The Complete Guide to Making Your Parking Garage Safer

The Complete Guide to Making Your Parking Garage Safer

Posted by William Kimmell on 15th Sep 2023

Building tenants and visitors appreciate using parking garages for convenience and vehicle protection. However, crime, collisions, and environmental hazards can make parking garages dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.

Safeguard people and property with a mix of technical and simple solutions. Use this complete guide to making your parking garage safer to reduce common risks.

Regulate Entry

Regulating entry into the parking garage helps prevent unauthorized access, reducing the risk of criminal activity. Theft is one significant threat that a gated parking system can decrease.

An access control system typically includes entry and exit controls that collect payments or require identification verification. The systems can also monitor and control traffic flow. A single, centralized computer system often operates entry and exit points throughout the entire parking garage.

The system can scan vehicles’ license plates or drivers’ credentials. The system will open the gate or door for authorized cars but keep the pathway closed for unauthorized vehicles.

Use Clear Signage

Clear and informative signage helps control traffic flow, reduce confusion, and enhance emergency responses. Provide a smooth experience for parking garage users and help prevent accidents with well-placed signs.

Signs can indicate the following essential information:

  • Directions
  • Parking space availability
  • Entrance and exit areas
  • Lane directions
  • Speed
  • Locations
  • Security signs, such as signs calling attention to security cameras

Place signs near driving lanes and at about eye level for drivers. Signs should be large, clean, and clear for visibility and readability.

Create Safe Pedestrian Pathways

Pedestrians should use safe pathways while walking in the garage. Pedestrian crossing signs and brightly painted walkways and crosswalks enhance protection.

While signs and painted spots can attract driver attention, speed bumps and other speed control tools prompt compliance. Bollards spaced three to five feet apart allow pedestrians to move freely but prevent vehicles from entering pedestrian areas.

Ventilate the Garage

Collisions are not the only vehicular hazard in parking garages. Automobile emissions contain harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These gases can become highly concentrated in garages because these facilities are quite enclosed.

Ventilation improves air quality overall, flushing out stale air and bringing in fresh air. Parking garages can also house unpleasant odors from fuel, vehicle exhaust, and other sources. Proper ventilation ensures safety and comfort.

Tip: Monitor Gas Levels

Hazardous gases may cause dizziness, headaches, seizures, comas, nausea, and worse. Monitor the concentration of dangerous gases with a parking garage gas detection system.

You can mount a fixed gas monitor to detect gases within a specific area continuously. Gas monitors can activate ventilation systems on-demand, helping you save on energy bills while ensuring a compliant and safe facility. Standalone and network gas detectors also notify you when gases reach preset limits.

Install Security Cameras

Installing security cameras can deter crime or help catch perpetrators of vandalism, theft, and break-ins. Cameras should cover parking garage entries, exits, and stairwells. A security consultant can install cameras so that feeds overlap and there are no blind spots.

Security cameras may have special features that make them more suitable for different areas within the facility. For example, weatherproof cameras can monitor areas right outside the parking garage structure. Security cameras can also come with motion-activated floodlights that improve each camera’s visibility and discourage criminal activity.

Consider Hiring Security Guards

Security guards enforce regulations for safe and efficient parking facility use. Guards can perform the following tasks:

  • Prevent unauthorized people from using reserved spots
  • Keep emergency lanes clear
  • Deter criminal activity
  • Monitor and respond to suspicious activity
  • Assist garage users, such as escorting them to their vehicles

If you don’t want security guards on duty regularly, you may want to hire them for special events, such as festivals or concerts. Guards will help keep visitors safe and promote order by ensuring all drivers follow the rules.

Provide Blue Light Emergency Phones

Blue light emergency phones connect callers to emergency personnel. Garage occupants can use the telephones to report a crime, accident, medical issue, or an alarming event.

While most people in the US carry cell phones with them everywhere in public, cell phones don’t replace the functionality of blue light emergency phones. For example, first responders know the exact location of emergency phones, helping them reach callers quickly.

Blue light phones are also more reliable than cell phones. Cell networks are much more likely to experience service interruptions than blue light phones, especially in parking garages.

These emergency phones are brightly colored and feature a bright blue light on top. Just like security cameras, the visibility of emergency call boxes can deter crime.

Install and Maintain Fire Safety Equipment

Prepare your parking facility to prevent, detect, and respond to fires. Several factors make fire safety particularly challenging in parking garages. These facilities have a high fuel load due to the presence of vehicles.

The ramps in enclosed car parks can help smoke and fire spread quickly. There may also be many people in the garage, and they might lack familiarity with the garage, which makes it more challenging to escape to safety.

Fire safety equipment should include the following:

  • Smoke detectors and alarms
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency lighting
  • Evacuation plans

Install Lights at the Right Brightness Levels

Poorly lit parking facilities are less safe for traffic and can increase the risk of physical assault. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Building Code (IBC), and local jurisdictions set garage lighting standards.

Tips for Lighting Different Areas

Brightly lit ramps and entrance areas help drivers’ eyes adjust to the higher outdoor light levels during the day. Entrances and exits should be the brightest, followed by ramps, with parking areas having the lowest light levels.

Parking areas should have uniform lighting to reduce shadows. Consistent lighting increases pedestrian visibility, and well-lit stairwells help minimize hazards such as assaults, trips, and falls.

Gas Monitors From TG Technical Services

As this complete guide to making your parking garage safer shows, facility owners and managers must take multiple approaches to protect occupants. Various systems and procedures optimize the garage and minimize collisions, crime, hazardous gas accumulation, and fire damage.

TG Technical Services provides state-of-the-art gas detectors for parking facilities. Monitor carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and more with our accurate and responsive technology. Shop with us today for standalone and network detectors.

The Complete Guide to Making Your Parking Garage Safer