We usually think of a parking lot as just a place that people store their vehicles when not in use. The reality, however, is that property managers need to go beyond this line of thinking and see a parking lot as a place to protect an investment, as well as residents, workers, guests, and other visitors.
Parking lots can be the site of crime. Whether this is because thieves see unattended vehicles and decide to help themselves to the vehicles, or the contents inside, or because they realize people returning to their vehicles—especially alone at night—are more vulnerable, it is something that impacts a property. Any property that is deemed unsafe becomes, understandably, avoided. Your parking lot should be secure. Here is what you can do to make your parking lot safer.
Maintain The Property
Presentation is everything, and if you allow a parking lot to fall into disrepair and generally appear in shoddy condition, this is a signal to criminals. You don’t feel like expending time or money to maintain the environment, meaning that you don’t care if a crime occurs there. A carefully maintained parking lot is always going to look less attractive to the criminal element because it implies that someone is exercising care. Take care of your property, and you deter many thieves.
Keep The Lights On
When night falls, make sure it doesn’t cover your parking lot in darkness. Indoor or outdoor, a parking lot should be well lit. This not only makes it easier for people to find their cars; it also acts as a big deterrence to thieves. Darkness allows criminals to operate in safety, as it makes it more difficult to identify someone in the dark, as well as allow for many more hiding places to survey an area, or stalk a victim.
A brightly lit environment makes it harder for criminals to succeed in their activities. It also makes it easier for people using the parking lot to see others, as well as see where they are going without worrying about bumping into things, tripping, or stumbling.
A great all-around safety feature for any facility is the security camera. When paired with a well-lit area, the security camera performs two important functions. It acts a deterrent since it can easily show criminal activity, thus discouraging people from committing crimes in the area.
However, even if someone does commit a crime, the camera now has that footage. This can aid in the investigation when tracking a criminal down, but more importantly, it can also be used as evidence in prosecution to put people in jail when they face their day in court.
A final, though more expensive solution is to implement access control. Keycards, numeric keypads, or even biometric ID are all good ways to restrict who can come in or out of a parking area. But this also means you have the barriers in place to prevent entry through other means.
By maintaining a safe parking area you not only protect your property investment, but you also create a safer environment for yourself, residents, customers or visitors, and that can only help your bottom line.