- Alan Ware
5 Parking Lot Security Improvements
Here are five simple parking lot changes your church can easily make to improve your parking security.
Handicap / Van Accessible Parking Spaces
Do you have enough handicap and van spots available for your members? The 2010 ADA regulations require the following:
Is your parking lot well-lit? Not only does this provide safety for pedestrians and drivers, but it's also a crime deterrent. Appropriate lighting during after-dark hours improves your members' personal safety (both from physical accidents or crime) as well as safety of vehicles. It provides illumination to possible hazards or dangerous areas, and gives a greater sense of personal safety. According to Electrical Contractor Magazine, "The important elements to consider when selecting the right light source for parking areas are light quality and uniformity. The objective should be brightness without glare, good color output, and sufficient light to prevent shadowy areas."
Shrubs and other Physical Surroundings
Do you have secluded areas, or physical obstacles (shrubs, wooded areas) in or around your parking lot that may provide hidden coverage for perpetrators and crime? Is there a physical environment that encourages loitering? The more you open your parking lot from physical barriers, the less dangerous areas there are within the lot.
Do you have paid or volunteer parking attendants to monitor your lots during services or events? Studies show people feel safer with parking attendants. This also provides a first line of defense against perpetrators. You'd rather notice a possible person of danger in the parking lot before they enter the building. This is the place where if something doesn't look right outside, it can avert a more sinister situation inside.
Do you have surveillance cameras for your lots? Oftentimes cameras deter criminals. Additionally, you'll be able to monitor parking lots and capture any events that may occur. Timely review of films will also help provide audits of what adjustments you may to need to make in regards to the safety of your lots.