When safety and security of a parking lot or facility was mentioned before September 11, 2001, many rolled their eyes and yawned.  Since that unforgettable day, the concept and actions in parking security have taken on a new dimension. We all have a dog in the hunt.  So where do we begin?  Let’s start at the extreme and work back to the day-to-day.

  1. Terrorism: The greatest threat to our lots and facilities is an act of terrorism from a vehicle bomb. Parking facilities are often very attractive to people who wish to do us harm. Our facilities and lots are in key locations to do damage. What can we do?  IPI has partnered with the First Observer Program to train parking professionals on what to look for and what to do. In short, if it doesn’t look right report it! Our employees need to be the eyes and ears for bad people trying to do bad things. If you want training for your staff, click here. It’s free. More than 8,000 parking professionals are now First Observers. Are you?
  2. Basic Safety: We all need to walk our lots and facilities in daylight and at night.  How do you feel? Certainly lighting is a critical factor. Better ideas?
  3. Cameras: Most believe that if you have cameras, there is an expectation that they are monitored. If they are not, there should be signs to indicate that the cameras are for management purposes.
  4. Elevators and Stairways: The use of glass and openness has helped significantly with the feeling of security. Closed-in spaces can create fear and concern.  What are best ideas and practices?
  5. Entrances: Restrict pedestrian flow into a facility to specific pathways that can be observed or filmed. Watch shrubbery and bushes that can hide attackers. Some facilities have wire mesh screens to prevent access in areas other than designated entrances.
  6. Lighting: What is the proper or best lighting level for parking lots and facilities?  What are the most cost-efficient types of lights?
  7. Panic or “Blue Light” Buttons: Are they useful?  Buttons with two-way communications or just call technology? With the prevalence of cell phones, some facilities are re-thinking the need. What is your stance?
  8. Bus Stops: How do we protect and secure bus stops and reduce waiting time? Will mobile technology and GIS capability on transit vehicles provide real-time information about arrivals and delays?

What other questions should we be asking and what answers can you share?