Security equipment in pharmacies: What equipment is essential to protect your pharmacy?
Pharmacy security equipment is essential. As a licenced pharmacist or pharmacy owner, prevention is undoubtedly an absolute priority. So, what equipment should you choose to best secure your premises? Here’s a complete list of the best security devices for pharmacies. We’ll explain what the risks are, and how you can protect your store against theft.
What are the risks for pharmacy staff?
On average, a pharmacy staff member is attacked every day in France. This was the finding in the 2022 Annual Review of Pharmacy Staff Safety. The French National Order of Pharmacists reported more than 350 acts of aggressive or criminal behaviour directed at pharmacy staff – a figure which clearly shows that safety and security in pharmacies is a daily challenge.
Among the risks encountered, theft of medicines and pharmaceutical products accounts for a third of all acts of antisocial behaviour. Looking to protect your establishment from impulsive and/or regular shoplifters? There are a number of solutions available.
What security equipment should be installed in a pharmacy?
Some security devices are effective against pharmacy break-ins, while others can help limit inventory shrinkage.
Intruder detection alarms
An intruder detection alarm is an essential security device during those times when the pharmacy is closed to the public. It’s designed to alert the store owners and remote surveillance company in the event of a break-in.
This security device uses an infrared detector or door sensor to detect any break-in attempts. It sets off a siren upon detection of an intruder. The audible and visual signals emitted by this type of signalling alarm serve as a deterrent, alerting neighbours and scaring off intruders.
Alarms can be used in conjunction with two types of device: perimeter detectors and volumetric detectors.
Also known as infrared protection, perimeter detection is installed around the pharmacy building to cover external accesses. It can detect shocks, break-ins and broken windows in a defined area.
This type of protection is more commonly known as a presence detector or motion detector. It can be installed inside or outside the pharmacy building. It monitors a specific perimeter and triggers an alarm upon detection of an intruder.
A fog generator may look like a simple box, but it’s a formidable defence in the event of an attempted break-in. Also known as a fog cannon, fog machine or smoke machine, it’s equipped with a cartridge containing non-hazardous smoke.
This type of security device is connected to an alarm control centre. If anyone is detected entering the pharmacy illegally, it fills the room with a thick, opaque fog. In a matter of seconds, the intruders are completely blinded by the smoke and unable to move about inside the pharmacy.
Good to know: The smoke expelled by fog generators leaves no trace or residue in the pharmacy. It is not the same as tear gas, and is non-toxic.
While some smoke generators are self-contained, others can be manually triggered remotely or connected to a remote surveillance system.
Video surveillance cameras
Video surveillance cameras are essential visual surveillance devices for ensuring pharmacy security. As well as deterring inventory shrinkage, they play a crucial role in identifying the perpetrators of antisocial behaviour.
Good to know: In the event of an incident, theft of medicines, aggressive behaviour towards staff or any other reprehensible act, the recorded video footage can be used to identify the culprit and facilitate legal proceedings.
Remember that the installation of surveillance cameras is subject to certain rules, so be sure to find out about your rights beforehand. For both legal and ethical reasons, and to deter criminals, don’t forget to display a sign that provides notification of the presence of a video surveillance system in your pharmacy.
To find out more, read our article on the boons and banes of using video surveillance in a pharmacy.
Reducing inventory shrinkage is a crucial issue for any pharmacy, as it can be the cause of significant financial losses. Devices such as security gates and RFID tags are effective ways of preventing and deterring the theft of medicines.
Anti-theft systems do not do away with the issue of theft altogether, but they do help to ensure the security of your pharmacy during opening hours. Be sure to combine them with automatic behaviour detection software such as Veesion.
Video surveillance software
While surveillance cameras can deter ill-intentioned individuals, they’re not always effective at reducing inventory shrinkage and must be monitored at all times. Fortunately, there are solutions available that can enhance the effectiveness of video surveillance systems.
And our Veesion solution is one of them! It’s CCTV software that uses Artificial Intelligence to detect suspicious behaviour and help protect pharmacies. This smart device can help you to reduce inventory shrinkage by up to 60%. Whenever suspicious behaviour is identified by the AI algorithm, a real-time video alert is sent to the pharmacy owner or security team.
What are the benefits? Your team members can enjoy greater peace of mind and concentrate on attending to the customer. And you don’t need to invest in any additional expensive equipment. The software works with your existing security cameras and can prevent shoplifting in pharmacies24/7. Thanks to the video evidence sent to your phone and/or tablet, you can immediately take the most appropriate action whenever suspicious behaviour is detected in your store.