The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

How to secure your liquor business against burglaries and ram raids

Reck Diogo

With continuing break-ins and ram raids affecting the New Zealand liquor industry, Reck Diogo, Security Consultant for IQ Security, shares how to protect your people, your customers and your business.

You have owned your business for many years. You have worked hard to build it and keep going when all the odds were against you. The last thing you need is another disruption caused by a security breach that could have been avoided.

Security is critical, not only to protect your assets, but also the life and safety of your employers and customers and to meet your responsibilities as a licensee.

So, although security measures are a no-brainer, there is a lack of clarity on how to invest your money. People often think that you need to spend a fortune with hi-tech devices using facial recognition, but in reality, small businesses need very effective, simple solutions.

Follow these tips to help to deter, detect, and delay attacks.

Go with the pros
Security is a serious matter, and you’ll make the most of it if you have a security company looking after your business. Avoid DIY installations as they are not reliable and they won’t help you when you need them the most.

Serious companies have their technicians licenced by the Ministry of Justice and certified by various vendors. Look for companies that have a proven track record of installations and that have enough staff to assist you in the event of an emergency. A good security provider will give you what you are looking for – peace of mind.

Physical security
Make sure that you have the right tools to protect your premises, especially (but not only) your perimeter. The idea is to stop burglars from getting into your shop in the first place.

So if your shop is exposed to the outdoors, invest in bollards, security window films, meshes and grilles. For the interior, make sure that you have your most expensive products locked up. It also pays to have hard tags and security labels. This will reduce your losses.

Burglars hate to be watched so a good CCTV system is one of the best crime deterrents for liquor stores. The less blind spots you have, the less likely you are to lose your stock and the more likely you are to identify thefts. Stay away from the systems designed for home use. Invest in a good brand that will operate when you need it the most and that can give you quality images.

You probably have an alarm already but the question is, is it any good? When was the last time you upgraded it? Technology evolves to protect you better, so get rid of that old system that can’t be managed remotely and install a new one that can be unset and monitored from anywhere. Make sure you have good movement sensors (PIRs), reeds (used to secure an alarm circuit on a door or window), and glass break detectors that will minimise false alarms and end up saving money on security patrols. Loud sirens can delay attempts and panic buttons can be very helpful to protect your team in the event of a security threat.

Access control
If you have a stock room, access control systems can be linked to your alarm so that you can know who enters and exits secured areas, minimising stock losses from internal and external threats. Modern systems can be managed by yourself, so even if you have a high turnover rate, you can add and remove users yourself without having to pay for a security company to do so.

Fog cannons
An increasingly affordable and very effective tool to delay and deter crime, fog cannons are a key component of your security. A fog cannon creates a dense smoke barrier within seconds when triggered by an emergency alarm. Burglars typically get startled or blinded by the smoke and retreat immediately. New machines have multiple discharges that can stop thefts while protecting your team.

Monitor it!

New systems can give you alerts via push notifications on your smart device, but it’s a good idea to leave the monitoring to the experts. Most crimes happen in the middle of the night, and the last thing you want to happen is to wake up to a rammed store because you were in a deep sleep.

Install, maintain, upgrade, repeat

Security is only good as its weakest link, and most customers only realise that their systems weren’t working after an incident. This is not only frustrating, but defeats the whole purpose of having cameras and alarms. Make sure you have a maintenance plan in place with your security provider, and that the systems are upgraded as technology evolves. The companies that treat security as an investment and not as a cost are the ones that reap the most benefits from it.

IQ Security is 100% New Zealand-owned security integrator and industry expert that works with developers, national retail chains and corporate clients to help them to meet their security needs. For more information, visit

Originally published in the July issue of The Shout NZ.

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