We’ve all seen them in one place or another; whether it is in a department shop, on street corners or in the workplace, curved mirrors often give us a bulbous fisheye view of our surroundings. But what are these mirrors and what are they for?

These are convex security mirrors that are designed with safety in mind. A convex security mirror often provides an excellent vantage point into places we wouldn’t normally be able to see, whether that is around corners or behind shop aisles.

How do they work?

There are several different types of convex mirrors. Some are shaped like contact lenses and allow you to see a wider field of view than a flat mirror. Other mirrors are dome shaped and are complete half spheres which increase the field of view even more. This works because of the way the light bounces off of them. A flat mirror reflects light in one direction while a rounded mirror reflects light in many directions. In a similar way that your round eyeball lets you see out of the corners of your eye instead of just straight ahead, a convex mirror reflects a wide field of view which shows us things we wouldn’t see by just looking around.

Why do we need to see into these places? Well, increasing visibility is essential when protecting yourself from accidents and from other nefarious threats.

They protect you from accidents

If you’ve ever worked in a warehouse, you know that there is often someone using heavy machinery. Let’s say a man is driving a forklift up and down the aisles. If there is a convex mirror mounted on the wall or the ceiling, he will be able to see when someone is coming around the corner and can stop to avoid injury.

Another use for these is traffic safety. You’ve probably seen these mirrors mounted on traffic lights. This often allows drivers to see pedestrians and bike lanes to check blind spots before they turn. For the same reason, they can be used in your driveway, to reveal what is behind you or around the corner while you back out.

They protect you from theft

The large dome-shaped convex mirrors can be found in department shops and petrol stations to give clerks a view of the entire area. This reveals any would-be shoplifters as they are to take items off shelves discreetly. Sometimes the increased visibility is enough to deter criminal activity before it occurs.

Convex mirrors have many practical vision widening uses. Choose one that is best for your home or establishment.

What’s the Benefit of a Wide Angle Dome Mirror?

Wide angle dome mirrors offer tremendous benefits to retail and business establishments because they provide up to 360-degree views of the area.

Convex detection mirrors, like the wide angle dome mirror are the premier choice of shops, warehouse facilities and offices because they offer increased aisle and customer visibility. They’re also quite advantageous for the following reasons:

  • They’re easily adjustable and constructed using high-grade polymers.
  •  A vast majority are resistant to UV rays, making them suitable for outdoor use.
  • The manufacturer’s warranty, which comes standard with many mirrors, offers additional protect against damage.
  • They vary in size as well as price, so they’re affordable to a large group of sectors.

Consider the Construction of the Mirror

Wide angle dome mirrors—also available in ¼ and ½ faces—attach to the ceiling or at the intersection of two joining walls (depending on the desired height it can also be suspended). Due to the large frame of view from the dome lens, it makes every corner of the room visible leading to greater overall security. Not only is a wide angle dome the perfect shape to maintain full visibility but it also constructed from a toughened acrylic material which makes it resistant to low impacts.

The Panoramic Ceiling Dome, offered by Safe Options, is one such example of exceptional craftsmanship. It provides 360 degree views and its impact resistant acrylic face permits extreme use. What’s more, it can be mounted directly on a flat surface or hung from the ceiling with a chain.

UV Resistance is Ideal for the Outdoors

If you’re shopping for a dome mirror which will be placed outdoors, select one that offers UV resistance and even a weatherproof exterior. If you place a mirror outside which isn’t intended for that type of use, you may risk voiding your warranty and have to replace the piece entirely.

Other threats to look out for include vandalism and graffiti. If you believe this may pose a concern, consider something similar to the Institutional Stainless Anti-Ligature Mirror. This 180-degree half dome meets the most stringent requirements and has even been used by the Metropolitan Police, HM Prison Service and the UK Home Office. With those sorts of references, you know it must be top-of-the-line. It’s virtually indestructible stainless steel face ensures that you have full surveillance at all times.

Double Check the Warranty

Again, it’s always a good idea to check the terms and agreements of the warranty before purchase. The last thing you want to do is unintentionally void the warranty because you mishandled or secured the mirror improperly.

In-all, purchasing a wide angle dome mirror is an excellent way to keep track of everything going on in your place of business or home. Be mindful that the dome mirror is constructed to high standards, is designed for the conditions it will endure, and has a comprehensive warranty.

Does a Convex Mirror Deter Crime?

Is there a way that security items like convex mirrors can deter criminals before they ever commit a crime?

When you are the owner of a shop, your number one priority should be to protect your inventory. If you have a problem with shoplifters, your inventory may be walking straight out the door without ever turning a profit.

There are many methods which shops use to prevent shoplifting like tag scanners at the door, security ink tags and CCTV cameras. But what steps can you take if you’d like to avoid the crime from happening in in the first place? After all, customers are likely more comfortable in a shop that doesn’t have any history of crime even if the perpetrators were caught.

There are ways to make your shop less attractive to criminals so that you can avoid having any incidents on the premises. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Thieves will look for targets that are easy and have limited risks. Security measures like cameras and scanners will sometimes deter them from even walking through the door.
  • An attentive clerk will cause a shoplifter to think twice about stealing.
  • Use alternative security techniques to make your shop unattractive to criminals.

Thieves Look for Easy Targets

A smart thief will look for a target that is easy and free from risk. If there are obvious security measures in place that look difficult to get around, they may simply move onto a new target. If your shop layout doesn’t have blind spots or areas where a thief can easily put something in their pocket, they may not take the risk.

Also, if there are visible security measures like CCTV cameras, ink tags or scanners at the door, you may be making shoplifting harder than it is worth for a shoplifter.

Shoplifters Avoid Attentive Clerks

Besides cameras and other security measures, an attentive shop clerk is a shoplifter’s bane. Clerks that are lively and watchful will cause a potential shoplifter to reconsider an attempt at stealing merchandise. Nothing can catch a criminal in the act better than another human being. If you or your employees pay attention to customers and walk the sales floor, not only will it discourage thieves, but will give you an opportunity to address other patrons in need of assistance.

However, smaller shops often have fewer employees at a given time, and they can’t be everywhere at once. To increase visibility, make sure the shop layout does not have blind spots and that temporary displays are not causing an obstruction to merchandise. To help you see more clearly, a convex security mirror can provide this much-needed visibility.

Use Other Deterring Methods

There are several other ways you can set up a shop to deter criminals from stealing your inventory. You can even use false security items to scare away potential thieves. For instance, a decoy security camera can deter criminals without actually recording anything.

Best Places to Install a Convex Mirror

Convex mirrors can have many uses in different locations but where, specifically, are they most effective?

You’ve most likely seen these mirrors as you’ve gone about your day.On the street, in shops or in warehouses; convex security mirrors are very useful in a variety of locations. But where, specifically, should they be placed in order to unlock their full potential?

There are a variety of good locations to place convex mirrors so that you can maximise visibility and increase security in whatever type of venue you are using them in. However, different types of convex mirrors should be placed in different locations to ensure they are being used properly. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • A large shop can use a dome mirror placed in the centre of the ceiling to see everything around it.
  • A partial dome mirror, placed in the corner where the wall meet the ceiling, will show you everything in a room.
  • If there is a blind spot or a busy corner, placing a typical interior convex security mirror opposite that corner can help prevent accidents.

The Ceiling at the Centre of a Shop

If you have a shop with many aisles that are taller than the average person, a good place to put a mirror is in the centre of a shop, mounted on the ceiling. Tall aisles can conceal shoplifters from security cameras and shop clerks. The proper mirror to use in a location like that is a wide angle dome mirror. This will allow shop clerks to see into each aisle at a 360° radius. Using this method, you can keep watch for potential shoplifters without having an employee in every aisle.

Up High in a Corner

You may not need a large dome mirror in certain establishments. While they are great for large areas, they may be unnecessary for smaller rooms. If you have a small shop with fewer blind spots and aisles, a corner mirror may be an ideal choice. A corner mirror can expose blind spots in a smaller room. This is ideal for shop owners who would like to get a wide view of their entire shop all at once or office managers who want to keep an eye on employees.

Opposite a Busy Corner

Another great place for a convex mirror is across from a busy corner or blind spot. If you have trollies or people coming and going around corners, a convex mirror can make the entire area safer. A simple interior security mirror can show people who or what is coming around the corner to help avoid potentially dangerous collisions. This is great for restaurants with waiters carrying food and plates and warehouses with plenty of trolley and forklift traffic.

There are many places in shops and work areas where a convex mirror can help prevent theft and accidents. Pay attention to where your business has potentially dangerous blind spots and place mirrors strategically to help increase visibility and safety.