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Revolutionizing Retail Safety and Production With Advancements in Security and Fire Safety (E1, Part 1)

For Episode 1, Part 2 Click Here

Maintaining safety and security in retail environments is a critical concern for businesses today. From protecting valuable merchandise to ensuring the well-being of customers and staff, the challenges are vast. This blog explores the key challenges faced in keeping customers, staff, and retail assets safe and secure. Additionally, it highlights how integrated security solutions and advanced technologies can effectively connect and protect customers in the retail industry.

Challenges in Retail Security

The retail industry faces a range of security challenges that require proactive measures. These include increased incidents of theft, vandalism, and organized retail crime, ensuring customer and employee safety in high-risk areas and during late-night shifts, protecting valuable merchandise from shoplifting, and addressing the rising sophistication of criminal activities. Retailers also need scalable and adaptable security solutions to accommodate growth and meet customer expectations for a safe shopping environment.

Connecting and Protecting Customers

To address these challenges, retailers need comprehensive security solutions tailored to their unique needs. Integrated security measures can play a pivotal role in creating a safe environment. This includes implementing advanced video surveillance systems with real-time monitoring capabilities to deter criminal activities and provide timely intervention. Effective management of entry and exit points through access control systems ensures controlled access and prevents unauthorized entry.

Utilizing AI-powered analytics enhances security and threat detection accuracy, enabling retailers to identify potential risks and respond swiftly. Centralized command and control centers facilitate seamless monitoring and response, ensuring quick intervention in case of emergencies. Moreover, in-depth knowledge of the retail industry dynamics allows for tailored security solutions that address specific challenges, such as preventing theft and improving employee safety.

Security in Retail

Our comprehensive security systems provide robust protection for people, property, and information in the retail industry. With a wide range of solutions tailored to your unique security needs, including access control, video surveillance, and perimeter defense, we ensure that your buildings are secure inside and out. Our advanced security surveillance systems offer real-time video escort services, particularly beneficial for high-crime areas or Check Cashing Facilities, where we can provide protection from the moment you step out of the building all the way to your car.

In addition, our innovative systems offer seamless access control by remotely unlocking doors and disarming alarm systems, eliminating the need for physical keys or codes to access safes and facilities. We also provide real-time talk-down surveillance through central station monitoring, where a voice announcement informs potential intruders that the police have been called, effectively deterring crimes like car theft and catalytic converter theft. Our analytics-enhanced camera systems can trigger alarms and begin recording, enabling our live agents to quickly assess the situation and identify potential threats to the property. This includes personalized deterrents such as real-time audio/voice talk-down to prevent crimes in progress.

Powered by AI software solutions, our surveillance systems can intelligently distinguish between harmless movements and potential threats. This technology significantly reduces false positives, making it ideal for high-volume cameras that need to learn the environment over time. Additionally, our security systems aid in monitoring slip and fall incidents, helping businesses identify genuine cases and deter fraudulent claims. They also play a crucial role in documenting incidents related to customer harassment, providing valuable evidence for resolution.

With options such as covert video/hidden cameras, we offer retailers the flexibility to choose the surveillance approach that aligns with their security objectives. Whether you prefer a visible presence with security cameras or a discreet approach with hidden cameras, we can cater to your specific requirements. Our motion detection video technology ensures efficient use of bandwidth by focusing on capturing footage only when there is subject movement, saving storage space and ensuring that video is not running continuously.

Fire Safety in Retail

Our fire solutions are designed to keep your buildings and assets safe, ensuring fire safety for staff, customers, and inhabitants. Compliant with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, our fire solutions provide standardized fire safety across the retail and housing industries. By adhering to code-driven guidelines, you can have confidence in the effectiveness of our fire alarm systems, with false alarms being rare when using quality fire alarm systems.

Our alarm systems are designed by professional engineers who ensure compliance with code regulations. We mitigate potential risks for false alarms through rigorous maintenance and inspection services. By properly maintaining and regularly inspecting our fire alarm systems, including smoke detectors and heat detectors, we ensure their optimal functionality. Our intelligent devices can also provide warnings if they are not properly detecting fire due to dirt or other factors. We understand that properly maintained fire alarm systems are crucial in saving lives.

Moreover, our security and fire alarm systems can work together seamlessly as an integrated unit. In the event of a fire in a specific area of a building, the cameras in that area can start recording, enabling us to quickly identify the location of the fire within the building. This integration enhances emergency response capabilities and facilitates a comprehensive approach to fire safety and security.

Objectives and Drivers for Security in Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs)

In quick service restaurants (QSRs) within the retail industry, the objectives and drivers for security encompass various aspects aimed at enhancing overall operations and customer experience. These objectives include enhancing security and loss prevention efforts, improving operational efficiency to reduce shrinkage, optimizing store layouts and merchandise placement to drive increased sales, and prioritizing customer experience and satisfaction. Advanced technologies, such as AI-powered analytics, are utilized to optimize product presentation in display cases, ensuring an appealing presentation that entices customers. Additionally, innovative solutions like Y-Lanes and drive-through systems are implemented to improve throughput and streamline the ordering process, while the integration of video surveillance and ordering systems further enhances efficiency. AI-powered analytics also play a role in optimizing drive-through experiences, reducing wait times, and providing a seamless and enjoyable dining experience for customers.

Pavion was also chosen to enhance merchandise displays at a nationally known quick service restaurant, specifically focusing on pizza showcases. By strategically placing cameras and utilizing AI and video analytics, we ensured that the food display areas remained attractive and well-stocked with fresh and visually appealing pizzas. This approach not only enhanced the overall customer experience but also contributed to increased sales through attractive product presentations. Additionally, our solutions proactively addressed display issues or shortages, ensuring that customers were consistently satisfied. In terms of security and productivity, we implemented electronic counting systems that recorded employee man-hours, enabling data analytics to identify peak productivity periods. This valuable insight helped the restaurant optimize staffing levels during high-volume times, ensuring efficient customer service and maximizing productivity.

Video Transcript

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Hello and welcome to Pavion Perspectives Episode 1!

We’re talking about revolutionizing retail safety and production with advancements in security and fire safety. Retail businesses are facing an increasing number of security threats from theft and vandalism to organized retail crime. Video surveillance is a critical tool for deterring and preventing these threats.

Video can also be used for productivity by monitoring food displays to ensure displays aren’t empty and that the food is kept fresh and accessible for customers. And video cameras can also make sure drive orders are matched to the car that’s placing the order so that no mistakes are made and the customers leave happy and satisfied, which is what you always want. By using video for productivity, retailers can improve their bottom line and provide a better customer experience.

In this interview today, we will discuss the latest trends in video surveillance technology for the retail industry and how retailers can use video surveillance to improve customer service. I am pleased to bring on two great guests for the conversation today. Ralph DioGuardi is the president of Firecom, a Pavion company. And Jeff Storrs is general manager of the Retail Security Group for Pavion. Thank you both for being with me today.

Ralph DioGuardi: Thank you.

Jeff Storrs: Thank you. Happy to be here!

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Before we get into the questions and this conversation that I’m really looking forward to having with both of you, can I ask you for a brief bio? Starting with you, Jeff?

Jeff Storrs: Absolutely, Michelle. And thanks again for hosting us today. So, Jeff Storrs have been in the industry for a little over 20 years, relatively new to Pavion, and was brought in to run two of the businesses that we recently acquired, Security Source and Short Circuit, that are long legacy companies within the retail industry for a national security provider.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And what about you, Ralph?

Ralph DioGuardi: Yeah, I’ve been in the business for 35 years. Both security and in Fire, sat on both sides of the table. 20 plus years in a senior executive position in retail security and the last 15 in Fire and Security now over at Pavion.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: So clearly we know why both of you are here for this conversation. It’s going to be a great conversation. You have a lot of expertise, both of you, to bring to what we’re going to be talking about today. So let’s start off with this. Why is what you do so important for businesses and customers in the retail industry?

Jeff Storrs: Yeah, so a couple of things. We really look at the value add that our security provides to the customers and we add such visual protection, both pre and post incident, able to look forward, get ahead of incidents, maybe, but also to document incidents that have already happened and do the investigations. And then we’ve really moved into this. And this has become something relatively new in the last few years about adding that value for the marketing team and the operations team within the organizations that we’re working with.

And then obviously it’s one of those that we’ve always been around to continue to secure the property and the merchandise that sit in these spaces, whether it’s in their warehouse or in their actual retail space out that the customers are in.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And Ralph, what are your thoughts on this?

Ralph DioGuardi: I can answer that very quickly. Essentially what I’m in the business of doing is protecting life and property and that’s what we continue to do here at Pavion.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: So what would you say are the biggest challenges that customers see when it comes to properly outfitting and then maintaining reliable security and fire alarm systems for retail spaces?

Jeff Storrs: Yeah, great question. Here one that’s ever evolving and changing. And we’ve definitely seen as we’ve come out of COVID this change, we saw a lot of technology changes. So I think two things that stand out to me within the challenges that our customers are seeing, one being funding and the second being the IT network to allow these LP teams to utilize the full capabilities of these systems that the OEMs have now, these robust systems that these OEMs have put into place, the functions and features, whether it’s the analytics or the AI capabilities that these systems have now, is really tough for sometimes the end user to be able to get the funding to fully utilize these, and I hear this all the time, is love what these systems can bring to us. Love the function and features.

But I cannot get the funding to do the add-ons. And probably even more importantly, I hear all the time is I don’t have the network bandwidth within my space. These people go from coast to coast and there’s a lot of parts of the country that don’t have the network ability yet to utilize all the functions, whether that’s pushing things to the cloud or just utilizing some of the analytics that are on board these systems these days.

So that’s one thing that I hear that I think we continue to evolve and we continue to struggle with. But it’s one thing that it’s out there, it’s coming, and as our country as a whole develops a better network, I think we’ll be able to utilize a lot more of these OEM features and functions. Ralph, now about know?

Ralph DioGuardi: You know, Jeff, I’m with you. As far as the funding goes, that’s always a consideration. As far as other challenges, they’re few and far between with Fire, what’s wonderful about Fire is that it’s a code driven solution period. So it’s under NFPA and or the AHJ, the local authority housing jurisdiction. So at the end of the day, what we’re doing for the customer is based on code and it’s a simple solution. We’re just following procedures and complying.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: So Jeff, you talked about things are ever changing because we know that with the advancement of technology, we’re constantly seeing new improvements and things that are changing in the industry and the need for upgrades. So what new trends are you seeing in security, fire safety, and video surveillance? I’d love to hear from both of you on this.

Jeff Storrs: Yeah, so the quick, easy one, the video, I think that’s probably where we’ve seen the most change over the years, the most technology being brought in. So from the video standpoint, we continue to see the cloud, the push to the cloud. How do we get there, how the storage changes, getting those chassis off of the individual locations and taking sitting on customer network for the cybersecurity and being able to push the cloud. It’s just there’s that hesitation of, do we have the bandwidth, and can we get to the cloud?

The next big trend right now that I see that’s really emerging is the proactive video monitoring. We’ve always had video monitoring, and a lot of times it’s posts in it, or it was video monitoring. That was a prerecorded voice come down. But when you talk about proactive video monitoring, I think that’s one thing that really kind of changes the game, that we can say, hey, you in the red shirt. I see you down there. You’re in a secured area that you’re not supposed to be in. So we’re getting ahead of incidents before they happen. That’s one thing that I really see changing.

And then the last one here I want to talk about is the weapons detection. So we’re getting ourselves the technology is getting there. You and I, if we go to ball games, whether that be the NFL or major league baseball or basketball game, things like that, as we go into these major stadiums, we probably don’t even know it, and we’re walking through a weapons detection system that you may not see it, you may notice it. It’s not the old metal detectors where somebody was wanting you going in and out. You’re walking through, you’re freely walking through, and you don’t even know that you’re being detected for weapons, whether that’s gun or knife or bomb kind of thing.

So those kind of things are evolving quickly and becoming more affordable to get into the retail space. And then you can start to look at that from a distribution center, too, to make sure your shrinkage and your employees aren’t taking the products out from your distribution center. So there’s definitely advancements coming, and I think we’re seeing this kind of trickle-down effect that these high value areas of people started this, and now we’re starting coming into space where there’s less traction in and out every day, but they’re becoming more affordable for all of us to use.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And Ralph?

Ralph DioGuardi: Well, I tell you, over the last several years, carbon monoxide has become a very significant topic, both in mercantile and commercial facilities. So what we do is we follow again, a code driven solution with regards to carbon monoxide. We interface the carbon monoxide detection devices at any places where there’s carbon monoxide triggers, such as boiler rooms and maybe gas driven fans, loading docks. It’s interfaced with the FACP.

And when, in fact, there is an activation of a carbon monoxide detector, it comes over the FACP as a supervision, as a supervisory alarm, and it does dispatch fire department. And this is something that is really important to Pavion.

At the end of the day, you can always smell smoke and you can feel the heat of fire. But when it comes to carbon monoxide, you can’t smell it, you can’t feel it. Okay, it’s not visible to you, but it’s a silent killer. And I would say that the biggest trend, the most significant topic of conversation as far as life safety goes in retail and of course, in commercial, would be the carbon monoxide.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And really, the bottom line here, the safety and security of customers. I mean, that’s really the end result that we want here. So I love this next question because it really brings both of you with your separate entities coming together, how does security and fire safety systems, how do they work together?

Jeff Storrs: So I’ll be kind of short and sweet on this one, because this really falls into Ralph’s world. But from a video standpoint, for us to be able to use the video verification from, like, a security operations center to say, hey, this is where we’ve seen the fire started, or maybe this is where we have people that are still in the building, we need to get them out. That integration piece into what Ralph’s team does day in and day out is how we can help them. But really, I’m going to turn this one to Ralph, because I think this falls right into his area.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: How about you, Ralph?

Ralph DioGuardi: So, look, Jeff’s team does a wonderful job with reference to closed circuit television and monitoring. What’s fantastic about having Jeff and his team is the mere fact that if there is a fire, if there is an emergency situation, we can have Jeff’s cameras actually interface with a fire alarm system, providing us with a visual view of where the fire is, where the smoke condition is. Do we have a problem with people getting out of the facility? Do we need alternate routes?

So close circuit television is it’s come such a long way with the IP technology and the crispness and clarity that without it, we feel like we just don’t have the full piece of the fire alarm system anymore. And thankfully, we do here at Pavion. And Jeff’s opportunities with reference to different technologies and different manufacturers are endless. So I’m really happy that we’re working together.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: What are the most common security threats facing retail businesses today?

Jeff Storrs: Yeah, so obviously, threats are changing all the time, right? And there’s probably some out there happening today that we’re not aware of, and we’re trying to get ahead of those. But when I think of threats on your business today, not just retail, but anywhere, right? It’s brand recognition. And if something happens, whether that’s cyber or there’s an incident with employee customer interaction, something like that. We all have our cell phones. Things get recorded everywhere today.

So how do you take that threat and minimize that threat and make sure that you’re staying ahead of that threat really becomes attack on that brand that we’re trying to avoid. So training, I think, is huge for the industry about where the employees interact with customers. And you can use our video systems to retrain people and show people how to interact and how they did interact.

I think it’s one of those where role playing goes so far, where you can take our video and play back and show the employee how they interacted with somebody to avoid some of those customer interactions that we’ve all seen on social media that we’re trying to avoid.

Another big one right now, I think, is it used to be loss prevention was all about making sure shrinkage wasn’t going out the door. And a lot of that is the mindset has changed. Let the people walk out, don’t confront them, right? We don’t want an incident where either a customer or employee is in a situation where they could be threatened or hurt physically. So now it becomes, where does the loss prevention take that from a lost revenue standpoint?

And now you use your systems to make sure that the employees feel safe, whether that’s they’re taking the trash out at night, out the back door, or there’s vagrants in front of the building. And we can use the voice down to make sure that those people aren’t there. So employees and customers feel safe going in and out of the store, making sure that the customers we’re not having to close stores early because there’s people hanging out both out back in front of the stores or in the parking lot, things like that. So using that proactive video monitoring to make sure that your space is secure for your employees and customers to enter the building.

Ralph DioGuardi: So you know, Jeff talked about the Video Talk Down, which is really a wonderful technology. Along with the Video Talk Down comes the video escorting, okay? And it enables us to actually escort out of the facility any one of our customers, any one of our employees who might feel threatened, gives us the ability to watch them as they’re leaving the facility and also intervene audibly over a loudspeaker, if in fact, they run into any kind of a problem outside. So video escort can’t say enough good things about it, it’s a wonderful technology, and we do it very well.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And I want to thank all of you for tuning in to Pavion Perspectives. We are very excited about this series episode number 1 today exploring revolutionizing retail safety and production with advancements in security and fire safety. And you definitely heard a lot of information about that topic today. We invite you to follow along at and be sure to listen to the other upcoming episodes for this series. I’m your host, Michelle Dawn Mooney. Thanks again for joining us and we will see you soon!

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