Public parking lots offer a great service, but they can also attract certain types of crimes. Between 2004 and 2008, more than 2 million property crimes and more than 400,000 violent crimes reportedly took place in parking garages. One way you can keep your patrons safe is to put extra security measures in place. Here are just a few options to consider.
Invest In Security Lighting
Try as best you can to eliminate any dark spots in your building. This means adding extra lighting to staircases, elevator banks and corners of the building on each floor. Consider adding motion lighting to area that are not used frequently, and add extra lighting at the exits. Take a walk through the facility at night to identify any areas where someone might hide in the dark, and work to add lighting to those areas.
Install Emergency Call Boxes
Emergency call boxes like those found on college campuses can be very beneficial in parking garages. Place them throughout the building and have them wired to send a call to your security office. Be sure that the call boxes have colored lights that make it easy for someone to find them in the event of an emergency. Consider adding them near the fire exits, elevators and near the middle of each floor.
Add Security Gates
Even if your parking lot is free for the public to use, consider adding security gates and a ticket system. Drivers will need to get a ticket when entering the garage and will need to use the ticket to leave. This can make it easier for police to track down people entering and exiting the building in the event of a crime, and the ticketing system may even serve as a way to deter criminals from entering the garage.
Hire Security Staff
One of the best ways to deter crime is to have people patrolling the garage and providing security services. Station at least one person in the security office to answer emergency calls and keep an eye on your security cameras, and have another walking the floors to provide assistance to customers and keep an eye out for wrongdoers.
With a little bit of work and some careful planning, you can create a safe environment for your customers while protecting your investment. Work with a security professional to identify vulnerable spots in your garage, and take action to fix the problems.