We’ve addressed commercial security in several previous posts. Our Security Measures to Improve Employee Security looked at commercial security through the lens of adding personal safety for workers. Our posts on Choosing the Right Commercial Lock Equipment focuses maintaining physical security by choosing the proper locks. Finally, our post on Interactive Commercial Security Monitoring examines how adding interactive cellular monitoring to your business’s security system can add both security and convenience. This week, we focus on steps you can take to add parking lot security to your commercial property.

Large lots can attract crime, such as burglars breaking into cars or robbing employees and customers. Additionally, poorly-maintained or unwatched parking lots can act as settings for drug dealers and graffiti artists. Since our customers consider us their one-stop security shop, we make sure to address both interior and exterior commercial security. We’ll begin with some tips on making your lot less attractive for illegal or dubious activity at first glance. We want people parking in your lot to feel safe, and we also want criminals to feel like your lot is an unsafe place to carry out illegal activities. From there, we’ll discuss keeping the wrong people out of your parking lot in the first place. Finally, we’ll share some ideas for security equipment that can enhance your property’s parking lot security. Let’s begin with some tips on creating and maintaining a professional and safe appearance for your lot.

Care for Your Lot and Maintain Appearances

Parking lots that look run down and poorly maintained act as a magnet for illicit activity. The more crime and vandalism a parking lot endures, the worse the lot looks. In turn, the worse the appearance of a parking lot, the quicker it will get even more run down and dangerous. Property owners can often stop this cycle from starting by undertaking regular maintenance of their lots. Keeping trash cans tidy, parking lines painted cleanly, bushes and shrubs neatly trimmed, and your pavement free from overgrown weeds leaves the appearance of a well watched-over space. Since criminals prefer privacy, they also prefer lots that look like they get very little traffic. Parking lots that look inviting for employees and customers look much more intimidating to anyone wishing not to encounter others. Let’s look at another tip for maintaining your property that can enhance your parking lot security.

Illuminate and Eliminate any Blind Spots

In our Yard and Driveway Security Tips, we discussed eliminating your yard’s “blind spots.” Dark areas of a yard that can hide burglars plotting a potential break-in attract criminals like a magnet. This concept only gets magnified in a parking lot. Unlike home burglars, many parking lot crooks or troublemakers do not intend to plot an entrance into your building. They simply need a dark area to operate that shields them from the street and potentially those inside your building. Installing lighting bright enough to capture every space within your lot goes a long way towards eliminating illicit activity.

A driver on his phone in his car.

Distracted driving in parking lots leads to dangerous situations. making sure drivers and pedestrians can see clearly at all times of the day and night can lessen this danger.

Additionally, lighting your parking lot can create more safety for drivers and pedestrians as well. This National Safety Council article details many factors that distract drivers in parking lots. Drivers entering parking lots often grab their phones to text friends and coordinate a meet-up. Some drivers try to double-check their makeup while finding a parking space. Drivers leaving parking lots often do so while programming a GPS. Night-time driving conditions only magnify these risks. Good lighting can add parking lot security and safety in these situations, making it harder for even distracted drivers to lose track of their surroundings. Let’s look at one more measure you can take to make your lot a less attractive target for those up to no good.

Create Barriers to Enter Your Lot

Making it difficult for cars to drive into your lot will encourage those conducting illegal activity to look elsewhere. Consider fencing off your lot and blocking off car entrances with gates and padlocks. A high, chain-link fence can create a barrier for those looking to walk into your lot after hours without blocking your lot off from the view of passersby. Additionally, gates with padlocks can keep cars from entering your lot without a key. Individuals looking for a space to conduct illegal behavior value convenience and privacy.

Making your lot difficult to enter during non-business hours also makes it an inconvenient place to attempt anything you wouldn’t want happening on your property. At this point, we’ve shared a few techniques to make incidents less likely to occur in your lot. Now, let’s look at some security projects you can undertake that can help out if the potential for an incident does arise.

Use Cameras to Monitor Your Property

A pole with lights and a camera in a parking lot.

A visible surveillance presence in your parking lot can encourage criminals to go elsewhere.

Installing a commercial surveillance system adds parking lot security in a couple ways. For starters, cameras record anything that happens in or around your property. Placing cameras in locations to monitor your entire property can add tremendous parking lot security as well. If anything dangerous or suspicious happens in your lot, you can review the events and even save footage to a thumb drive to bring to the authorities. In addition to showing you what happens in your lot, cameras can also help confirm things that didn’t happen. Many individuals claim to have slipped on ice or gotten their cars hit in parking lots. Reviewing surveillance footage to reveal false claims can help you avoid the headache that can come with this type of situation.

Furthermore, installing cameras in places visible to drivers can also deter crime before it happens. We’ve already examined the importance of making your parking lot less attractive to troublemakers at first glance. Cameras can certainly help you achieve this goal. Adding a visible surveillance presence will certainly make people think twice before attempting anything they wouldn’t want you to see. Now, let’s look at one more type of security equipment you can add to improve your property’s parking lot security.

Put Help Within a Touch of a Button

Making help readily accessible adds parking lot security and peace of mind for employees and customers. Emergency call boxes, such as the one pictured, can provide quick help in the case of an emergency. Activating the “call” button connects callers to a central station operator. If needed, the central station can provide a fast police dispatch. This can add safety for pedestrians in your parking lot, as well as creating a deterrent for criminals. Anyone thinking of attempting a burglary or other violent crime knows that potential victims will have the ability to create a quick police response.

A student using an emergency call station.

Emergency call stations, such as this one by Aiphone, add parking lot security by allowing users to call for help with the touch of a button.

Additionally, consider giving employees some form of wireless panic device. If you have a fairly modern burglar alarm system, we can provide wireless panic devices that function within a few hundred feet of your building. Employees can activate their panic device to create a siren and police response at any time. If you have an exterior siren, the noise will alert troublemakers to the alarm. It will also attract the attention of anyone in the vicinity. Providing a quick alarm and police response at any time can make your parking lot much safer for employees.

Putting Together a Complete Plan for Parking Lot Security

We hope you have gotten some new ideas to enhance your property’s parking lot security while reading this post. If you own or manage a property and wish to utilize some of these tips, or if you have any questions about the material in this post, we encourage you to contact us.  We provide free site surveys to address both interior and exterior business security. While on site, we can discuss any concerns you may have, and even make some suggestions of our own. Together, we can create a security plan that keeps you, your employees, and your customers safe starting as soon as they pull into the parking lot.