If you own a commercial or residential property, you likely have security concerns about your parking lot, parking structure or parking garage. Your concerns are justified. Statistics in recent years show that 1 in 10 property crimes occur in parking lots or garages. Other numbers indicate that parking lots and garages are the second most common location for a property crime after a residence.
Unattended, dimly lit parking lots can be perfect places to perpetrate a crime. As a business or property owner who is responsible for a parking lot or garage, you need to take the security of your parking areas seriously for the safety of your employees and customers.
Security Challenges for Parking Areas
A bad actor is typically looking to perpetrate their crime without getting caught. That means that they want to target locations that are unmonitored, relatively private and allow for an easy getaway. Most parking lots were designed to accommodate the largest number of vehicles using the least amount of space. Security was not always their top concern.
Vehicle theft and vandalism is a common threat. Criminals may target unlocked cars or those that contain visible valuables such as money or electronics. They may also choose vehicles that they know they can part out for a profit. The threat of violent attack is also pressing in parking areas. Muggings and car jackings can be easy crimes to perpetrate if there is no security presence on the premises.
In any event, these types of crime can be a huge liability for property owners. Not only can it result in a lawsuit, but it can tarnish your reputation. To protect yourself and the people who use your parking areas, consider the following tips for securing your parking lot.
5 Tips for Securing a Parking Lot
Before investing in any kind of security, it is critical that you perform a risk assessment. Every property is different. You should take time to understand the layout of the parking lot, the current security solutions in place and the areas that are most vulnerable. By performing a thorough evaluation, you can identify the security strengths of your property and the areas where you are weakest.
Evaluate your lighting.
One of the most effective ways to improve the security of your parking area is to ensure that there is proper lighting throughout. Good lighting eliminates dark corners that create potential hiding spots for thieves or attackers and brightens walkways and stairwells. Lighting should be bright enough to illuminate the area and spaced so that it does not create shadows.
An unmonitored parking lot is an open invitation for misconduct. Controlling who enters and when they enter can prevent a significant amount of crime while giving your parking lot users peace of mind. Security booths, gates and security arms can be effective for both entrances and exits. More advanced access management systems may require the use of identification badges. Depending on the size and nature of your parking area, you may have a visitor log where guests are required to sign in and out.
Perform regular facility maintenance.
Properties that are in disrepair tend to attract crime, loitering and vandalism. Well-maintained properties demonstrate to bad actors that the owner takes pride in the property and they they most likely have taken steps to protect it. Maintaining the landscaping, replacing inoperable lighting and quickly fixing any damage to the parking area can send a strong message. In addition to maintenance, ensuring that temporary conditions such as wet surfaces, ice or snow are handled quickly can prevent dangerous situations from becoming major liabilities.
Install emergency beacons.
While most of us have a smartphone in our pocket at all times, you can’t rely on your visitors to have emergency communication when they need it most. Install emergency beacons, phones and panic buttons throughout the premises. Not only do they act as a visual deterrent for would-be criminals, they can be a lifesaver for someone in need.
Hire security guard patrols.
Nothing beats the effectiveness of a live security patrol monitoring the premises. Security guards can monitor for suspicious activity, quickly respond to security events and act as personal escorts to employees or customers leaving the property after hours. Reputable security guard companies offer professional guards who are specially trained to handle parking lot security threats. Companies like Off Duty Officers provide custom security solutions to meet the needs of their customers, including temporary, short-term and unarmed guards.
Do you need security guards to help you protect your commercial or residential parking lot, parking garage or parking structure? Contact Off Duty Officers today to obtain a free quote.
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