As a retailer, you’re probably well aware of the importance of protecting your merchandise. More than likely, your store is already fortified with some protective measures.

Electronic Article Surveillance alarm systems, often referred to simply as EAS systems or EAS alarms, are a staple security feature of retail stores everywhere. They can be highly effective and easy to use.

The unfortunate flip side, however, is that false EAS alarms are all too common. It’s not exactly a harmless mistake, either; repeated false alarms can desensitize both customers and staff, essentially rendering the EAS alarm system useless.


What Are EAS Alarm Systems?

EAS alarm systems deter shoplifting by tagging merchandise with a small electronic tag that, if not deactivated or removed before leaving the store, will trigger an alarm. 

Fortunately, there are several preemptive steps you can take to reduce your false alarms and make the most of your security system. Here are five ways to keep your EAS alarm systems running smoothly and effectively.

1. EAS Alarm Training for the Entire Staff

One of the most important things you can do to avoid false EAS alarms is to train your staff — and that means everybody — on the proper use of EAS tags. This training should cover everything from how to attach, activate, detach, and deactivate the tags. 

Establish with your team a routine protocol for using these tags, ensuring they are always removed and deactivated at the point of sale. Make sure your employees are aware of the impact that improper tag handling can have on false alarms. With your entire team on the same page, reducing false EAS alarms will be a much easier task.

2. Conduct Routine System Checks

EAS alarm systems, like all other technologies, will require occasional maintenance to keep things running smoothly. This needn’t be as complicated as weekly diagnostic checks; it can be as simple as conducting a controlled test once or twice a month. From time to time, components may wear down and lose functionality, especially in older systems — the only way to know for sure is to check. By performing some simple maintenance on your system and replacing parts as needed, you can be more confident in the accuracy of your EAS alarms when they do go off.

3. Mind the “No-Tag Zone”

In EAS alarm systems, the “No-Tag Zone” is typically considered to be a 6-foot radius around the system’s antennas, which are most often located by store exits. Activated tags in this area may set off the alarm, so keep them well away from this zone to avoid false EAS alarms. 

As part of your team training, make sure your employees understand the No-Tag Zone and how to handle tags within it. Mindfulness is key to an effective retail security system.

4. Plan Your Layout Accordingly

The presence of metal objects, even thin ones like aluminum foil, can interfere with EAS signals, potentially creating false alarms. You can protect the No-Tag Zone from false alarm triggers by planning your store layout accordingly. Avoid using metal shelving units near the EAS system’s antennas, for example, and instead try non-metal alternatives. Proper store layout planning can do wonders to improve the accuracy of your EAS alarms.

5. Update Your EAS Alarm Tech

EAS systems have been in use since their invention in the 1960s, and have been a common presence in retail stores ever since. Older technology should be expected to deteriorate over time, which may contribute to more false alarms. If your store’s EAS system has been in use for a long time, it may be time to invest in a newer system. 

Retail security tech is constantly evolving and becoming more reliable. If false alarms are still a frequent problem in spite of all your preventative measures, consider updating your EAS system to a newer model. Product Protection Solutions (PPS) provides a variety of EAS hardware and cutting-edge detection systems to keep your store operating smoothly for years to come.

Build Your EAS Alarm System with PPS

By taking these simple, preemptive steps, you can prevent false EAS alarms from disrupting your store’s operations. Not only will you be safer from shoplifters, but you’ll also maintain a safer, more comfortable environment for customers and staff alike. 

Here at PPS, we pride ourselves on providing advanced retail security solutions, such as EAS alarm systems, to secure your store against all threats. To learn more about our advanced security solutions, contact PPS today.