7 Important Commercial Parking Lot Security Tips

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car thief

It’s easy to take commercial parking lots and garages for granted since they serve such simple and common needs, but any business that has one should be aware of certain parking lot security precautions. Everything goes perfectly well most of the time, and your visitors or employees are able to temporarily store their cars without any cause for concern. It only takes a single incident to make you wish you’d been more vigilant about security, though.

Incidents can result in negative publicity and lawsuits as well as discouraging customers from patronizing your business. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about minimizing risk at your facility, including parking lot safety tips you can begin implementing today.

What Can Go Wrong in a Parking Areas

No one likes to consider the worst-case scenario happening at their place of business, but the truth is that lots and garages can be hotbeds for negative activities. Here are a few of the most likely unwanted things that can occur in parking lots:

parking lot security

Damage to or Theft of Vehicles

Car thieves may target parking lots that aren’t well secured and may also check for careless car owners who leave their doors unlocked. Some thieves look for valuables left inside vehicles, while others break windows or cause other damage simply out of malice.

Violent Crimes

Certain neighborhoods or types of businesses may see personal safety become more of a concern. For example, casino parking garages have seen a recent spike in incidents such as robberies, sexual assaults, and carjackings. Knowing if yours is at risk and for what is a critical concern, as people will avoid your business if they don’t feel safe.

Accidents

car accident

Parking lots can be dangerous, depending on the layout, lighting, speed limits, and other factors. For example, vehicles pulling out of their spots to leave can get hit by other cars speeding by. There are also hit-and-run types of accidents, as when one car hits a stationary car and drives off, leaving the driver to return to see dents or other damage.

These are just a few unpleasant incidents that can occur. Such occurrences can have a damaging effect on your business and its reputation, but certain actions can greatly improve parking lot safety.

7 Ways to Maximize Your Parking Lot Security

Whether your business is home to a flat commercial parking lot or a multi-story parking garage, keeping the area as safe and secure as possible is crucial to making sure your patrons, employees, potential clients, current clients, and other visitors feel safe as well. Here are some effective measures that will greatly reduce the chances of incidents occurring in your parking area. 

1. Inspect the Lot

You can learn a great deal by thoroughly inspecting your parking lot and looking for potential problems. Walk the space as well as drive through it. Consider safety issues facing drivers when entering and exiting, map traffic patterns to be sure they are well-marked, seek out hiding places where perpetrators might be able to lurk, and see if there are other steps you can take to minimize criminals’ ability to use your space for their bad acts.

2. Improve Lighting

parking garage security

Brighter lighting can make a lot safer in several ways, including discouraging crime and improving visibility for those walking or driving around the area, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents. Finally, people tend to feel safer in well-lit areas because the brightness makes it more difficult for them to experience security risks like being snuck up on. Installing spot or strobe lighting in strategic areas can make a big difference.

3. Hire Security Personnel

Staffing security officers in a parking facility can greatly improve safety. On-foot security patrols throughout the parking lot or garage is a strong deterrent to crime, for example, because it improves access control and allows a human being to regularly check vehicles, identify any license plate that might be abusing rules, and monitor activity. Professional security is an expense for your business, but is something worth considering if you want to create a safer environment.

4. Use Signage

Signage in the right places can help warn people about potential dangers. Signs and stripes advise drivers to slow down or that a sharp curve is approaching, for example, and alert individuals and potential perpetrators of security measures you have in place such as CCTV systems. You can also have signs reminding drivers to lock their vehicle doors and not to leave valuables in their cars to help mitigate that liability issue before it occurs.

5. Install CCTV Cameras

Security cameras are one of the best and most cost-effective security protocols you can add to your facility. Visible cameras can deter crime, make patrons feel safer, and provide evidence of any bad acts or accidents that occur. Placing cameras in strategic locations where they can be easily seen by all — including potential perpetrators — can also offer opportunities for video surveillance and video analytics to show garage security patterns, and keep your site secure against risk of crime.

6. Have Clear Policies in Place

One way to keep your parking facilities safer is to ensure your staff knows exactly what to do when incidents occur. Employees should be trained to respond to various situations, so they know what to do. They can also be directed to watch certain areas and immediately report anything that needs addressing.

7. Address Every Element that Affects Safety

Every detail in a parking lot can make the environment safer or less secure. Some points to keep in mind about your site:

  • Make sure the lot is clean and well maintained. Debris and litter can cause accidents and creates a run-down atmosphere.
  • Keep landscaping  neat. High bushes can give perpetrators hiding places or cover to commit crimes.
  • Repair cracks and potholes that can contribute to accidents.

Discussing security with a team of experts can also help your business avoid missing crucial elements to its commercial parking lot security system. Those professionals have worked with many parking facilities, meaning they’ll think of things like insider threat risks, where to put video cameras, where your points of legal liability might lie, and more.

Take Parking Lot Security Seriously

Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping your commercial lot secure. If patrons and employees don’t feel safe in your parking lot, it can harm your reputation. On the other hand:

  • Security cameras can reduce crime, because criminals don’t want their faces on security footage.
  • Cameras make patrons feel safer, and they’re more likely to return to your business and parking lot when they see you take security seriously.
  • Drivers are more likely to drive cautiously when they know they’re being filmed, which can reduce hit-and-run incidents.
  • Video surveillance provides valuable evidence as crimes, accidents, and fender benders are on film, which can identify perpetrators.

If you need help or advice in areas such as installing security cameras or hiring professional security guards, contact SMART Security Pros to speak with an expert about your parking lot security questions.

Incidents can result in negative publicity and lawsuits as well as discouraging customers from patronizing your business. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about minimizing risk at your facility, including parking lot safety tips you can begin implementing today.

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