Parking lots tend to be easy targets for criminals who are intent on committing crimes against people and things.
Vandalism, car robbery, petty theft, assault, and other offenses are common in parking lots that foster the ideal environment for criminal activity such as poor lighting, abundant hiding places, and lack of surveillance
Have you considered the safety and security of your facility parking lot?
Do your patrons feel safe when they walk to and from their car?
If not, perhaps it’s time to amp up your security features and make safety a priority at your facility.
Light it Up
Good lighting can make all the difference in deterring crime as dark shadows in the parking lots and stairwells tend to hide potential perpetrators.
If you are unsure if your parking lot has a lighting problem then this would be a good time to take a walk around the parking area and do a visual inspection.
Also, look at the parking behavior of your visitors. Are the majority of the vehicles parked close to light sources? Do they use their headlights as they drive through the garage? If so, these are fairly reliable signs that your patrons do not feel safe and the lighting needs to be improved.
Choosing the proper lighting is an important component.
If the lighting is too bright, it may temporarily blind the drivers as they drive through the parking lot and increases the risk of traffic accidents.
If the light is too soft then dark areas are not illuminated enough to provide adequate safety and security. If unsure, seeking out a lighting consultant may be your best bet in choosing lighting wisely.
White paint in parking garages is another key strategy in lighting up the space.
Highly reflective white paint can help reflect the light sources and brighten up dark spaces.
It can be an inexpensive remedy that not only provides a safer parking experience for your patrons but can also boost the visual appeal of the garage.
High-definition security cameras are a must in all parking spaces, entrances, stairwells, and other poorly lighted areas.
They provide an invaluable security measure that not only documents crimes in progress but also acts as a simple and effective deterrent to possible aggressors.
It is important to note that consistent monitoring of these security cameras is essential to make this surveillance technology timely and effective.
Actual human surveillance is also another key component that should not be underestimated.
Parking attendants as well as regular patrols enhance the security efforts.
Having someone there monitoring the parking lot 24 hours a day can bring a sense of comfort and safety to patrons who are using the facility at night.
Of course, emergency communication stations are a critical feature of secure parking lots. It is important not to rely on patrons to carry their own mobile phones to call for help.
Many of these devices do not work in concrete structures and may also be the first thing the assailant grabs from the victim.
Emergency stations are most effective when located throughout the parking lot or garage and are often the first source of connection for immediate help.
Emergency phones offer instant access to security personnel while panic buttons sets off an alarm and directs security to the exact spot the emergency is happening.
Keep it Clean
A clean and maintained parking lot is a potent security tactic that sends the message to possible offenders that security and safety are a high priority at this parking area.
Cleaning up garbage, removing graffiti, repairing any damages, and other such maintenance duties may be considered simple in nature but they deliver powerful results in the level of deterrence they provide.
Regular landscaping should be included in these maintenance tasks as well.
Although well-placed shrubs and trees can act as passive barriers to keep intruders out, overgrown and dense bushes can also create blind spots by negatively restricting views of the surrounding environment.
The patron is then put at a severe disadvantage of adequately surveying the area and assessing risk. These same overrun bushes also provide exceptional hiding places for criminals.
Landscape regularly, trim and thin the vegetation as needed, and make them as non-intrusive as possible.
With the proper security features in place, you can feel confident that you are providing a safe and welcoming environment to patrons as well as minimizing the incidence of crime in the area.