Physical Security Series Part 2: Parking Lots & Garages
November 18, 2019
It’s time to get physical again! Today’s topic is physical security for your parking lots and garages. These are areas that would be easy to overlook and seem otherwise innocent but more than one in ten crimes occur there annually, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. No matter the size, it’s possible to make your commercial parking lot and/or garage more secure with these tips.
Use Copious Lighting
This tip might look familiar. It makes its way into the majority of our blogs because it’s simple yet effective. Anytime a criminal is given a place to hide, your property has instantly become less secure. And, we’ve all seen the movie where the guy in the mask is hiding in the parking garage, so people are naturally already skeptical of those spaces already. Make your customers, vendors, employees and other visitors feel safe by creating as much light in your parking lot and garage as possible. Even if that means painting the walls, ceilings, and/or fences white to reflect all of the light you have installed. Brighten it up as much and as often as possible!
Install Professional Surveillance Cameras
Just as you want a well-lit parking garage or parking lot, you want well-surveyed areas as well. Criminals do not want to have to mess with security cameras and, if they proceed anyway, you now have a shot at evidence whereas you would only be relying upon eyewitnesses before. Mount them out of reach and high enough to see over taller vehicles. Place a high definition video surveillance system at all entrances and exits, ideally one that can identify license plates. Have the cameras monitored by a monitoring center for full effectiveness. A monitoring center utilizes trained agents to watch for foul play and can contact you and/or the authorities when necessary. You can also check in 24/7 using your smartphone.
Place Security Call Boxes or Emergency Phones Throughout
Similar to the phones throughout a college campus, emergency call boxes typically showcase a blue light for easy identification. Your surveillance cameras would ideally be set to view all call boxes or emergency phones upon activation/use. Place them in well-lit areas (which should be any and all areas of your space, as mentioned above) and test them often.
Consider Parking Lot Gates
A parking lot gate can act as the home security sign of the business world; if a criminal sees one parking lot with a gate and one without, s/he is likely headed toward the one without. This security measure provides a method of control for the property owner and requires an action to be taken by the visitor. Oftentimes, that action is pressing a button for a ticket and/or making a payment. Some parking lot gates utilize security officers or access control, both of which put more control in your hands. Either way, it’s helpful to know who is coming and going in your parking lot or garage.
Hire Security Officers
Even if your grounds are small, one security officer could make the difference. Perhaps you don’t have the volume to justify having a guard tend to the parking lot gate but instead could utilize one to walk/drive the perimeter regularly, walk staff to their cars at night and keep the riff-raff away just by having a uniformed presence. At Per Mar, security officers are available 24/7 but you can customize your security guard schedule, even if that means only having one on duty during peak times. Choose from permanent, temporary, mobile patrol and event security. They can also be utilized to conduct on-site security surveys.
As an honorable mention, it’s wise to keep your property nicely landscaped and clean. Trash only breeds more trash and you want intruders to know that you care about your people and property. Give us a call for more information on how to make your parking lot or garage a safe space!