With Halloween right around the corner, we see the plethora of Halloween themed clothing and merchandise start to infiltrate our stores. From witches to black cats, even ghosts and goblins, my stores always seem to find the scariest things around- the Phantom Clothing Alarm!
The phantom clothing alarm is an EAS alarm that seems to activate all on its own. There never seems to be a plausible reason why it goes off. It was like that when the employees came in at the beginning of the day, or it was working earlier, and something must have happened when they were on their breaks.
Indeed, the phantom alarm has a spooky life all on its own, which is why I seem to be the one they call on to figure out what is going on. I don’t remember ghost buster as part of my job description, but somehow I have a knack for stopping these phantom alarms from haunting my employees and customers.
Obviously stores do not experience routine hauntings that affect only the clothing alarm system. That means there is a more logical, physical reason as to why the alarm is being activated without customers or merchandise present. That reason is usually a hidden EAS or clothing security tag in the area.
A hidden EAS tag usually has nothing to do with shoplifting. These are not tags that have been discarded by a shoplifter on their way out the door. That would be counterintuitive to a shoplifter trying to make their way out of a store without drawing attention to themselves.
These tags are often still on merchandise. One of the more common reasons for a phantom alarm is that there was a remerchandising initiative at some point over night. When clothing racks and tables are moved around, the are often moved too close to the EAS towers, without anyone realizing it. As the merchandise (containing EAS tags) is put back on these tables and racks, the EAS alarms go off. Putting the product back is one of the last steps, and happens around the time the day shift is coming in. As the employees come and go for the day, it is generally much later that someone realizes the alarm is going off.
Luckily, this is a simple fix. By moving tables and racks away from the towers, the alarms should subside. There is no need to retune the towers or shorten the fields around them. Often the remerchandised fixtures only need to be moved back maybe 6 to 8 inches or so, depending upon how close to the EAS towers they were originally staged.
Another common cause of phantom alarms is that a tag was thrown into a trashcan by the EAS towers. It is not unheard of for a customer to want to wear a new clothing item out of the store. Once paid for, the customers will tear the tags off, and leave them in a trashcan on their way out of the store. Soft clothing security tags that are imbedded in these price tags will then set of the alarm, since the tag was scanned at purchase, but not deactivated.
Upon closer inspection, probably 99% of these unexplained phantom alarms are explained by having an EAS tag in the area. Sometimes it just takes a little more looking to find the culprit.
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase Checkpoint Tags, a Clothing Alarm, Clothing Security or Clothing Security Tags to put Security Tags on Clothes and an Electronic Article Surveillance or EAS system.
For more information on Checkpoint tags, clothing security, clothing alarm, or clothing security tags how they can work with your Electronic Article Surveillance or EAS system contact us at security tags on clothes or call 1.770.426.0547