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95% Reduction in Retail Burglary Attempts


Atlanta GA: A cellular retailer on the south side of Atlanta is celebrating five years without a burglary loss this month after installing QMI Security Solutions storefront rolling shutters. During the first two years of operation, the store suffered 28 break-ins. The local municipality was not allowing storefront rolling security shutters of any kind or installation. The municipality finally agreed to allow interior-mounted, perforated-slat rolling shutters-- provided the store would leave the interior lights on to maintain views into the store.



In the last two weeks, ordinances against exterior solid rolling shutters have passed in Waukegan (Chicago suburb) Illinois and areas near Miami Florida citing “negative image.” The Chicago Tribune article stated, “Waukegan leaders say their ordinance will affect a very small number of businesses, it underscores a broader tension between the government's roles of protecting citizens and allowing property owners to protect themselves, while upholding or improving the look of a community.” The ban does allow for interior mounted perforated slat shutters (as shown in the image above).

New York City also voted to ban solid security shutters back in 2009 at many retailers, “calling them graffiti magnets,” per the Tribune article. The law takes effect in 2026.

QMI Security Solutions developed the interior mount, extruded aluminum, perforated-slat rolling security shutter in the late 1990’s based on a request from a national pharmacy chain for their storefronts. The chain was not allowed to use the more commonly installed solid, steel-slat exterior shutters due to landlord issues. QMI’s small box rolling shutter with the curtain end-retained into a channel in the side rails offered the strength of a steel shutter, but merchandising views into the store. Law enforcement also prefers the perforated shutters, as they also have views into the store, should they receive an alarm call.


QMI P51 perforated slat (1/4” holes) shown above


Mounting shutters on the interior of the storefront did not seem like an intuitive solution to stop break-ins. However, it has proved to be very effective and national retailers with QMI interior storefront shutters report a 95%+ decrease in burglary attempts when the shutters are present. With exterior shutters, burglars can attack the shutter with almost unlimited time constraints without an alarm triggering. If the shutters are on the inside, the burglars know if they break the glass, the alarm will go off and they cannot bypass the QMI shutters quickly enough to risk the attack-so they rarely try.

QMI protects more than 10,000 storefronts in the United States and reported burglary attempts by those national chains on protected stores average 36 annually. Many of those attempts resulted in no access inside the store and no loss of product. Some shutter repairs were required.

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