Not only are parking garages seen as great places for criminal activity, but they are also a hot-spot for car accidents, fires, injuries and hazards for residents. 66 percent people engage in distracted driving while driving through a parking lot or deck, according to an opinion poll by The National Safety Council. This includes talking on the phone, texting, reading email, checking social media, using GPS, and watching videos. These factors coupled with the rates of property and violent crime that occur every single day in parking garages create an extremely unsafe environment for residents and guests alike. So what can you do as a property manager to ensure the safety of your residents and lower the volume of crime on your property? The vast majority of violent and property crimes in apartment complexes or multifamily communities happen in the parking garage, according to the FBI’s Crime Data Report. Take these steps at your property to lower the likelihood of crime, or stop a criminal event as it occurs.
- Use proper lighting
Parking garages by nature are extremely dark due to the grey color of the concrete that is used to build them. Dark spaces embolden criminals due to the ability to hide in corners and having less likelihood of being identified if caught on camera. Counteract this by investing in proper lighting for your garage. Not only will this drastically improve the atmosphere of the garage and make your residents feel automatically safer, but bright and well-lit spaces are known to deter criminals. Proper lighting also helps drivers at night be aware of any hazards in the road and become more aware of the road overall.
2. Use paint to Create a more Inviting Environment
Paint is a relatively low-cost method of making your parking garage safer. Painting the concrete-grey walls with a bright white can amplify the overhead lighting and reflect it all over the garage, causing there to be less dimly lit or shadowy spaces for a suspect to hide. Painting columns or other possible hazards with a bright orange or yellow color can alert drivers of a potential hazard and ensure less liability to the property if hit. An expert tip is to also paint the columns on each floor of the garage with a different vibrant color, to make finding a vehicle easier for a resident. It is much easier to remember you parked on the floor with the purple columns than remembering a floor number at the end of a day. Less time spent looking for a car results in less time to be stopped by a car jacker, less likelihood of getting mugged outside your car, and lower chances of getting hit by another car zooming down the garage.
3. Add Warning Surveillance Signs
Studies show that people engage in less criminal activity when they believe they’re being watched. “Area Under Video Surveillance” signs work well to deter crime by making people believe they’re constantly being watched and recorded. Video Surveillance and Security Solutions company ControlByNet uses a sign like the one here at every property they install cameras at. “Its all about making the criminal feel uncomfortable and the tenant feel safe. Think about it, you wouldn’t want to do something you aren’t supposed to be doing if you knew your image was being recorded and sent to our cloud servers,” says Ryan Strange, president of ControlByNet. A recent study surveyed 422 incarcerated burglars. They found that security signs were among the most considered security measures when evaluating a property for a potential burglary.
4. Actually Installing a Monitored Security System
With all that being said, the best way to effectively prevent crime on your property is to actually invest in a monitored surveillance security system. Dummy cameras and signs can only do so much, and prove useless in the event of an actual crime. Remote Guarding is an extremely cost effective solution to keeping your property safe 24/7/365. Remote guards cost 60% less than an on-site guard and in some cases can speak to the police about an event directly for you. ControlByNet’s remote guard solution coupled with their star service is the perfect combination for keeping your parking garage safe. The trained guards are alerted of any movement seen on the property through artificial intelligence and can then implement human intelligence to determine whether to call the police, first responders, or a concierge during a criminal event.
By nature, parking garages are unsafe places. Make sure to take the right precautions to ensure the safety of your residents their guests, and yourself as well. By adding video surveillance to a parking garage on your property, you can reduce your property’s liability, risk and insurance premiums. Additionally, it multiplies property and parking safety for customers, residents, and employees.