Parking Garages Could be a Weak Point in Your Security – but Surveillance and Access Control Can Help

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Parking garages can leave employees vulnerable to break-ins, theft, and vandalism

While unsecured parking garages may be standard fare for many corporate office buildings, they could be leaving a gaping hole in your business’s security. Easy access in and out on foot, as well as sometimes by car, can easily allow unauthorized individuals in and near your employees and their vehicles – as well as potentially provide an easy backdoor into your business.

According to federal statistics, more than 10% of property crimes that occurred between 2004 and 2008 occurred in parking garages, which makes them especially risky considering the fact that people likely spend far less than 10% of their time in these areas. To make sure you aren’t leaving your employees vulnerable to crime and your business open to security breaches, make sure your parking garage is secure with the following the steps:

Keep your parking garage well-lit to discourage crime and vandalism

Darkness gives criminals perfect cover to a commit crimes and easily get away with them, so make sure your parking garage is as well-lit as possible. This is especially important for roof-style parking garages, in which open-air parking areas on top of the building may be much darker than those on lower levels.

Make sure that lighting is both bright and uniform, meaning that there are no darker, unlit areas, such as exits, or stairwells. Even if a good portion of a garage is well-lit, criminals can easily lay in wait in darker areas in order to commit crimes like muggings and carjackings.

Keep parking gates operational and make sure doors are locked from the inside to avoid unwanted foot traffic

One of the best things you can do to prevent crime in your parking garage is to tightly control the flow of people in and out of the area – and one of the best ways to do this is with a quality parking gate. A quality gate opens and closes quickly to discourage tailgating, a common strategy of criminals who closely follow in an authorized visitor. The gate should prevent tailgating in-car and on-foot, and it should be high (and wide) enough to physically prevent individuals from getting in without tools, planning, and serious effort.

If you really want to keep out unwanted foot traffic from your parking garage, it’s also important to make sure that exit doors are locked from the inside. Unlocked exit doors are an even easier way for criminals to get into your garage – and the inside of a stairwell can be a common spot to mug an unsuspecting office worker.  An effective access control system could grant entry based on temporary or permanent ID cards, physical keys or Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-enabled locks, or even biometric access, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to the garage.

In-person security remains an effective deterrent

When it comes to fully securing your parking garage, in-person security remains effective. No matter how great your gate or doors are, there’s often someone who can get around them – unless, of course, a security guard is watching. If you have the budget, it might also be a good idea to have another guard patrolling other parts of your garage. This can be especially helpful in larger garages, particularly in buildings with a variety of entrances and exits that could make it easy for a criminal to enter through your building’s front door and sneak into the garage.

Ensure your parking garage is well-monitored with a video surveillance system

Video surveillance is another essential deterrent for parking garage crime. The simple presence of well-marked, vandal-resistant cameras is an effective deterrent. And, if watched carefully enough with remote monitoring services and/or paired with intelligent video monitoring software and remote speakers, it may be able to prevent crimes or stop them as they happen – without the prohibitive expense of multiple on-site security guards. In addition, you can employ remote chaperoning in conjunction with managed services. With remote chaperoning, an individual can call the security personnel who are monitoring the video feeds, who will then “escort” the caller to their automobile and make sure they leave the garage safely. This service can be coupled with remote speakers, so if an intruder attacks the individual, speakers will loudly warn the attacker away.

In cases where you can’t prevent or stop a crime from occurring, having video footage of suspicious individuals or criminal incidents can be sent to police for further investigation and could help you and your security staff discover weak points in your security.

Protect your parking garage to protect your business, your employees, your clients, and yourself 

Securing your parking garage could be the number one thing you’re not currently doing to protect your business from crime – but instituting effective security doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Just installing a little more lighting, a few cameras, a good gate, and remote monitoring can go a long way toward making your parking garage more secure. And as your company grows, you can always add more cameras, personnel, and other security features.

To learn more about effective security strategies and technological solutions for your business, contact POM Technologies today at 212.688.2767 or get in touch through our online form for a free consultation.