Do Barcodes Set Off Alarms | An Expert Guide | Home Affluence

Do barcodes set off alarms? This is a popular question among many people today. One careless moment and something disappears from your store’s shelf. Small and expensive goods are a perennial favourite for thieves. Quite often, people steal goods in retail, and this causes enormous damage to retailers too. According to recent research, almost half a billion VAT losses are caused by shoplifters year after year. 

The black and white lines that make up the barcodes on the back of products serve as a guidebook for merchants. Stores wouldn’t be able to monitor pricing or scan merchandise without these. But how well-versed are you in RFID tags? Similar to those obnoxious beeps at your neighborhood grocery shop, these are basically invisible labels affixed to every item in the store that, if not disabled beforehand, sound off sirens when they pass through doors!

Brick and mortar stores face opposition from e-commerce as well as from the consumers themselves. But there are safeguards in place to adequately secure stores and sales areas. Protection starts with the layout of the store.

How to Reduce Losses from Shoplifting in Modern Stores?

It is no secret that every store, especially self-service, encounters theft by customers and its staff daily. This problem exists in the United States and all countries, regardless of their economic well-being. Today, this problem deserves the closest attention and an integrated approach to reduce losses from theft in stores.

From research, losses from theft by customers and staff vary in large stores from $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 yearly and in medium and small stores – from $ 15,000 to $ 28,000. According to other expert estimates, only supermarkets’ losses from theft make up from 0.5 to 2% of turnover. Global statistics have confirmed this. However, in some stores, this indicator of losses from theft reaches 10-12% of turnover. That is an increase of 79% compared to statistics from 1999.

Experts generally accept that all people are divided into three categories:
  • The first category includes 10% of people who will never commit a crime.
  • The second category includes 10% of people who commit it, no matter what they are threatened with
  • Well, 80% will go to illegal actions if you create favourable conditions. And with much confidence in their impunity, you can classify these people in the third category.

From this formula, we can conclude that we need to pay close attention to the third-largest category of people. This is quite valid because we can influence their actions by constantly demonstrating the presence of guards. By maintaining the right safety regime for the safety of goods, these same measures will also help. This would further identify and prevent theft of goods by the second category of people.

Some retail chains operating in the “self-service store” format, despite the possibility of a decline in sales, practice admitting customers to their trading area only with a customer card. Customers who are noticed trying to take out unpaid goods from the store are deprived of their client cards. This earns them a spot in the “black” list section and prevents them from entering the store. Upon introducing a similar procedure for identifying customers by some stores, their losses decreased by half. This is an improvement when compared to losses from theft in supermarkets with free access for all customers.

To reduce losses from theft of buyers, experts recommend the widespread use of technical means. Top among this list is the use of barcodes.

Do Barcodes Set off Alarms?

This is a popular question whose simple answer is “yes.” Security is a constant concern in stores and shops since thefts represent 25% of product losses. This is quite valid, especially when we talk about small and easy-to-hide items, such as clothes, jewellery, among others.

Only the security system at the store does not prevent theft. Thus, the barcode anti-theft adhesive label is installed on the products. This serves to alert the alarm installed in front of the store that a particular product has been stolen.

The barcode labels usually come in coated paper, and they are also very similar to regular product labels. Usually, they are found in two types: 

  • With metal plates: When passing through the alarm, these emit a specific frequency
  • With batteries: These are usually the most used. They are composed of a micro-battery and an antenna with two frequencies (RF and AM) inside. These usually emit a magnetic frequency for the receiver installed at the store’s exit, triggering the alarm. Because they are small, they end up going unnoticed. And the person who is stealing does not remove the security tags, as the alarm can easily denounce this.

The barcode labels have an adhesive that you can glue to flat surfaces and, to prevent the alarm from sounding, the buyer must demagnetize it through the help of the cashier.

In summary, the barcode anti-theft adhesive label consists of sticking the articles or merchandise labels with magnetic reading bars. You can register these bars in the security system’s control panel too. In this way, the system can easily detect if you have not unlocked the magnetic bar. Once this passes through the sensors on the main door, it will trigger the detonation of the security alarm. 

Advantages of the Anti-theft Barcode Alarms

The anti-theft barcode alarm is a standard in the economic and commercial industry today. This comes from the number of advantages that this type of technology offers:

Inhibitory factor

The presence of the anti-theft barcode alarm already brings protection to the environment, even before a possible theft activates them. Having barcode alarms installed makes it clear to the thieves that your store is protected and concerned about losses. This will work greatly to inhibit possible planned actions. Inhibiting the presence of theft is an important step in preventing losses.  

Saving time at the checkout for the consumer

After arriving in stores, the anti-theft barcode alarm usually allows consumers to spend less time at the checkout. The frequentation of supermarkets started exploding, which makes it possible to increase sales volume. The main consequence of this was, of course, a fall in prices for the end consumer.

Supermarkets, which offer many products for sale, usually benefit from the emergence of anti-theft barcode alarms. Indeed, small traders, selling fewer quantities than supermarkets, declined to implement the barcode alarms initially. This was because they thought it was not profitable for them in the short term. Thus, supermarkets began to experience a particular boom at that time. Thanks to the barcode, this encouraged consumers to frequent these supermarkets to save time at the checkout.

In addition, the smoother and more reliable checkout process makes the consumer and seller have more confidence.

Effective data collection

The main purpose of anti-theft security sensors is to prevent shoplifting. Its technology prevents theft in real-time. But in addition to this main function, you can also use the technology to collect data on the flow of customers. Once everyone who enters and leaves a store passes through the EAS antennas, you can record and compare this movement. Whether small or large scale, the barcode is the most efficient and reliable method of managing inventory. 

Indeed, if you want to manage your inventory in the best possible way, the barcode stands as the best option. The use of this method allows an automated, very precise, and fast-tracking of stocks too.

Read More: How To Reset Home Security Alarm Code

Do Barcodes Set off Alarms: FAQs

What makes store alarms go off?

Whenever anyone attempts to take an item with an anti-theft barcode or an uncatalogued barcode, store alarms often sound.

How do stores detect shoplifting?

Stores usually detect shoplifting by making use of the anti-theft barcode alarm. Who has never gone through the embarrassment of buying a product and still hearing the hiss of the anti-theft system? At that moment, you would say: I think the salesperson did not remove the sensor from the product!

This is common, and it happens as a security issue. Sometimes, this gives rise to a phobia of barcodes. Commercial establishments usually adopt such procedures to avoid possible damage resulting from theft, mainly clothes and shoes.

Here, you can place devices on clothing and products to prevent theft. These are triggered by sensors that carry an antenna and a circuit. Vertical bars installed on the doors of the stores usually detect the code of these devices.

Next, the sensors emit electromagnetic waves. And when a person tries to pass a product through the door, the sensor on the product interacts with the waves. This, in turn, causes the alarm to sound.

Some sensors are very small and have their circuit containing high-frequency waves, which reach about 8 MHz. You can only deactivate these sensors at the checkout by equipment connected to the barcode reader when making payment. 

Thus, we can say that shops are always shielded by an invisible protective layer made of radio waves.

What do store sensors detect?

Store sensors usually detect the illegal removal of items from the shelves.


In conclusion, some businesses, stores, premises, or office owners often wonder how to protect their property. Some also seek ways to significantly minimize inventory removal without previous cancellations or the notorious merchandise thefts. Actually, in the anti-theft barcode alarm systems lies the answer, as they have been specially created to meet your need.

As highlighted above, these systems are useful in any place where thieves have a minimal opportunity to steal articles. Using the anti-theft barcode alarm systems also allows the retailer to display their merchandise without using the locked display case.

Comments are closed.