When securing business premises, parking lot security is just as crucial as securing the rest of the site. This is because it usually involves easy entry and exit and people carrying valuable items at all times during the day.

Moreover, after going through busy roads and traffic jams, drivers usually let their guard down and stop paying attention to their surroundings, which results in over 50,000 accidents a year in parking lots.

This blog talks about improve parking lot security and how parking lots can be made more secure for employees as well as visitors.

Why Is Parking Lot Security Necessary?

Parking lots are often the target of crimes such as theft, vandalism, assault, and even murder. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 1 in 10 property crimes and 1 in 14 violent crimes occur in parking lots or garages. These crimes not only pose a threat to the safety of customers and employees, but also damage the reputation and revenue of businesses that own or operate parking lots.

A major reason for this is that drivers often focus less on their surroundings while driving. Drivers talking or looking at their phones is a common occurrence. This paired with the confusing layout of parking lots and the large number of pedestrians walking around, makes parking lots more prone to accidents. Moreover, traffic law violations in parking lots increase, which can cause more accidents.

One of the most effective ways to prevent and deter parking lot crimes and improve employee safety is to install security cameras. A study by the Urban Institute found that security cameras reduced crime by up to 51% in parking lots. In malls, schools, retail stores, airports and everywhere else that has parking lots, security systems play an important role in customer and employee safety.

The benefit of Improve Parking Lot Security

Deterrent for Crime

Implementing parking lot security reduces the risk of crime such as theft, vandalism, assault and others. They act as a deterrent because signage and visible security cameras show that the site is under surveillance and the chance of getting caught is greater.

Evidence Collection

Parking lot security systems provide evidence in case of a crime. Security cameras can help recognize faces, record how the crime went down, and record license plates in case a car was involved. This data can be used by law enforcement as well as insurance companies for their due diligence and to investigate the incident.

Improve Customer Safety

Security systems, specifically cameras, can help prevent accidents in dangerous areas. This improves customer safety because monitoring those areas can help remove hazards and prevent injuries. They can also help in complying with workplace safety regulations to avoid criminal and civil liability.

Enforce Parking Rules

Having and monitoring security systems helps enforce parking rules which not only improve efficiency, but also ensure driver and pedestrian safety. Proper signage and instructions can also help in this regard.

Reduce Insurance Costs

Insurance premiums are higher for more accident-prone business sites, or ones that have seen more instances of crime. Security systems can help comply with insurance company’s standards, and can also help lower premiums since the business is seen to be taking steps to secure their site better.

Sense of Safety For Everyone

Parking lot security creates a sense of confidence in both the employees as well as the customer. Knowing that the parking lot is well-lit, secure and monitored makes them feel safe and gives peace of mind to operations managers and the owners of the business. This leads to increased customer satisfaction ratings as well, which are a positive indicator for businesses.

Tips To Improve Parking Lot Security

Security cameras alone are insufficient to ensure a safe and secure parking lot. Other factors need to be considered to enhance the effectiveness of security cameras and reduce the risk of parking lot crimes.

Here are some of the best practices for improving parking lot security:

Install Proper Lighting in Parking Lots

Proper lighting in parking lot

A well-lit parking lot can make it easier for security cameras to capture clear images and videos and make it harder for criminals to hide or escape. Lighting can also increase the visibility and comfort of customers and employees, especially at night or in bad weather. Make sure to install adequate lighting throughout the parking lot, especially in dark or secluded areas, and check regularly for any broken or dim bulbs.

Use Clear Signage

parking lot signs

Signage can help direct traffic, inform customers and employees of the rules and regulations, and warn potential criminals of the presence and consequences of security cameras. Signage can also help customers and employees locate emergency exits, phones, or panic buttons in case of an emergency. Make sure to use clear and visible signs that are easy to read and understand, and place them strategically in prominent locations.

Implement Access Control

Parking lot access control

Access control can limit the entry and exit of vehicles and pedestrians to authorized personnel only, reducing the chances of unauthorized or unwanted visitors. Access control can also help track and monitor the activity and movement of vehicles and pedestrians, creating a record of who enters and exits the parking lot. Access control can be achieved by using gates, barriers, fences, locks, cards, codes, or biometrics.

Ensure Security System Maintenance

Parking lot security Camera

A security system is only as good as its maintenance. A faulty or outdated security system can compromise the quality and reliability of security cameras, as well as expose the parking lot to cyberattacks or hacking. Make sure to regularly inspect and update the security system, including the cameras, wires, servers, software, and storage devices. Also, make sure to backup the data and footage from the security cameras in case of a system failure or loss.

Pick The Right Security Cameras

Not all security cameras are created equal. Different types of security cameras have different features, functions, and capabilities that suit different needs and environments.

To choose the right security cameras for your parking lot, here are the features to look for:

  • High Resolution: High-resolution cameras can capture more details and clarity, making it easier to identify faces, license plates, and other important information.

  • Wide dynamic range (WDR): WDR cameras can balance the exposure and contrast of bright and dark areas, making it possible to see clearly in challenging lighting conditions, such as glare, shadows, or backlight. This is crucial because parking lots see bright headlights that hamper camera footage.

  • Night vision: Night vision cameras can see in the dark, using infrared (IR) LEDs or thermal imaging, making it possible to monitor the parking lot 24/7.

  • Weatherproof: Weatherproof cameras can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, wind, or dust, making it possible to operate in outdoor environments.

  • Vandal-proof: Vandal-proof cameras can resist physical damage, such as tampering, cutting, or smashing, making it possible to protect the cameras from criminals or vandals.

  • Video Analytics Features: Features like motion detection, vehicle tracking and more are required in parking lots, specifically with a large number of vehicles moving in and out throughout the day.

  • Two-Way Audio: Security cameras for parking lots should have two-way audio in case the security personnel or monitoring agents need to talk to trespassers or potential criminals.

Live Video And Alarm Monitoring

alarm monitoring toronto

Live video and alarm monitoring can provide real-time surveillance and response to any incidents or emergencies in the parking lot. Live video monitoring can allow security personnel or a third-party service to watch and analyze the footage from the security cameras, and take appropriate action, such as contacting the authorities, activating alarms, or speaking to the offenders. Alarm monitoring can also allow security personnel to respond to any alarms triggered by the security system, such as motion, intrusion, or fire detection.

Install Phones And Panic Buttons

phone booth in parking lot

Phones and panic buttons can provide a quick and easy way for customers and employees to contact security personnel or the authorities in case of an emergency. Panic buttons can be installed in strategic locations throughout the parking lot, such as near the entrances, exits, elevators, or staircases. They can also be connected to the security system or a third-party service, allowing them to send alerts and notifications to the relevant parties.

Install Mobile Surveillance Trailers

Surveillance cameras on the street

For places that require a make-shift arrangement for surveillance, or that require coverage for a short while, mobile surveillance trailers like Lot Cop can also be used. These are trailers with extendable and retractable poles with security cameras attached. These trailers have their own power and can be wheeled around as needed.

Parking lot security involves implementing mobile surveillance towers since parking lots cover large areas and require independent power sources. For this, lot cops and other mobile surveillance trailers are effective parking lot security solutions.

Best Cameras For Improve Parking Lot Security

Security cameras are one of the most effective tools for preventing and deterring parking lot crimes. Network cameras or IP cameras for parking lot security are necessary for a robust and secure system.

Bullet cameras

Bullet cameras can be mounted on the wall or pole. They have a visible and sturdy design that can act as a deterrent and withstand vandalism. They can also zoom and focus on a specific area or object. IP Bullet cameras like the Avigilon H5A and the Axis Q17 Series offer AI video analytics, built-in IR for low light conditions, and rugged design for outdoor usage.

Infrared PTZ cameras

IP PTZ cameras cover a large area and multiple angles. They can also be controlled remotely or automatically to follow a preset pattern or track a moving object. Infrared capability makes sure that coverage is done round-the-clock, even in the dark.

IP Camera models by Avigilon like the H5A IR PTZ camera are a good option for securing parking lots. They offer built-in IR capability and rugged design ideal for outdoor use. Similar models by Axis Communications like the Q86 Series offer thermal imaging and weather-proof design for coverage in all conditions.

License plate recognition (LPR) cameras

LPR cameras capture and recognize license plates of vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot. They can also store and compare the license plate data with a database or a blacklist, alerting the authorities of any suspicious or wanted vehicles.

IP bullet cameras like the Axis Communications P14 Series offer optimized IR and high resolution which makes them ideal for usage as License Plate Recognition cameras. Similarly, IP bullet cameras from Avigilon like the H5A series offer advanced video analytics features, which, paired with OCR software, acts as an LPR camera ideal for parking lot security.

Other cameras like multi-sensor, dual head, and 360-degree cameras can also be used for parking lot security depending on the budget and business-specific requirements. This decision can also be based on the number of cameras to be installed and the areas that need to be covered.

Looking For Parking Lot Security In Canada?

Parking lot security in Canada is a major issue. With such a large number of crimes happening in parking lots, it is crucial to implement a robust security system to prevent them. Spotter Security offers parking lot security system design, security camera installation, and maintenance.

With over 20 years of experience in the security industry and expertise from securing businesses across various industries, Spotter Security knows the challenges you face and how to solve them. Contact Spotter Security for a consultation on how you can improve your parking lot security.

Written by : Carlo Di Leo

At the age of 24, with no experience in the security industry or any money in the bank, Carlo quit his job and started Spotter Security from his parent's basement. Founded in 2004, Spotter grew from a single man operation into a multi-million dollar security system integrator that caters to businessess and construction sites across Canada.

Contact Us

Free Up Your Time To Get Back To Your Most Important Work