Glossary of Common EAS Terms

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EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance):

A proven loss prevention technique that protects assets and merchandise by utilizing security tags and labels and EAS detection equipment. EAS systems provide security for buildings, entrances, exits and enclosed areas by alarming when items protected with an active tag or label pass through the detection equipment.


An element of an EAS system, usually placed in exits, which detects and alarms when live labels pass through the field developed by it.

EAS Tag or Label:

An EAS device that is attached and/or adhered to assets or merchandise which will alarm when passed through an EAS detection device in an active state Multiple types of EAS labels exist, the three most common types are AM(Acousto-Magnetic), EM(electro-magnetic), and RF(Radio-Frequency). The three different types only work within their respective detection units.


The act of taking an EAS label from an active state where it will alarm an EAS system, and bringing it to an inactive state where it will not alarm an EAS system.

Contact Deactivation:

The process of turning an active EAS label to an inactive state by touching the label directly to a contact deactivation device. Labels adhered on the inside of product packaging such as clamshell, blister, skin card or folding carton can also be deactivated through contact deactivation depending upon thickness or type of packing material.

Disposable Label:

An EAS label that is attached to or inserted inside of merchandise or packaging and is not intended to be removed at the point of purchase. A disposable Acousto-Magnetic label can be activated and deactivated an unlimited number of times.

Failure to Deactivate:

When an EAS label is not properly deactivated at the point of purchase, causing a false alarm when passed through an EAS system.

The Halo Effect:

The perception that untagged merchandise is protected, due to the fact that other merchandise in a store is protected by EAS tags or labels.

Pick Rate:

A ratio that is determined by the number of times an EAS system detects an active EAS label or tag.

Source Tagging:

The application of EAS labels into products or packaging during the manufacturing or packaging process.

Tag Pollution:

The act of a live EAS label leaving a store without an EAS system and entering another store with an EAS system causing an undesired alarm.

Tag Free Zone:

The area immediately surrounding the EAS Pedestals which must be kept clear of "live" EAS Tags & Labels

Benefit Denial:

Hard tags are designed to render valuable merchandise unusable if stolen and to discourage potential thieves before they even attempt to shoplift an item. If  Benefit Denial tag is removed through unauthorized force an unfreezable, non-toxic, aggressive permanent ink that will permanently damage a garment, thereby denying the benefit of shoplifting.

Proximity Deactivation:

The process of turning off EAS labels which does not require the label to come into contact with a pad and which allows source tagging with hidden EAS labels.

The Lazarus Effect:

When seemingly deactivated labels return to an active status. The Lazarus Effect is limited to RF Technology Labels

RFID: Radio-frequency identification:

RFID is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. Ideally, RFID tags would incorporate an EAS type function which, over time would see EAS be replaced by RFID.

Tag Orientation:

The pick rate for all tags drops when they travel through the detection field on a plane which is not EAS Systems optimal field orientation.


By enclosing the tag or label in a metal lined bag (often called a booster bag), it is possible for shoplifters to carry away goods without triggering many EAS systems, in particular radio-frequency systems. EM & AM Systems operate at very low frequencies and are therefore are not as easily defeated by such methods.

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