Commercial parking lots are a potential hotbed for crime—they’re a favourite haunt for car thieves, kidnappers, vandals, and other unsavoury types. And if you’ve got a parking lot in your commercial property, you’ve got a legal obligation to help protect the users and their property from harm.
It may cost a bit of money to secure your car park, but the investment could save you vast sums of cash in the long run. Plus, you’ll be creating a safe and welcoming environment to enhance the reputation of your business.
Here are five simple ways to secure a commercial parking lot in your property.
Undertake a risk assessment
Before you start pouring money into making your parking lot more secure, it’s prudent to do an in-depth risk assessment.
Take pen to paper and start analysing the finer details of the parking lot, looking at the security-related strengths and weaknesses already in play. Examine your access points and consider the people who may enter the grounds. If the parking lot is easily accessible to the general public, you’ll need more stringent security than one only reachable by authorised personnel.
Now that you’ve got a solid understanding of the car park, you can begin to draw up a budget and prioritise the areas where extra security is needed most.
Light the place up
A relatively cost-effective solution to secure your car park is installing a suitable lighting set up. Not only will you deter criminals from lurking around under cover of darkness, but you can also minimise the chance of injury through an accidental fall. And for a parking lot that’s used frequently after dark, the need for adequate lighting becomes urgent.
Powerful metal-halide lamps are a popular option for car parks as they emit an intense white light over a large area and are reasonably energy efficient. Take care to get the spacing right, though; too close, and you’ll waste money on the installation and electricity bill, too far apart, and you’ll be left with dark spots all over the place. As a rule of thumb, lighting that overlaps slightly is ideal. If appropriate, consider installing motion sensors to reduce your electricity bill.
Painting your walls white is a simple solution to brighten up an area after dark as the shade works wonders at reflecting the light.
Set up your access point
Public parking lots need an easy to reach access point with a large enough turning circle for bigger vehicles to navigate through. If you’re running an undercover car park with a low roof, remember to indicate the maximum permitted height—it’s a legal requirement as well as a courtesy.
Secure or paid parking lots will need a system in place at the entry to keep unauthorised visitors out. A common solution is the ubiquitous boom gate accessed via a swipe card or a parking ticket, which is an automated system that’s cost-effective to run. For highly secured compounds, a staffed security booth may be the preferred option. Other high-tech solutions include online parking reservations, mobile parking payments, proximity readers, and access control keypads.
Get a video monitoring system
Having a clearly positioned camera to record the activity in your car park will deter criminals from targeting your property. Furthermore, should a crime occur, you’ll have invaluable evidence to help the police with their investigation.
Wireless security systems cost much less than they used to, and because there’s no need to install any cabling, it’s entirely possible to set one up yourself. A bright idea is to complement the equipment with a wireless alarm system to alert you of unauthorised access via a mobile phone notification.
Employ a security guard
The managers of highly secure compounds containing sensitive information or valuable equipment would be wise to employ a security guard to monitor their grounds. Of course, the guard doesn’t have to focus their sole attention on the parking lot—you can get them to patrol the entire property at set intervals as well.
Escorting visitors around the grounds and employees safely to their cars are other potential tasks that may help to justify the on-going expense.
Image credit - Envato
A safe and sound parking lot is essential to the overall security of your business, so it makes sense to invest in the appropriate equipment and personnel. Bear these tips in mind for a more secure premises.