With the holiday season approaching, daylight hours growing shorter, and busier crowds around shopping centers, we wanted to share some quick tips on how you can stay safe when utilizing parking garages and large parking lots. These areas are always prone to theft, vandalism, and other criminal incidents. By keeping these suggestions in mind, you can park with confidence!
Choose a Well-Lit and Secure Parking Lot
Although it may be tempting to save money by selecting a more budget friendly garage or parking space along the street, invest in your safety and opt in for a well-lit and secure location- even if it costs a couple dollars more. Choose a parking lot that provides proper lighting and security features such as surveillance cameras, visible security personnel, and restricted access points. If possible, choose a lot that is monitored 24/7 and has a dedicated security team.
Park in a Visible and Safe Location
When parking your vehicle, select a spot that is in a well-lit area and is visible from the main entrance or close to your access point. Avoid parking in dark, secluded areas, near dumpsters or other areas where individuals could potentially hide. Ideally, select a parking spot close to a security camera or guard shack.
Secure Your Vehicle
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your parking experience is safe, is to secure your vehicle. Always lock your doors and windows and ensure that your vehicle’s alarm is activated. If you have a steering wheel lock or other anti-theft devices, use it. Leave valuables at home, but if you must have them in your vehicle, keep them in the trunk. It is also very important to remove any mail or documents that can be seen from the windows with your personal information or home address on them. Never leave keys in your vehicle.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When entering or exiting a parking lot, be aware of your surroundings. Look around for any suspicious activity where individuals are loitering or potentially following you. Make sure to keep your cell phone down, and walk with intention and confidence keeping your eyes up. Do not be distracted, and always stay alert. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, do not hesitate to contact security personnel or law enforcement to assist you to your vehicle.
Follow Traffic Rules and Signs
To ensure a safe and efficient parking experience, it is essential to follow traffic rules and signs. Always drive slowly and obey speed limits, stop signs, and other traffic signals. Be mindful of pedestrians and other drivers, and always yield the right of way.
Report Suspicious Activity
If you notice any suspicious activity or witness a crime in a parking lot, do not hesitate to report it to the authorities. Contact security personnel or law enforcement immediately, and provide as much detail as possible about the incident.
By following these tips and best practices, you can minimize your risk of accidents and crimes and enjoy a worry-free parking experience.