Pay Attention to Where you Park

February 24 | By LED National

Dear Property Owners,
If the lighting in the parking garage and parking lot sucks, fix it.
Thanks,
Sarah

I am writing this because a family member of mine was a witness to a horrible crime that very likely would have been prevented with adequate security in the parking lot. I have intentionally left out some details to protect people, but here is the story.
At this hospital, the employees have been complaining about the parking situation for a long time. The complaints are always something along the lines of this, “the lighting is horrible, it’s in a high-crime neighborhood, we need security, and nobody feels safe walking into this lot/garage at night”. On this night just before the Thanksgiving holiday, an employee was leaving the location and was robbed trying to get to her car. Something went wrong during the robbery and this woman was shot in the face. Despite this, she managed to get into her car in the parking lot, drive to the ambulance entrance of the hospital she works at and then frantically bang on the door for help. My family member was the person who let this woman back into the hospital. The victim of this horrible crime was banging on the door, bleeding everywhere, missing a large portion of her face and desperately needed medical attention to save her life. She saved her own life getting back into the building before she lost consciousness. The human will to survive is truly amazing.

 

Keeping Your Employees, Tenants, Customers and Visitors Safe

In the above story, this woman was in a situation she could not avoid. People must park at their place of employment, period. What is both tragic and infuriating is that this employer should have acted a long time ago to improve the safety and security of their employees coming to and leaving work. I am sure that this company will pay a lot in damages and legal fees. As they should!

Fact: Good lighting is one of the few features in a parking facility that has been documented to reduce crime.

The National Institute of Justice published this common-sense finding over 20 years ago in 1996. There is no excuse for poor lighting in parking areas! Property owners, employers and business leaders, hear this warning: If you are not taking reasonable steps to keep your employees, tenants and customers safe, it will likely cost you a lot more in the long run. Not to mention, if you have a conscience, I’m sure you don’t want a story like the one I just shared weighing on it.

 

Keeping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe

No matter the time of year, we are all busy preparing for parties, shopping for gifts, preparing to visit relatives, getting the house ready for visiting guests, finalizing the semester with your kids, planning for your next big meeting, and the list goes on. The point here is that we are all busy, and therefore distracted at many times during the year. With distraction, comes opportunity for criminals. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you are distracted that will help you stay safe going to and leaving your car.

  1. Pick your Parking Spot Wisely: If it’s dark, don’t park. Look for well-lit areas to park your car. If the entire parking lot or parking garage is poorly lit, consider other locations. If you don’t have other options, ask for management and let them know they need to do something about it. If they have a website and social media accounts, post your concerns there too. Your social media posts go a long way when it comes to helping positive changes happen.
  2. Get off Your Phone: There are a lot of distracted drivers at this time of year and people get hit by cars in parking lots quite often. You can’t be aware of your surroundings, and potential danger, if you are staring down at your phone.
  3. Ask for Help Getting to Your Car: If you’re alone and you have a bad feeling, listen to your intuition. Ask an employee to help you get to your car.
  4. Have your Keys Ready: I’m guilty of this, standing in a parking garage alone at night digging through my purse for my keys. That moment of distraction can be an opportunity that you don’t want a bad person to have. Get those keys out of your pockets or purse before you leave the building.