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7 Parking Lot Safety Rules You Should Always Follow

Parking lot safety rules are essential to public well-being.  Fortunately, most of these rules are easy to remember and to follow.  Here’s a list of seven tips that can form the core of your public outreach efforts on the topic:

  1. Be on the alert for potential safety hazards, including cracks, fuzzy or nonexistent lot striping, missing or damaged signage, broken bottles, and potholes.  In inclement weather, look for problems like snow, ice, and puddles of water.
  2. Park as close as possible to overhead lighting, particularly during evening hours.  Besides discouraging crime, this makes it easier to spot problems like uneven pavement, broken or jutting pipes, or extruded building corners.
  3. When exiting the vehicle, take the straightest route possible to the destination building. Do not linger or wander around the lot.  Avoid texting, cell phone use, reaching into a purse or wallet, and other distractions while outside the auto.  This is one of the most important parking lot safety rules!
  4. Try to park away from any visual obstructions, like shrubs, bushes, trees, and retaining walls.  All of these are potential hiding places for criminals.
  5. Know the location of any emergency telephones within the lot.  Make sure your cell phone is on and ready to use at a moment’s notice, but avoid walking with it in your hand.  An iPhone or similar device can attract thieves if it’s clearly seen.
  6. Keep your keys in hand as you walk to and from your vehicle.  Not only will it be easier to enter and exit your car, but they can also serve as effective makeshift weapons in the event of an assault.
  7. Pay special attention during winter, particularly in areas where freezing temperatures are common.  Besides hazards like snow and ice, reduced visibility and the presence of snowplows and similar vehicles sometimes pose hazards.

Parking Lot Safety Rules for Lot Owners and Managers

Parking lot safety rules are not only for drivers; here’s a list of guidelines for lot owners and managers to follow:

  1. Keep the lot as brightly lit as possible.  For maximum benefit, it’s important that not only the lot itself but also surrounding buildings be well lit, especially at night.
  2. Install video cameras in the lot and announce their presence with prominently posted signs.  The best cameras use wireless signals to upload their content directly to Internet-based servers.  Cameras that use tapes or recordable DVDs are acceptable as well, as long as an attendant regularly replaces the physical media.
  3. Keep any potential visual obstructions, like shrubbery or trees, trimmed as low to the ground as possible to deny criminals a hiding spot.
  4. Install NO LOITERING and NO TRESPASSING signs across the lot.  Keep an eye out for loiterers and contact law enforcement immediately if you see suspicious persons or activities.
  5. If budget permits, hire private security officers to enforce the parking lot safety rules.  If this is not possible, then maintain a close working relationship with local law enforcement and ask the officers to routinely patrol the lot.
  6. While public pay phones have disappeared from most places, they can still be found in some areas, including parking lots.  To discourage loiterers, however, you should ask the phone company to disallow incoming calls on these phones.
  7. Form an alliance with local business owners; doing so will allow you and others to pool resources and enforce parking lot safety rules.

Conclusion

The need for secure parking areas will only increase as economic development continues around the globe.  Nothing can stop all crime from taking place.  However, by following the parking lot safety rules outlined in this post, you can enhance public safety and discourage criminal activity.