Door Height Markers are Everywhere, and for Good Reason
Exit any bank, credit union, or retail establishment, and chances are you’ll go through a door graced by an unassuming strip called a door height marker. While they go unnoticed by many, these inconspicuous little tools have a grand purpose—they’re big on deterring crime.
OSHA recommends door height markers be used with other environmental safety enhancers such as door detectors, buzzers, and closed-circuit television. Door height markers are somewhat new additions to retail locations, but savvy retailers know their purpose extends well beyond the obvious reason of aiding eyewitnesses to gauge the height of criminals upon leaving. Door height markers also pack a punch in telling a would-be thief not to take action, even if security cameras aren’t in plain sight.
Other Psychological Aspects Make Door Height Markers Effective
Dr. Rosemary Erickson, Forensic Sociologist, Security Consultant, and Expert Witness, set out to help convenience stores lower escalating robbery rates in the 1970s. One of her initial findings was that clerks frequently overestimated the height of criminals when giving physical descriptions to police, and that door height markers near the exits worked to pin down more accurate height assessments.
Today, height markers are positioned more for a camera than for an eyewitness to capture. According to a 2012 article on Slate Magazine’s website, “…while height strips were first deployed to help clerks or customers gauge the height of fleeing criminals, their function today is largely psychological deterrence.” Customers feel safer and more welcome to stores with crime-deterring measures like height markers, Slate noted, along with proper lighting and security cameras that are “meant to signal that the store and the chain take safety seriously.”
A final and lesser-known aspect of door height marker psychology is that career criminals are reminded of seeing them elsewhere--when booked and photographed by the police, or in a police line-up. The “flashback effect,” according to Chris McGoey, Security Consultant and height marker pioneer in the 1970s, may be enough for criminals to ask themselves whether they really want to see similar markers in a police setting later.
Durability of Door Height Markers
Knowing their importance, the durability of a door height marker is a big factor in choosing the right one for your facility. Graphic Products’ door height marker is new to the company’s lineup, available in a 3.2 mil permanent, pressure-sensitive, pre-printed vinyl, coated to protect the printed graphic from UV, chemical, and abrasion degradation.
Installation is virtually trouble-free due to a network of microstructure air channels allowing air to escape between the adhesive and the surface to which it’s applied.
Graphic Products also offers the flexibility of a door height marker that’s compatible with indoor and outdoor use, and the laminate’s matte finish reduces glare, meaning the height won’t be obscured by a camera flash or video light. Door markers last five years in temperatures ranging from -40°F to 192°F (-40°C to 90°C).
Speaking of flexibility, these door markers can be customized, up to an 8-inch width and matched to virtually any color, for both the lettering and background. There is no limit on the height of the door marker.
Equip Your Business Well
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