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Guard Tec Security

Case Study : Cash Converters, Chelmsford

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New security approaches for new shops 

When he was looking to implement security systems strategy in the run-up to opening a new shop, Alastair Kay, Director of a group of stores within the Cash Converters franchise chain, turned to Guard Tec following a word-of mouth recommendation.Cash Converters interior


Guard Tec offered the breadth of systems knowledge that Alastair was looking for, based on his retail experience to date, handling cash, gold, jewellery and a wide range of consumer products. He felt that a mix of security technologies: access control, CCTV, monitored intruder alarms and a security fog deterrent were all appropriate. Their use would be different from previous approaches, to give better protection for the staff, the assets in the shop and the premises itself. Once proven at the new site they would be introduced when existing outlets are refurbished and at future, new store openings.

Access Control

The back office area of the shop is divided into a number of risk zones. An electronic access fob (access token) system is used with electric locks on relevant doors so that only known, authorised employees can access, depending on their level of seniority and security clearance. This is an easy-to-operate, computer-based system which also logs who was where, and when. Senior shop staff handle the issuing and withdrawal of the fobs.

Monitored Intruder Alarm

As with most alarm systems, movement sensors and external door contacts make up the backbone of this defence system. However, given the nature of the contents of the premises, shock detectors have been installed to protect external and adjoining walls and the ceiling dividing the shop from a residential dwelling above. ‘DualCom’ monitoring combines a hardwired phone line connection with a wireless GSM failsafe back-up.

CCTV Surveillance & Recording

Vandal-proof, high quality dome cameras serve an easy-to-use digital CCTV recording system. This gathers evidential quality images and, in addition to being monitored in-store, it can be interrogated remotely in real time by senior managers, via a PC/laptop internet link. The management value of this feature led to a rapid decision for Guard Tec to roll-out the common system interface across all stores.

Protect Fog Cannon

The heightened risk to staff and assets from raid scenarios, due to the nature of the business and compounded by the current economic climate, clearly dictated a role for this instant fog security protection in Alastair’s eyes. When activated by staff, or the alarm system out-of-hours, a voice recording warns of the fog release and within seconds the shop is flooded from above with dense, yet safe, fog. This instant response not only has a powerfully unsettling, deterrent value that tends to drive raiders out of the door before the fog settles, it also, once fog flooding has begun, makes it impossible to see what there is to steal!

Positive police reception

Along with these Guard Tec-supported systems are other critical security aspects. The cash-handling, pawnbroking and exchange activities that characterise Cash Converters daily operations demand security routines that govern the way customer transactions are handled and the lay-out of the shop. Signage and warnings also have a deterrent part to play.

Alastair has confidence that his shops are well-protected, both from seeing his security strategy brought into successful operation and from the positive reception it has been given by police liaison officers.

Read Alastair Kay's testimonial for Guard Tec.


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Guard Tec Security Ltd 
Unit 36, Hornsby Square, Basildon, Essex, SS15 6SD
Telephone: 0845 094 2992   Email: info@guardtecsecurity.com