Parking areas are danger zones. You are vulnerable to theft, assault and other violence when you travel from a workplace or shopping area to the relative safety of your vehicle. This is particularly true at night and off-shift hours when there are fewer people around. If you follow the news you already know that these types of crimes are on the rise across the country. With that being said, here are some safe parking strategies you can follow.

1. Park only in well-lit areas and avoid parking next to vans or thick shrubbery. Don’t walk near vans either. Within seconds the doors could slide open, someone could grab you and just as quickly close the doors and take off.

2. Park near building entrances rather than in isolated areas of the parking lot or parking garage. Try and choose a parking space that is visible from the building lobby or from the street.

3. Use parking escort services or travel to and from your vehicle with co-workers.

4. Find your vehicle key before you leave the building for the parking area, so you’re not searching for them when you reach your vehicle. Carry your key in your hand in the position you would use to open your door. The key can be used as a weapon if you are threatened. To discourage thieves, carry your wallet in an inside pocket. Hold your purse/bag/briefcase securely but be prepared to let it go rather than risk injury by defending it.

5. Look around before you head for your car, watching for loiterers and observe other vehicles, particularly vehicles with someone in them. Stay clear of vehicles with darkly tinted windows which could conceal occupants.

6. As you approach your automobile, look under it and beside it to make sure there isn’t someone hiding. Before entering the vehicle, check in the back seat for a possible intruder.

7. Be suspicious if you return to your vehicle and find a flat tire. This could be an attempt to catch you off guard, so you can be attacked.

8. Lock the doors as soon as you enter your vehicle. Keep them locked when you are driving and when you leave it parked. In parking garages, avoid isolated areas such as stairwells. If you are staying later than you expected, move your vehicle to a less isolated spot before it gets dark.

9. Lock valuables in the trunk and don’t leave identifying documents such as insurance papers exposed on the seats.

Want to learn more about how you can create a safer and more secure parking environment for your employees?
Visit Security Concepts and talk to one of our reps for complimentary safety analysis of your property.