UNFORTUNATELY this month I feel compelled to discuss shop security, much thanks to reading and writing more stories discussing missing bikes, bits and break ins than I can ever recall. With cycling’s roaring popularity and demand on the borders of outstripping supply, it seems inevitable that escaping the attention of both one time chancers and seasoned thieves isn’t to be. With a little help from the trade, here’s a few additional means to secure your stock that you may not have discovered:
Smoke machines – a.k.a security fog
The clues in the title for this one and by no means will a smoke cloak physically prevent thieves from having away a bike or two. What a fog machine does acheive however is damage limitation. Just try feeling about for a wall mounted Cervelo S5 when you’re essentially blind. Is that a super skinny piece of carbon tubing, or am I fondling a curtain pole? Mudguard attached to the latest Giant, or just a leaf on a decorative pot plant?
These domed mirrors are particularly useful in either high footfall shops or those with a lot of stock spread over several rooms or aisles.
Again, these won’t take a bat to the light-fingered git’s back, but they will ensure that distraction techniques so often used by seasoned thieves are less effective. Well placed mirrors mean that you and your staff can keep a keen eye on any suspicious characters without the need to sit on their shoulder.
Counterfeit note checking machines
It’s something so easily overlooked, but counterfeit cash does crop up once in a while. As one website I researched on my travels put it “for the price of two dud 50s we’ve got a machine that’ll identify false cash in an instant.” Perhaps not the most common of dodgy activites, but if customers are coughing up in cash for a high value item it really is better to be safe than sorry.
In theory, there’s no deterrent like an alarm system linked up to the local nick, or a decent roller shutter. Some councils, however, do object to roller shutter installation, so best seek planning permission advice from other local businesses with such installations before going ahead.