How to Keep Your Parking Lot Safe
Walking through the parking lot at the end of your shift doesn't always seem like a scary experience. Still, at night, and especially for women, this can be one of the most dangerous things you do every day. Dark, secluded parking lots and garages are a breeding ground for violent crime.
Taking steps to keep your parking lot safe can create a safe environment for you, your employees, and your customers. Do not put this vital safety measure on the back burner. Your employee's safety and lives can literally depend on the safety measures you take today.
Parking Lot Crime
Believe it or not, parking lots are where a lot of crime happens. They offer far off secluded areas where people can commit illegal activities in their vehicle or even commit violent crimes against your customers or your employees.
In fact, according to law enforcement, parking lots are one of the most dangerous places that anyone can be. Out of all violent crimes committed, six percent of them were committed in a parking garage or parking lot. Couple that with the fact that it is estimated that ten percent of all crimes are committed in a parking lot, and the need to enhance your parking lot security and safety is something you cannot put off any longer.
The statistics are staggering. Now that you are aware of the need to create a safer environment for your employees and customers before they even walk into the building, how can this be done?
Take a look at just a few ways to ensure your parking lot is all but crime proof:
• Physical Barriers: Ensuring that your company parking lot or garage is equipped with fencing, access codes, lift gates, and other physical barriers will reduce the likelihood of unauthorized visitors being in the parking lot with your clients and employees. Even a small gate is a deterrent since small barriers can keep vehicles from entering the premises.
• Access control: Installing a guard gate and or keypad/keycard entrance system will prevent unauthorized entry as well as create a digital record of those that come and go. By ensuring that those on the property are supposed to be there as well as having a digital log generates accountability. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, we even have to protect ourselves from those that are supposed to be there. Taking extra precautionary measures to force accountability reduces the likelihood of crime in your parking lot.
• Parking Lot Enforcement: Having on-site security is one of the greatest deterrents when it comes to crime committed on your property. If an unauthorized individual happens to make it past the guard shack and is wandering the parking lot, the security guard making their rounds might encounter them. This will prevent a problem before it starts, as they can either ask them to leave or have them arrested for trespassing.
• Ample Lighting: The prospect of getting caught is terrifying for the average criminal. They will avoid places with a lot of people, visible cameras, and ample lighting. Being seen is one of the most significant deterrents for most criminal activity. Being able to hide in the darkness makes illegal activity easier. With ample lighting, the parking lot or garage wouldn't even be a consideration. They will opt to do their criminal activity in their car up the road instead of in your parking lot. This will also reduce the vagrant population that might wander into your parking lot or garage. Ample lighting will reduce a lot of headaches overall. A secondary benefit would be the added parking lot safety when it comes to simply walking through or driving. Obstructions will become more apparent, and the possibility of slipping in a puddle after an exceptionally long day winning in the office becomes non-existent.
• Security Signs: Decoy signs are incredibly effective in preventing people from doing something. Decoy signs that tell potential criminals that the area is protected and patrolled by security will cause them to avoid your establishment. The fear of being caught is an incredible motivator to do good. Decoys also work if you cannot afford security cameras. Install decoy cameras where you splurged your entire security budget on lighting, and that might be enough to keep out potential intruders.
• Escorts: Some companies have opted to implement a parking lot escort system for their late-night employees. If for whatever reason, they are feeling unsafe, there can be a fellow employee or security guard that will escort them to their vehicle safely. This removes the possibility of being caught in the dark with a stranger that shouldn't be there. Make sure to offer this as a no-questions-asked service to reduce the likelihood of denial of help due to pride or shame. Comfort is important.
• Waiting Areas: Amazon is the perfect example of having a parking lot waiting area. Employees that are getting a ride or waiting for their Uber have a designated area that is well lit in a central location for their employees to safely wait. They don't have to worry about meeting their friends, family, or Uber on the street where there aren't any lights or security.
• Enhanced Surveillance Systems: Many companies are still operating with old-school CCTV. These older forms of surveillance systems are outdated and quite frankly don't work as well as intended. Replacing these old systems with newer systems that offer picture clarity and cloud-based storage will ensure the safety and comfort of your employees. Enhanced surveillance systems will make it easier to identify criminals and prosecute and will help your security team better keep an eye on every corner of your parking lot.
Your Employee and Customer Safety is Top Priority
At the end of the day, your bottom line is your bottom line, so spending a fortune on security systems, security, and crime deterrents can be something that you put off. Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. Ensuring their safety will create a more positive work environment and can better morale overall.
Get in contact with your local security agency that can help set you up with the tools necessary to make your parking lot a safe environment for everyone.