According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 10 percent of the property crimes that take place in the U.S. every year occur in business parking lots and garages. There are also almost 1,400 violent crimes that take place in business parking lots and garages every day.
With these startling statistics in mind, you should make sure you make parking lot security one of your top priorities if you have a parking lot situated outside of your business. It’s the only way to ensure that both your customers and your employees feel safe in the parking lot at night and at other times of the day.
Whether you have a small parking lot that holds a couple dozen cars or a huge parking garage capable of accommodating hundreds of vehicles, you can make it more secure. Here are 8 tips to help you do it.
Put Up Parking Lot Gates
Ideally, you want to keep a close eye on who is coming into and going out of your business parking lot or garage at all times. You don’t necessarily want to allow just anyone to get access to it.
One easy way to limit who can come and go from your business parking lot or garage is by putting up parking lot gates. You can either hook them up to a ticket machine and have them open and close automatically or put a security guard in a booth near the gates to control who comes in and out of your parking lot or garage.
Parking lot gates will make would-be criminals think twice about causing trouble in your business parking lot. They’ll also allow your security team to turn away anyone who doesn’t have a good reason to be in your parking lot.
Hire Security Guards
There are more than 1.1 million security guards scattered across the country at the moment. There are about twice as many security guards in the country as there are police officers.
Because of this, you shouldn’t have any trouble at all tracking down independent security guards or even a security guard company that might be interested in protecting your business parking lot.
If you have a relatively small parking lot, a single security guard on duty during business hours will probably do the trick. But if you have a much larger parking garage, consider hiring an entire security team that can drive through your facility throughout the day and night to look out for any potential security problems.
Bringing security guards on board will require you to take on an extra expense every month. But it’ll be well worth it when your customers and employees are able to walk outside your business and feel safe knowing security is all around them.
Hang Lots of Lighting
Are there certain parts of your business parking lot or garage that are poorly lit? If so, you’re asking for security issues. Those areas could very well give criminals the perfect place to hide.
Each and every aspect of your parking lot or garage should have more than enough lighting inside. If you have an outdoor parking lot, you should situate large lights on top of light poles throughout the space to light it up at night.
If you have an indoor parking lot, you should hang overhead lighting throughout it so that light gets into every nook and cranny. You should also paint the inside of a parking garage bright white so that light reflects all over the place when your lights are turned on.
On top of all this, you should also make it a point to perform the proper maintenance on lighting hung over your parking lot or in your parking garage. If a light goes out, it should be replaced right away to prevent even a temporary security scare.
Clearly Mark Parking Spaces
When your customers and employees park their vehicles in your business parking lot or garage, there shouldn’t be any confusion at all over where they can and cannot park.
Mark each and every parking space in your parking lot so that they know where they can pull their cars in. Additionally, mark off any areas where customers should not park so that they don’t accidentally end up in a spot that could put their vehicle in harm’s way.
Roughly 10 percent of all vehicular accidents take place in parking lots every year with many of them occurring as a result of people parking in places they shouldn’t. You can help get that number down by marking the places where people should park and keeping them out of the danger zones.
Strategically Place Surveillance Cameras
No matter how hard you try to keep your business parking lot or garage safe, there are inevitably going to be crimes that take place in them if you stay open for business long enough. Parking lots and garages have long been hotbeds for various crimes.
If a crime ever occurs in your parking lot or garage, you’ll be able to get to the bottom of what happened when you have surveillance cameras installed. You can review tape from your parking lot or garage to see who was responsible for committing a crime. It can help move police investigations along.
Surveillance cameras can also help deter criminals simply by existing. There are a lot of criminals who won’t risk breaking into a car or vandalizing a truck when they see that there are surveillance cameras hanging all over the place. They’ll move on to other parking lots that don’t have them installed instead.
Install Emergency Phones
You probably don’t need to worry about installing emergency phones in your business parking lot if it’s situated right outside of your business. If anyone is ever in danger in the parking lot, they can simply run inside to let you know about it.
There are, however, some instances in which it makes perfect sense to put emergency phones into place. If, for example, you have a parking garage with several floors for your business, there’s a chance someone could experience a problem on a top floor when no one else is around.
When this happens, it’ll be very helpful to have emergency phones installed. A person can call for help and let your security team know that they need to come up and investigate.
Post Warning Signs
Your parking lot or garage should be filled with a bunch of different signs to let people know where to go both when they’re parking and when they’re leaving. You should also post warning signs throughout your business parking lot informing people of the potential dangers associated with parking their car in it.
Here are some things you might want to think about including on those signs:
- “Park your vehicle in this lot/garage at your own risk. The owner of the lot/garage is not responsible for thefts or damages involving vehicles”
- “Make sure you lock your car upon exiting your vehicle”
- “Please be sure to hide any valuables you might be keeping in your car”
- “Do not, under any circumstances, leave children or pets in your vehicle unattended in this lot/garage”
- “This parking lot/garage is protected by a security team and under constant video surveillance”
These signs will let your customers and employees know that they need to stay alert in your parking lot or garage. They could also cover you in a legal sense if anyone ever tries to file a lawsuit against you following a crime in your business parking lot.
Keep the Parking Lot Clean
The average business parking lot is a pretty dirty place. It has everything from chewed-up bubblegum to empty soda cups thrown all over the place. It also takes a beating day in and day out as cars come and go at all hours.
Every few months, you should hire a street sweeper to take a pass over your parking lot to clean it up. You should also send several employees outside every few weeks to clean up any trash that has accumulated or bring in a cleaning company to do it.
When you take pride in your parking lot, other people will take notice. They’ll do their best to keep your parking lot clean, which will result in your parking lot looking better and being a safer place for customers and employees to park.
Improve Your Parking Lot Security Today
Security should be one of your top concerns if you own a business. You should work hard to maintain security both inside and outside of your building.
If people don’t feel safe when they patronize your business, there’s a decent chance that they won’t come back to patronize it again. Your business could quickly earn a reputation for being a place that people don’t want to go due to safety issues.
By putting up parking gates, hanging up lots of lighting, and hiring security guards, you can put more of an importance on parking lot security. Take a look at our blog to see some of the other things you can do to improve the security of your business.