Car parks can often be a hotbed for security issues, ranging from theft and vandalism to unauthorised access and misuse of parking spaces. For this reason, it’s crucial to implement a robust car park security solution.
We explore the key elements to consider when designing and implementing security measures for car parks to ensure the safety of all users and vehicles.
Assess Site-Specific Risks and Requirements
The first step is identifying potential vulnerabilities and risks. Consider factors like the car park’s size, location, lighting conditions, existing security, and usage levels at different times of the day. It’s also beneficial to review past incidents to identify recurring issues needing tighter security.
Common car park security risks include:
- Theft of vehicles
- Break-ins and theft from vehicles
- Vandalism and criminal damage
- Antisocial behaviour like drug use or drinking
Once you’ve assessed the risks, appropriate security measures can be implemented to target priority issues.
Layer Physical Barriers and Access Control
Rather than relying solely on a perimeter fence that can be easily compromised, install multiple barriers, creating layered access control zones. This approach uses vehicle-resistant bollards, barriers, and rated gates to filter access towards cars.
Bollards: The First Line of Defence
There are several different types of bollards, each with its own unique application, including:
- Fixed bollards: These permanent fixtures are vital for creating physical barriers in areas where vehicle entry is unnecessary.
- Automatic bollards: Ideal for dynamic environments, they can be lowered or raised based on access needs, making them perfect for controlled entry points.
- Semi-automatic bollards: These offer a compromise between fixed and fully automated systems, which is useful for locations with occasional vehicle access requirements.
- Removable bollards: For areas that require temporary access control, these bollards offer flexibility and ease of use.
- High-vehicle mitigation (HVM) bollards: Essential for high-risk areas, these bollards are designed to withstand significant impacts, protecting against potential vehicular attacks.
Rising Arm Barriers
Installed after the initial bollard line, rising arm barriers provide the next stage of access control before vehicles reach parking zones. They are especially useful for wide vehicle entrances.
Internal Zone Barriers
Subdivide larger car parks into separate zones restricting unapproved vehicles from entering certain areas. This way, you can protect loading bays, pedestrian zones, or fire exits.
Integrate Access Control Technology
Modern barrier systems incorporate intelligent technology for convenient, automated access control. Integration options include:
- Access control keypads and card readers: Authorised staff/visitors enter access codes or swipe entry cards to raise barriers and lower bollards without leaving their vehicles.
- ANPR: Automatic number plate recognition cameras grant barrier/bollard access to approved vehicle registrations listed on a database.
- Remote controls: Issue security fobs enabling drivers and pedestrian staff secure one-touch control over barriers/bollards when entering legitimate access zones.
- Timed operation settings: Barriers can be pre-programmed to operate on schedules, raising or lowering at certain times to control access.
Install Surveillance Systems
CCTV systems provide 24/7 monitoring and an invaluable evidence source if an incident occurs. Position cameras to capture clear footage of entry and exit points, barriers, payment machines, and as much of the car parking area as possible. Infrared and motion-activated cameras can boost night-time visibility.
Effective lighting deters criminal activity and enables staff and CCTV systems to maintain full visibility. Uniform white lighting using LEDs reduces shadows. Reflective paint on barriers, bollards, and kerbs also enhances visibility for drivers, preventing accidents. Similarly, well-marked parking bays prevent obstructive parking, which can block sight lines.
Provide Security Presence
While barriers and surveillance technology form the first line of defence, security guards provide an added visible deterrent and ability to respond directly to developing situations. They should conduct routine patrols, particularly during quieter periods where opportunistic crime is more likely.
Macs Bollards: Your Partner in Car Park Security
When it comes to car park security, Macs Bollards is a trusted partner. Our products cater to various security needs, whether you require fixed bollards for perimeter protection or automatic bollards for flexible, controlled access.
Macs Automated Bollard Systems Ltd specialise in the nationwide supply of automatic rising bollards. Our experts keep the Macs Bollards blog updated with all the latest bollard news!