Tips: Parking Garage Safety
For violent crimes, parking garages and lots are ranked second after crimes committed on residential property. Specifically, in parking garages, dim lighting combined with several parked vehicles make it easy for criminals to hide.
"Activities such as looking for car keys, talking on a cell phone and juggling packages while walking through a parking facility decrease awareness levels, which increases the potential of an attack," says Steve Jones, executive vice president and COO, Universal Protection Service, which provides innovative fire/life safety programs and electronic security solutions.
Although facility layout plays an important role in reducing the violent incidents that can occur, drivers can safeguard themselves by adhering to the recommendations that follow.
- Identify entrances and exits when entering a parking facility.
- If possible, park next to entrances or in open and well-lit areas.
- Always roll up windows, close the sunroof and lock the doors before leaving your car.
- Avoid leaving valuables in your car; don't leave your cell phone plugged in to the cigarette lighter and in plain view.
- When returning to your vehicle keep your keys in hand and walk with a purpose.
- Trust your instinct, if you do not feel comfortable ask a security officer to escort you to your vehicle.
- Report any suspicious activity immediately to security.
- Do not linger around your car, prepare to enter the car quickly and drive away.
- Keep the doors locked and windows up until you have exited the facility.