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How Lighting Impacts Parking Lot Security

In a parking lot, the most violent crimes occur in an urban area, stranger on stranger. It’s usually a purse snatch or strong-arm robbery, though occasionally you’ll also find a criminal involved in a carjacking with a possible abduction.

In a parking lot, we’re all strangers ripe for opportunity. The next time you’re in a parking lot, take a minute or two and watch how easy a crime can occur.

Shoppers walk to their cars oblivious of the their surroundings, totally consumed by their actions. They leave wares, purses, and bags in their carts while they fiddle with locks and move children inside the car. They watch their phones as if their lives depended on it; purses and bags, not so much. They fumble with keys and turn their backs to everyone who walks by.

In almost all cases of crime, a victim will say that the robber came out of nowhere. They didn’t see him until it was too late.

Safety comes from a well lit parking structure and ample people around to deter crime. Unfortunately, we can’t all utilize parking lots during the middle of the day when crowds are at their highest. Sometimes we have to walk out in the middle of the night. And in the dead of winter, when the sun dips down before many of us clock out for the day, we’ll be navigating offices, retail shopping and grocery store parking lots with only parking lights for guidance.

Parking lots are best described by the way they are designed and how they are used. Large office complexes may have lots of corners and walls, pillars and elevation changes. Large retail centers can have flat parking lots that seem to go on for miles. And while it may seem that a criminal would prefer the walls and dark corners associated with business complexes, the opposite is often true. Large flat parking lots give criminals the opportunity to watch their surrounding, choosing their victims carefully. They are also often near major thoroughfares, giving them quick access to escape and disappear.

When business owners and planners develop commercial property, they often design with standard guidelines as reference. But if you truly want to create a safe environment people feel comfortable in, take a few minutes and watch how your parking lot operates. Where are the dark corners? Where are the escape routes for would-be criminals? How far does lighting filter across the spaces?

Call the R.S. Andrews Electricians for Help in Atlanta

When you’re ready to make a change to the operations of your parking lights, give us a call.

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