Security Solutions for Shops and Shopping Centres

Shops and Shopping Centres have staff, visitors and stock to protect so need cohesive and robust security solutions in place.

A good security system should:

Notify you of any incidents – Record evidence of unsolicited activities – Allow quick access to security footage – Restrict access to unauthorised persons

Your specific security needs will vary depend so please get in touch for a free site security audit.

Best types of Access Control in Retail 

Access Control is the most efficient and convenient way to secure your shop or shopping centre and protect your stock.

Pin Code - It’s more cost-effective than the pass or fob but it does rely on people’s memory. One of the other flaws is that people can easily share their code. In retail, the PIN code tends to be used on delivery doors or stock rooms.

Access Pass or Fob - It allows quick access but can be programmed so it still restricts access to certain locations for different individuals however the physical pass can be standardised across the whole business so that everyone looks the same. A couple of flaws of the access pass are that they are used continuously so they can be subject to wear and tear and they can be cloned, lost, stolen or shared. In retail, the access pass/fob tends to be used on most doors (to the back of the store or centre as well as entrance to the shop floor.

Intercom - When someone buzzes intercom to the building, they can identify who they are verbally and you can double check with a visual. In retail, these tend to be fitted at staff/visitor entrances at the rear of the shop; usually where deliveries are accepted.

CCTV Systems for Shops and Shopping Centres

A good CCTV system will enable you to check your site via an app, notify you of an authorised entry and enable you to search a specific area for an incident, quickly. Your CCTV security system should be able to integrate with your other security solutions such as access control and your intruder alarm. It should also take high-quality images and you should be able to identify, view and export the footage, quickly.

Your CCTV security system should be able to integrate with your other security solutions such as access control and your intruder alarm. It should also take high-quality images and you should be able to identify, view and export the footage, quickly.

The IP CCTV systems we install all have the following benefits;

  • Mobile app – You may not always be on site, so you may need to be able to access your CCTV footage, remotely. You are able to view your CCTV footage live or in playback mode. All of the systems we install have a mobile app in which you are able to view, live what is occurring on your site.
  • Analytics / Notifications – You will be able to analyse how many visitors you have to your shop or shopping centre. For example, some retail parks have CCTV installed where it activates a notification if a car leaves after the 3-hour limit, they are issued a car parking ticket. They can also see how many cars in total have visited the park etc.
  • Smart Search – You are able to “draw a line” around a certain area and watch the activity for that specific area. It enables quick searching for any incidents; health and safety issues, break-ins, criminal damage or even bullying. For instance, if you have a break-in and you identify the entry point, you can then select the area on the camera where the door/window is, select a time-frame and it will highlight ‘events’ which will show you when that entry point was accessed. You will then have the evidence needed to send on to the police and with the right CCTV system, it will take roughly 15 minutes.

Camera Features

Some key features that you should have when you choose a CCTV system for your Hotel:

  • Panoramic view (no blind spots)
  • Tamper detection  
  • Weather protection
  • Night-vision
  • Intrusion detection
  • Auto-tracking
  • Infra-red
  • Line crossing (if someone intrudes on a boundary such as a fence)
  • Unattended baggage detection
  • Object removal detection
  • Facial detection
  • Self-learning video analytics

CCTV cameras for Shops

A shop should have a selection of dome cameras to cover the shop floor and ensure there is no blind spots whilst being aesthetically pleasing. No one in a shop wants to feel like they are being watched so dome cameras are definitely the best choice.

In loading areas or stock rooms you should use either dome cameras or fisheye cameras. Bullet cameras should be used if you have a staff or customer car park for your use.

CCTV cameras for Shopping centres

Shopping centres tend to need a more comprehensive CCTV system because it needs to cover a wider area and have more specialist features need to become the standard such as unattended baggage detection so that you can see if there are any suspicious objects left unattended.

Within the shopping centre, you should have a selection of dome cameras and externally you should have bullet cameras; particularly if you have a car park attached to your shopping centre.

Best type of Fire Alarm for Shops and Shopping Centres

Fire alarm regulations state that all business premises must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. Essentially, you need a detection system in place that allows everyone to be warned so they can quickly and safely exit the building. A Fire Alarm is there to protect shoppers, staff and with quick action, once a fire is detected, you’ll be able to protect your stock, too.

Conventional Fire Alarms work on zones, so it divides your business area into different areas. When a fire happens, the fire alarm panel will show you the zone but not the exact location. Conventional Fire Alarms are entry-level fire alarms and tend to be the cheapest system available.

A Conventional Fire Alarm is ideal for a small shop

The Addressable Fire Alarm tells you exactly where the fire is, whether there is smoke, heat or even if there is a fault. Each device has its own unique electronic address which then displays on the fire alarm panel. These Fire Alarms can be integrated to activate a selection of fire safety features such deactivating elevators and escalators.

The Addressable Fire Alarm is ideal for a large retail unit or Shopping Centre

Wireless Fire Alarms operates like the addressable fire alarm system, just without the wires. It uses a wireless link between the fire alarm control panel and its sensors. Wireless Fire Alarms are the more expensive option however they are quicker to install and provide just as much protection as wired fire alarm systems.

The Wireless Fire Alarm is ideal for a Shopping Centre which is historic in nature and you want to limit the amount of cabling used.

The deciding factor should be how effectively the alarm alerts people in your shop or shopping centre to danger and protects their safety.

  • Layout of your Hotel - you will likely need to have a fire detector per room and on every floor.
  • Multi-site Hotel – should your hotel have multiple buildings on your hotel site, connect the fire alarms so that people are notified in other buildings when there is a fire on site.
  • High-risk areas – do you have products which will produce a lot of smoke when they burn? Ensure there is appropriate detection in those areas.
  • Noise – it is important to ensure that the fire alarm is heard in every area of the hotel.
  • Notifications - if you have a large hotel, across a large site, you may want a public address system, built-in to notify all areas of the business to give specific instructions.


The deciding factor should be how effectively the alarm alerts guests and employees on your premises to danger and protects their safety.

Best type of Intruder Alarm for your Shop or Shopping Centre

An Intruder Alarm is there to detect any unauthorised entry into your Shop or Shopping Centre. Depending on the type of intruder alarm, it will also notify you of the breach.

Th quicker the police (or your security guards) are notified, the less impact to your business. Shops tend to have a large amount of stock, so how much of that are you willing to lose? The quicker the response, the less opportunity for it to be cleared out before discovery.

When you start to look at the figures of potential stock loss, it’s well worth putting in a comprehensive Intruder detection system.

There are three main types of intruder alarms; Bells only, Dialler and Smart.

  • Bells only - The alarm will go off and it will make a lot of noise but it will not notify you. You are relying on sound to deter the burglar from acting any further.
  • Dialler - This alarm, when activated will automatically call a pre-specified phone number. You can choose anyone; perhaps an out-of-hours point of contact or you directly
  • Smart - Like the Dialler intruder alarm, it will contact you, or other specified contacts via your app.

For shops and shopping centres we would recommend a Dialler Fire Alarm or a Smart Fire Alarm as they will gain a quicker response to someone being able to get to your business.

With both options you can have more than one contact so you could have your security company be notified at the same time as the Store Manager / Facilities Manager.

Popular Types of Security Barriers for Shops and Shopping Centres

Security barriers are the first line of defence for hotels. There are many different types of Security Barriers, some of which can be automated so at a push of a button you can grant access. Some security barriers can tie in with access control, which automates the entrance to your shop or shopping centre but also verifies their identity.

  • Drop Arm Barrier - typically found at entrances to shopping centre’s car parks. The barrier arm is down until access is granted and then it is automatically raised. They can be integrated with access control for extra security.
  • Bollards are useful for traffic management, pedestrian safety and preventing accidental and intentional damage to a shop or shopping centres. The best bollards are constructed from stainless steel and there are a variety of different types from collapsible, fixed and temporary bollards yet they all offer protection from low- and high-speed crashes.
  • Pedestrian Gates are ideal for staff entrances to stop the general public getting access to your shop. There are a variety of sizes and types of pedestrian gates but they can be integrated with access control and/or automated.

Free Security Audit

We can do a free security site audit where we will visit your hotel(s) and scope out any potential risks such as blindspots or areas that opportunists are likely to take advantage of and give you a solution on how to improve.

Get in touch to book a free security audit with us.

Book a FREE Site Audit