Using a parking garage is an everyday occurrence for many people, especially in the City of Orlando and on college campuses such as UCF and Valencia College. Approximately 39 million people in the United States make their homes in apartment complexes, many of which rely on parking garages to accommodate their residents’ vehicles. It’s such a regular occurrence in the routine that we forget that there are potential dangers when traversing these garages alone, especially after regular business hours have passed. We’ll be going over some tips on how you can help in creating a safer environment in parking garages.
The first tip is to put away distractions when walking to or from the car. Distractions include cell phones and tablets; these items should be put away before exiting and entering the garage. With these items stowed, you will be able to give the environment around you your full attention. Being aware of your surroundings is vital in creating a safer setting as it makes those using the garage a more challenging target for thieves. If you see a suspicious character lingering around the garage, exit immediately and flag down security or a parking attendant to assist you. It is always better to be safe than sorry in these scenarios.
This next tip is the buddy system. Whether you are leaving work or just grabbing something out of your car, try to bring someone with you. Being alone in a garage at night when there’s less foot traffic limits those who will be around in the event of an emergency.
Employers should provide memos that encourage the buddy system after working hours to prompt a safe walk back. Furthermore, those working late during this last quarter should have access to a security guard or parking attendant to escort them back to their vehicle.
Be Mindful of Where You Park
Try to park on the first level of the garage to be easier to exit the building. If you are parking on the upper levels, be mindful of lighting and distance from an appropriate exit. If it is a poorly lit spot that will be a further walk for you later, it is a good idea to keep looking. Take note of where you park. This way, you will spend less time wandering through the garage later, searching for your vehicle.
As a business owner, it is essential to note the important role lighting plays in making parking garages a safe space. If you notice any darker areas on the security feed, consider placing more lighting in that area. This way, security can clearly see what is happening in the garage at all times. It can be costly always to have these lights on, but a motion sensor can significantly reduce this cost and alert security when there is movement in space.
Have Your Keys Ready
When heading back towards your vehicle, you should already have your keys in hand. This is an easy tip that prevents you from wasting time blindly searching for your keys in the depths of a purse or backpack. When you’re looking through your bag, that distraction is an opportune moment for a stranger to sneak up on you. Avoid becoming a target by having your keys ready to go before heading into the garage.
In addition, the panic button on your keys can help deter thieves and get the attention of those nearby to help you. By having a security guard patrolling the garage, they will quickly respond in these situations, ensuring the well-being of employees and residents alike.
These are just a few ways you can be proactive in staying safe in a parking garage. Many accidents can be preventable if you take the right approach by placing safety as the number one priority