Personal Security Tools for Loss Prevention Professionals

Loss prevention professionals are the first line of defense for a business and its stock. With retail sales struggling due to the evolving e-commerce market, the focus on shoplifting and stock protection has never been so strong.

But as a loss prevention professional, what are your options for protecting yourself and your store? In this article, we'll take a look at what self-defense tools you can and cannot use.


Personal self-defense tools for loss prevention professionals

Be sure to first check with your employer before using any self-defense tool. However, with the correct permission, there is a lot of equipment available to protect yourself and the assets you’re defending. Here is a list of some of the most popular tools used in business defense:


Stun guns

Stun guns are handheld devices that use a small electric shock to temporarily stop an attacker without causing serious harm.

Specialist training is almost always required for Stun guns.



Tasers, which are shooting stun guns, temporarily paralyze an attacker by firing two small electrodes that disrupt muscle control and cause neuromuscular incapacitation.

Tasers can be a tricky tool to use, and specialist training is usually required.


Pepper spray

Pepper spray is an aerosol spray that is an irritant to the eyes and respiratory passages. Used as a temporary disabling weapon; pepper spray comes in small, easily concealable cans.

Whereas pepper spray is mostly legal for civilians to use, for security personnel, specialist training is often required.



Similar to pepper spray, mace is a hand-held aerosol which sprays an irritant chemical used to stop attackers.

Before using mace, a loss prevention officer must undergo specialist training.


Personal Alarms

Personal alarms are small handheld devices used to alert and call for help in the event of an altercation. It’s an essential tool enabling security professionals to call for assistance in times of need.

Personal alarms are legal to use and do not require additional training.


Protective and Bulletproof Vests

An item of personal armor that helps absorb impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearms and weapons. In a high-risk job, these protective vests can be a lifesaver.


Protective vests are not always necessary, but they do not require training to use.



This is a simple but essential tool for a security professional. A flashlight is not only convenient, but when pushed into a tough situation, it can be used as a baton-type weapon.

Flashlights are legal to carry and use on the job.


Use Cases for Personal Protective Equipment in Loss Prevention

As a loss prevention officer, you should only use reasonable force to detain a suspect. This means in typical situations, many of the tools listed above are out of the question. However, if you are assaulted on the job, you are authorized to use a proportional amount of force, under the doctrine of self-defense, to protect yourself.

Remember! It’s essential to always check with your employer and local laws before adding any new tools to your arsenal.