Parking Garage and Parking Lot Security
for office, retail, or apartment building owners
Parking lot security can be a difficult problem for office-retail-apartment
property owners to handle. A large percentage of problems &
liabilities usually occur in the parking lots; yet, illegal
activities there are hard to monitor & control. Property
damage or assaults, particularly sexual assaults involving females
as the victims, will have a very serious affect on tenant relations.
The purpose of this article is to provide property managers
with substantial background information for understanding and
dealing with parking facility risks. The assistance of a qualified security professional is also advised to help insure no serious
holes exist or practical options are missed in a particular
Reasons for Parking Lot Problems
- Parking lots provide a focal
point of potential victims carrying valuables.
- Large populations of females
drive alone, especially those working or shopping late at night.
They are frequently the only users of parking areas during the
- Most parking facilities are open
to the public.
- Parking facilities comprise a
large volume of space with relatively low levels of activity.
- Parked cars provide hiding places
and impede the distribution of lighting.
- An attacker’s car is not
likely to be noted as strange or memorable in a public parking
- Parking facilities often lack
security features because many property owners and architects
are not familiar with the basic principles of design concepts
for crime prevention.
- If security measures are not
incorporated in design and construction stages, then it is often
difficult and expensive to upgrade security at a later date.
- Zoning ordinances and building
codes sometimes hinder effective use of security principles.
- One of the most important security
features is proper illumination. Lighting specifications should
meet the standards set by the Illuminating Engineering Society
of North America (IESNA).
- Elevator lobbies and stairs in
open parking garages should provide natural surveillance by
being open to the parking areas, except at roof levels where
glass enclosures may be provided for weather protection.
- Elevators and stairs should be
located on the perimeter to permit natural surveillance from
exterior public areas via glass-back elevators and glass at
stairs and elevator lobbies.
- Access control and perimeter
security should be considered in the initial design stage. Even
if the potential site for the parking facility is currently
low risk, that risk level could change in the future.
- Emergency communications such
as panic buttons and closed circuit television can enhance crime
prevention in high-risk facilities. Facilities should be designed
(pre-wired) so that such enhancements can be easily installed
best and most cost effective solution to preventing crimes in your
parking garage or parking lot and protecting your company, your guests,
visitors, and employees is to hire and contract with a professional
security guard company.