Parking lots across the United States are hotbeds for crime, from car break-ins and vandalism to motor vehicle theft and even acts of violence. In fact, 80% of all crimes in malls and apartments occur in their parking lots or garages.
And did you know that your business will be held responsible if it’s proven that you have not provided a reasonable level of protection in your parking facility? While the definition of what exactly “reasonable” is may be murky, what’s crystal clear is this: it’s vital that your company’s lot or garage is safe for your customers and your employees. Here are a few actionable tips on how to ensure it is secure.
1. Provide Adequate Lighting
Ample lighting makes a parking lot safer in multiple ways. It improves visibility for those driving or walking around the area, thus discouraging crime. Make sure your facility's parking lot is well lit to reduce shadows in pedestrian and driving areas where attackers could hide. Installing spotlights in strategic positions will do the trick.
2. Install Parking Lot Security Cameras
Setting up a video surveillance system is one of the best ways to protect your parking facility. Just the mere presence of a camera may be enough to deter crime, or at least make a criminal think twice. But when the cameras are part of a live video monitoring solution, you can ensure maximum safety. Your lot will be monitored around the clock, ready to record and respond to events as they occur. They can also use deterrence methods such as voice downs, lights, and alarms to prevent criminal activity and, if needed, can alert the police.
3. Consider Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a set of principles aimed to discourage crime and promote security in an area. The four main principles include:
- Natural Surveillance – Criminals target environments where they can hide and escape easily without being recognized. However, an appropriate layout can increase natural surveillance discouraging would-be offenders. For example, rerouting outgoing and incoming traffic via the parking facility to pass by the remote spots can make potential offenders feel exposed.
- Natural Access Control – Attackers want to feel like they are in control of the environment. But you can deny them that by clearly marking approaches and guiding visitors into a defined area. You can also use maze entrances to cut off direct paths to potential targets.
- Territorial Reinforcement – This involves creating a sense of ownership for legitimate occupants to notice or challenge any intruder who doesn’t belong to the premises.
- Maintenance – An unattended facility is more inviting to criminals. Maintaining your parking lot shows intruders that people are attentive and care about what happens in the facility, thus reducing vandalism.
4. Utilize Signage
Install signage reminding visitors to lock their vehicles before leaving. Signs indicating that you have CCTV systems in place can also be used to warn potential offenders. But your responsibilities go beyond criminal activity. Providing a safe environment also means warning drivers of sharp curves, pedestrian crossings, etc. Make sure to install clear traffic signs indicating areas where they need to be on higher alert.
5. Deploy Patrolling Security Guards
Having one or more patrolling guards on-site is a terrific crime deterrent. They provide an authoritative presence and should be attentive and well-equipped to do their role effectively. Some, like the security officers deployed by Titan, are highly trained, always alert and always professional. Many of them are off-duty law enforcement officers.
6. Talk to Titan About “Virtual Officer“
If you are looking for a convenient but highly efficient security solution for your parking lot, then Titan Virtual Officer is for you. Titan Virtual Officer is a portable surveillance system that does not require a lot of cabling like a fixed surveillance system does. In fact, you can have it deployed and installed within a week. You’ll enjoy 24/7 surveillance by our in-house team of monitors and dispatchers and you can even couple it with our patrol services and have skilled officers in place to respond to any suspicious activity as it happens.
A single incident in your parking lot can lead to negative publicity and unnecessary litigations. Don't be left wishing you were extra vigilant about security. Contact Titan Security today for all your security service needs.