How to eliminate false EAS alarms

How to eliminate false EAS security tag alarms

Used by retailers worldwide, electronic article surveillance, comprising security tags, labels and antenna is one of the most commonly employed methods of preventing product theft

Renowned as accurate, user-friendly and efficient, the system should only see an alarm sound when an item is being taken. If your system is sounding false alarms it can quickly desensitize staff to the threat of shoplifting and render the system less effective.

More importantly, false alarms indicate either the system needs maintenance or EAS best practice is not being followed in-store.

Here’s a quick guide to eliminating EAS security tag false alarms in a bid to better protect your store.

Daily checks

Ideally, your EAS antenna should be checked by staff daily in line with the manufacturer’s operating procedures. This ensures the system is switched on and operating correctly.

As part of daily system checks, staff should also ensure all label deactivators are plugged into a power source and operating correctly.

The No-Tag zone

In over 90 per cent of reported cases of false alarming, alarms are caused by a tag within the vicinity of the antenna. Known as the “No Tag” zone, this area is generally considered as 6 feet around the EAS system.

The area between and in the immediate vicinity of EAS antennas should be kept free of product displays, clothing racks, LCD screens and even decorations. (Some decorations, especially those with foil or metal have been known to trigger an EAS alarm).

As a simple check, stretch your arms out, like you are doing a star jump, and make sure there are no security tags within, or just out of your reach, all around each pedestal.

Proper deactivation and detaching

How to eliminate false EAS alarms

All staff should be thoroughly trained on the removal of tags, and tag detachers should be made readily available at the Point of Sale.

The Point of Sale is the ideal site for tags to be removed and labels to be deactivated. This allows store associates to scan an item for sale, and quickly and effectively deactivate a label or remove the tag in one simple process.

Security Tag detachers can be built into or attached to the POS counter, while label deactivators can be seamlessly installed above or below the counter, or incorporated into scanning equipment.

Understand tag pollution

Tag pollution occurs when labels or tags are not properly deactivated or removed by other retailers, and it’s another common cause of false alarms.

Many advanced EAS antennas feature multi-coloured lights which allow staff to understand whether an alarm is sounding as someone enters or exits the store. This helps determine whether an alarm is sounding due to tag pollution or an actual theft.

Ensure staff are properly trained on identifying and handling tag pollution.

Staff training

All staff should be regularly trained and refreshed on the operation of EAS systems, including how to test the store’s EAS antennas and deactivators, how to identify tag pollution, and how to properly, consistently position tags and labels.

Meanwhile, all alarms should be noted and recorded by staff. This helps identify patterns of shoplifting, along with any tag pollution and genuine false alarms.

When used properly, with correct procedures, staff training and regular checks, EAS offers one of the most accurate and formidable tools in the battle against retail theft, with statistics indicating it can reduce loss by up to 80 per cent.

You can learn more about how EAS systems work here or contact our friendly staff for advice on the right security tags and labels for your store.