Five things you need to know about security tag pins

Five things you need to know about security tag pins

When most people consider the highly-successful loss prevention strategy that is security tags, their mind turns to technology. After all these are the nifty little loss prevention tools that actively alert retail staff to a theft while it’s occurring.

While the tag may accommodate the tech side of things, one critical component of any security tag is the pin. This essential element of a security tag locks the tag to a product and has a major impact on whether your tag can be illicitly removed.

So without further ado let’s look at five things you need to know about security tag pins.

What are security tag pins?

Security tags comprise three important elements

  • The actual tag – which houses a transmitter that remains in constant contact with an EAS antenna. (This is the element that causes an alarm to sound when an item is leaving the store during a theft.)
  • The lock – which is also housed in the tag (these come in different magnetic strengths. SuperLock is considered the minimum strength required)
  • The pin – which essentially comprises a pin head and pin shaft. The pin head sits on one side of product, and the pin shaft passes through the item before locking securely into the magnetic lock of the security tag. The pin and tag can then only be separated using a detacher, so in a nutshell, the pin’s job is to secure a tag to an item.

So here’s what you need to consider…

Pinhead size

5 things you need to know about security tag pins

Pins are available with different pinhead sizes which range from small to large. The larger the pinhead size the harder it is to force through a product without causing significant damage.

Pro tip: if your retail outlet is finding complete tags including pinheads on the floor or secreted in the change room, it is likely due to a small pinhead being forced through a product.

Pinhead shape

Just as pinheads come in different sizes they also come in different shapes. The most secure sizes and shapes are those which directly correspond with the size and shape of the security tag. In addition, round tags and corresponding pinheads offer less surface area so are harder to prise apart.

Pro tip: If your retail outlet finds tags and pinheads illicitly removed but separated, chances are it’s because:

a) the magnetic lock isn’t strong enough and you need to upgrade to SuperLock, HyperLock or Multi-polar, or

b) shoplifters are managing to prise these apart due to the shape and surface area of the pinhead in relation to the tag.

Pin texture

Pinheads also come with either smooth shafts or grooved shafts, and in this case the product you’re protecting may impact the option you choose.

For example, sheer fabrics or products like bras may snag on grooved pin shafts, but on heavier fabrics the grooves assist with securing the pin into the locking mechanism.

Pro tip: There are usually three grooves on grooved pins to ensure you can lock the pin into the tag at a suitable position.

Pin length

Although they don’t vary greatly, pins are also available in different lengths including 15mm, 16mm and 17mm.

Pro tip: Longer pinheads are good for bulky materials like denim as that extra length may be beneficial.

Ink pinheads

In addition to different shapes, sizes and lengths, pins are also available with benefit denial features like ink dye. These are designed to stop shoplifters attempting to remove a tag and they work by releasing ink into a product if the tag is tampered with.

Effectively this ruins the product, so trying to remove the tag and then steal an item denies shoplifters any benefit.

Pro tip: If tag tampering is a major issue in your store and larger pinheads or corresponding shapes aren’t enough to deter thieves from attempting to remove a tag, ink tags can be beneficial.

You can shop our comprehensive range of security tag pins here.