Last year, my brother and I went to the popular theme parks in Orlando, Florida. We rented an unremarkable red Toyota that we drove to the parks and promptly forgot about in the parking lot. We then proceeded to have days filled with thrill rides, walking, and pounds of junk food. We were having so much fun that when we exited the park at the end of each day, we couldn’t find our nondescript red Toyota (do you know how many red sedans there are in a single parking lot? Hint—it’s a lot). We knew the general area of our car, but we ended up wandering from red car to red car, pushing the button on the clicker until we found ours.
Obviously, we should have written down where we parked after the first day, but we never did. And we lost our car every day for a few minutes. Now, while we definitely didn’t approach this problem in the best way or even try to fix our problem, let me defend myself a little bit. We were looking for an unfamiliar car in a 125-acre parking lot with more than 12,000 stalls.
The point I am trying to make (other than that you should write down, take a picture, or drop a pin of your car’s location when visiting major theme parks) is the parking lot is often forgettable. It is the milquetoast of any shopping, entertainment, or destination. Parking lots are literally a holding place. However, when it comes to security, parking lots should be on the top of your list of places to protect.
Parking lots are hotspots for crashes, break-ins, vandalism, and other crimes. (In fact, one of my coworkers had their car broken into at this exact theme park.) That’s why it is important to have adequate and appropriate parking lot security. This not only increases the safety of the vehicles parked in the lot, but it also helps increase safety for patrons and employees as well as other items and valuables that may be on your property. Furthermore, better security outside your store or location can actually improve your shrinkage rate inside the store. One LVT customer reported a reduction of 62% by placing our camera units outside their stores
Parking lot security
As previously stated, parking lots are often overlooked by customers, employees, and even security. However, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, parking lots and garages are the third-most common location of violent crimes.
Luckily, there are simple ways to increase parking lot safety. They can include:
- Hang clear signage
- Increase lighting
- Improve maintenance
- Install camera/surveillance system
- Hire guards
Hang clear signage
Warning signs are everywhere—from the road to our homes. Everything from “yield to pedestrian traffic” to “beware of dog” are all around us. There’s a reason for this—they work. People pay attention to signs, and they are a cheap way to add security to your parking lot. Signs like “This property is under surveillance,” “No trespassing,” and “Shoplifters will be prosecuted” tell potential criminals that you are watching and have an active interest in your property.
Proper lighting is one of the easiest ways to increase parking lot safety. Criminals like being able to slip in and out without being seen. Good lighting removes this opportunity and helps your cameras or security forces better see any crimes.
Make sure to observe which areas in your lot are well lit and which could use additional lighting. Once it is installed, make sure to maintain it. This includes replacing burnt out bulbs, trimming overgrown trees, and annual cleaning. Furthermore, consider switching out old light bulbs for brighter LED ones.
The parking lot isn’t where you want to spend a lot of money. We get it. However, regular maintenance and groundskeeping will improve not only the atmosphere of the lot, but also of your entire business. By keeping the bushes, shrubs, and trees well-trimmed, you remove hiding places for potential criminals. Furthermore, a well-maintained lot signals to customers and criminals that you care about your property—that the area receives regular attention.
Install security cameras
Parking lot security cameras can serve multiple purposes. For example, they do help you capture evidence of wrongdoing, but did you also know that cameras can help prevent incidents in the first place? That’s right—just having the cameras in place can deter a lot of criminals. In fact, one LVT customer saw a decrease in parking lot incidents of up 70% at their retail locations across the nation.
This is our favorite tip for parking lot security because this is exactly what we do. LVT Units are mobile, self-contained security systems. We combine our extremely cool hardware with proprietary software to actively detect, deter, defend your property. Our units can be equipped with bi-spectrum, PTZ, or thermal cameras. Furthermore, our units offer completely wireless parking lot security cameras. That means you don’t have to do any expensive construction to run power or internet connections. Instead, our units can go anywhere in your lot with almost immediate set up (30 minutes or less). This also means that the units can be easily moved even after install. It can be moved from the front lot to the back alley in mere minutes and you will then have live 24/7 feed.
Furthermore, our units are more than just wireless cameras. Each automatically connects to the LVT Platform (our proprietary video management system) and can include multiple analytics and deterrents to help you protect your property. For example, the units can be set to alert you when someone wanders across your property during particular times a day or can even be set to patrol particular areas of your parking lot.
Hire security guards
Our last tip is the most extreme, has the highest cost, and is still not infallible. However, with that said, hiring guards is one of the most effective ways to make your property safer. Guards are the strongest deterrent. However, since guards are human, they are subject to certain failings like getting sick, being distracted, and more. That’s why we suggest supplementing their abilities with other security measures like cameras, alarms, and more.
Parking lots are far from a paved plot where people leave their cars. Your customers or patrons start and end their experience in your lot. However, you still want it to be boring and safe. If it is otherwise, customers will take their business elsewhere. LVT can help increase the safety in your parking lot. If you’re interested in learning how, fill out this form and get a free demo.