Concave and Convex Mirrors Used for Security
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most suspicious of all? That’s the question business owners ask of the safety mirrors available on the market. Although they’re an integral part of retail security, these mirrors are not just for retail settings anymore. Concave and convex mirrors used for security are also relevant in offices and other business settings, including parking lots and garages.
Mirrors just make good sense in any business. While they aren’t exactly eyes on the back of your head (like moms seem to have), they provide additional visibility that can provide both safety and security. That makes them an excellent complement to business security cameras as part of an overarching security strategy.
But how do concave and convex security mirrors protect your business and your customers?
Making Sense of Mirrors
There are many different types of mirrors available. The simplest categorical divider is between plane mirrors (a flat surface) and the concave and convex mirrors used for security. Plane mirrors provide some additional sightlines and give retail customers a chance to see how they look when they try items on. But these mirrors are not nearly as useful for security as their curved counterparts.
If you’re thinking of shoplifting security mirrors, you’re probably picturing a curved surface. Here’s how (and why) these mirrors work.
Convex Security Mirrors
What are security convex mirrors? Essentially, convex security mirrors have a curvature that allows for better visibility because of the way they reflect light. They provide a wide view of corners, blind spots, and other tricky spots. These are the perfect security mirrors to see around corners without shifting your vantage point. When placed on cars, these are often known as “fisheye mirrors” because of their distinctive shape.
But what do convex mirrors do, exactly? They cause light rays to diverge when they reflect. In the process, these mirrors give a wider field of vision,vision, even when the viewer is standing in one spot. The convex mirror creates a virtual image of the object that is smaller than the actual object.
You’ll find convex mirrors constructed from a variety of materials, including glass, acrylic, stainless steel, and polycarbonate. They are typically rectangular or circular and are generally easy to install. The many material and shape options make convex security mirrors versatile for indoor or outdoor use.
Because these mirrors are easy to spot, they’re great theft deterrents. Place them up high in corners to give employees eyes on a broad swath of the store, room, or another area. And while no one wants to think of theft as an inside job, mirrors can help prevent that, too. Employee theft statistics reveal that internal theft is one of the most serious problems facing businesses, particularly small businesses. Up to 75% of employees have stolen from their employer before, with an average loss of around $1,500 per incident. So, watch the watchmen.
As a bonus, these mirrors work well in hallway intersections as “traffic keepers” to prevent collisions. Install convex mirrors around corners, and you’ll end up increasing your business’s physical safety as well.
Concave Security Mirrors
On the other end of the spectrum are concave mirrors. As their name suggests, these mirrors curve inward, like the inside of the bowl. Concave focuses light waves in a way that images appear both larger and upside down to the original object. By default, that gives prominence to what’s in the image. But it also limits how well and how much you can see.
This unique reflection isn’t of much interest for safety, but it is useful for areas that need bright, focused light. Common applications include automobile headlights, dentistry tools, lighthouses, and stage lights. You’ll sometimes see this type of mirror called “parabolic” or “paraboloid” in reference to the mathematical terms with this shape.
Having trouble picturing or remembering the distinction between a concave security mirror vs. convex mirror? To quickly see what concave and convex surfaces do to an image, grab a shiny spoon and look at yourself from both sides of the bowl. The back of the spoon is convex. The scooping side is concave. There’s a big difference, right?
In short, convex surfaces are the most popular for security use. Typical safety and security mirrors are nearly always convex.
Mirrors and Security Cameras: The Perfect Match
Comprehensive security is all about layering complementary devices, practices, and systems. As with many security tactics, mirrors are only as good as what they’re matched with.
A winning combination? Convex mirrors give employees better visibility during the workday, providing a cost-effective theft deterrent. And because they’re usually placed in high, inaccessible locations, they’re essentially tamper-proof. By their mere presence, the mirrors in shopping malls may reduce shoplifting. It’s no wonder retail personnel put mirrors on the ceilings of their shops. No one likes to be watched.
Then, Deep Sentinel business security cameras take the night shift, offering robust after-hours protection. Once your employees have gone home for the night, Deep Sentinel’s live security guards watch your property and intervene the moment someone appears on camera. The broad security camera field of view means the guards can see more with fewer cameras, similar to how mirrors function. For a one-two punch, a cleverly mounted surveillance camera near a convex security mirror may be able to capture an even wider area.
Mirrors and cameras both provide superior visibility and let criminals know that someone is watching. Combine the two devices, and crooks will have nowhere to hide.