The parking industry is rapidly moving toward automated, unmanned lots, and garages. Automated ticket dispensers and payment options get drivers in and out quickly. But as parking operators cut manpower, they’re facing increased security and service challenges.
The latest reports from the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics show just how big that challenge is. About 7% of the country’s violent victimizations and 11% of property crimes occur in a commercial, non-commercial, or apartment/townhome parking facilities.
While parking facilities differ in size, type, and location, there are some best security practices that apply to all. They start with an audio intercom at the entry/exit gates and payment stations then continue with emergency stations throughout.
Intercoms built into the ticket dispensing and revenue control (payment) systems provide an instant two-way communication link between drivers and a security guard or facility operator. These intercoms are valuable during an emergency or equipment failure. They also can be used by customers to summon help with problems such as a dead battery or flat tire.
Emergency towers or wall-mounted stations are another important security tool. They offer two-way conversations, while a built-in camera helps security or facility operators better assess a situation. With their bright blue lights, they’re easy to locate and act as a criminal deterrent. Both stations can also broadcast emergency announcements.