Knowing Your Environment – A Parking Garage

Today we’ll talk about knowing your environment. More specifically, a parking garage. In a crowded urban setting, like that of a downtown city, parking garages are utilized enormously. Yet with all things that are practical in our society, come many aspects that are more a risk aversion than a helpful solution.

Part of “knowing your environment” is knowing its weaknesses. Be assured that those that wish to do harm, will do so by exploiting these weaknesses.

So what are the risks of a parking garage. Well, for one they are hard to maneuver in. Larger vehicles will have it’s maneuvering capabilities extremely limited due to the tight space. So getting into and out of a parking structure can be difficult, especially if you are having to egress in a hurry. Secondly, they are not as secure as one might think.

Limitations of Movement. Most parking structures have an entrance and exit that is easily accessible on foot. Meaning, someone who wishes to do harm doesn’t need a vehicle to access said parking structure. Regardless of whether of the not the gate is manned by security or building personnel (as most are not nowadays), a person on duty are usually there to process payment for the garage and will not question much less stop someone from entering the structure on foot. This is because many parking structures offer access to adjacent buildings, via elevator or stair access. This is limited as most of them are one way access doors for either maintenance of employee use. If you happen to be in a vehicle, most exits are right next to the entrance. If someone wished to trap someone in a parking structure, all they would have to do is take out the entrance/exit and bingo, you have trapped vehicles and people. This creates a highly limited capability of movement.

Visibility is very limited in parking structures. Tight corners and driving lanes diminish vision as it does movement. Lighting is placed and positioned for driving and not security. If a person is on foot, they can utilize the bad lighting to their advantage. Because of the lighting, even if a parking garage has security cameras, unless they are equipped with night vision, they will be limited in their surveillance ability. Also, because of the tight spaces and corners, a cameras view will be limited by blind spots and darker areas.

In retrospect, parking structures are in place for convenience and dealing with the problem of overcrowded parking lots. Looking at them from a security stand point, they are not very secure nor practical.

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