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Here's Why You Keep Setting Off That Exit Door Alarm

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Everyone's gone through this at least once: you're walking out of a store, when all of a sudden the alarm beeps loudly, alerting everyone near you that you must be a horrible person trying to sneak something out of the store. OK, at this point most people near you would know it was likely a false alarm. But, it's still embarrassing, so is there any way to stop this from happening?

Check Your Shoe Soles, and Your Purse, and Your Jacket....

One of the most common causes is a stray RF tag stuck to the bottom of your shoe. You may have tracked it in from the parking lot or stepped on one near the cash register; you could also have an old one stuck inside your wallet or purse. Even your jacket could have a hidden RF tag that the manufacturer never completely deactivated. Sometimes, these don't set off alarms, otherwise you would have done so when you entered the store, but they can trigger the exit alarm, as you leave the store.

Re-Deactivate That RF Tag

It's also possible that the items you bought have RF tags that weren't properly deactivated at the register. You may have to wave each tag through the pair of exit alarms, at the door, to find the one that needs to be fully deactivated, or the sales associate can just try it again with everything you have. If that still doesn't work, be sure you walk through the exit alarms without carrying anything, to reassure the guards that you don't have anything on you that's the culprit.

Upgrade That Really Old Phone

This one is likely to set off howls of protest from many security guards and phone companies, because it's mostly an urban myth. Cell phones, in general, no longer set off exit alarms, but a lot of anecdotes exist that claim much older ones, like that workhorse flip phone you've been holding on to for 15 years or so, did occasionally send out just the right signal to cause an alarm to go off. It was never quite proven either way, and it remains in the realm of possibility. So, if you have a very old phone, that could be a signal to you to finally upgrade.

Keep in mind that these alarms are necessary, given how sneaky shoplifters can be. The alternative is to have security guards tailing everyone in the store and having little privacy in places like dressing rooms, so the rf security services are actually very helpful to customers, as well as store management.