Radio Frequency (RF) – One of the frequencies commonly used in EAS systems. RF sees antenna communicate with active tags in a sweep at 8.2 MHz.

Security label – A label that is inserted or affixed to merchandise or packaging. A live, or active, label communicates with an EAS pedestal to protect merchandise, with an alarm sounding when the label enters the proximity of the store exit.

Labels are deactivated rather than detached and are available in both RF and AM frequencies. Once deactivated, RF labels cannot be reactivated, while AM labels can be deactivated and reactivated unlimited times.

Shell tag – A round tag featuring two sides that are the same size. Because the pin head component is the same size as the component that houses the locking mechanism, this shape is considered harder to remove illegally.

Source tagging – Source tagging sees EAS tags and labels applied at the point of manufacture rather than in-store.

Standard strength – This is a security tag which features a standard strength magnet as its locking mechanism. This option remains very popular with legacy systems but has the greatest potential to be circumvented by thieves.

Strength – Tags feature magnetic locks that come in a series of strengths ranging from standard to SuperLock, HyperLock and Multi-Polar

SuperLock strength – A security tag which has high-powered magnet often more than double the strength of standard magnets as its locking mechanism. Tags of this grade provide increased resistance against illicit removal.

Square tag – A security tag shaped like a square.

Tag pollution – A condition caused when an active EAS label is taken from one retail location to a second retail location with a working EAS system, thereby causing an alarm to sound.