Parking lots and valet services provide your customers, visitors, or patients with a convenient way to access your store, hotel, restaurant, or healthcare facility. While these amenities help create a positive experience, without the proper safety measures they can also be a source of liability. Among the many parking lot safety practices to follow, consider these tips to help protect your employees as well as visitors, vehicles, and other property. Frequency of inspection will depend on your findings, types of repairs needed, usage, condition, weather, and nearby hazards.
- Ensure that perimeter security, such as fencing, is in good condition and well-maintained. Before installing, work with your legal counsel and local law enforcement authorities to determine the best type.
- Maintain highly visible, tested, and properly functioning emergency panic alarms and communication systems.
- Ensure that cashier booth workers have 360-degree views.
- For employees working alone, such as cashier booth workers or security staff, offer two-way communication so they can summon central dispatch or patrols at any time.
- Require that roaming security staff report suspicious vehicles, packages, or other irregular and uncommon events or items. Be sure protocol dictates that they contact local emergency authorities when necessary.
- Require security workers to follow a written policy for dealing with and/or helping motorists who need assistance with their vehicles, such as retrieving keys from inside a locked vehicle or providing a jump start.
- Supply cashier booths with working carbon monoxide detectors if portable heaters are used.
- Provide employees with a means of reporting emergencies to law enforcement or medical response teams.
- Provide and follow specific protocols to inspect vehicles for property and contents, damage, and any unusual conditions before parking them, and document inspections.
- Install video surveillance cameras that pan the full parking area from border to border. Use off-site surveillance to monitor cameras.
- Maintain special protocols to address oversized vehicles or those with dual-back tires (e.g., the vehicles are parked in a special area, are parked off-site, or are prohibited).
- Store keys for valet-parked vehicles in a secured/lockable area.