No one wants to arrive at work and find their vehicle has been vandalized, damaged, or stolen. A good way to avoid this is by taking the proper precautions and following some simple steps to help protect your employees and customers from vandalism and theft.

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner/manager is to take precautions to help protect your employees and customers from incidents of vandalism or theft.

Ensure proper lighting

Keeping your parking lot illuminated properly can deter criminals from doing illegal activities. It would be a smart solution to use LED lights for parking lot lighting as they are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and longer-lasting than regular fluorescent light bulbs. You need to keep your company parking lot well-lit the entire evening, and LED lights can keep up with the demand.  With power outages, there are several ways you can keep your parking lot lit. Use generators, solar-powered lighting, or location-based dusk to dawn lights. If possible, use motion sensors for the lights as well. This will save on energy costs and help prevent criminals from being alerted to people’s movements in the area.

Implement an ID system

Require each employee to have their own forms of identification upon entering the company parking lot so that if it is ever breached, they can be held accountable for not following proper safety precautions. Include a place where all employees have filled out information about themselves that will be able to be found by authorities should something happen to them while they are traveling through the parking lot. This also applies to any visitors. Having security guards stationed in parking lot entrances/exits helps ensure that security protocols, logs, and ID checks are followed.

Designate a separate area for your parking lot

When designing your parking lot, make sure you are keeping it as separate from the other buildings as possible. This will help to decrease the chances of an attack if someone were to manage to breach your perimeter. Also, use gates and turnstiles for slow entry, but only allow one entrance in and out of the area. If there is more than one way into an area that criminals know has potential victims, then they will be less likely to attempt invading that space because their success rate would go down significantly.

Install security cameras

Install security cameras to monitor movements that happen in the parking lot and to deter any criminal activity attempts. Strategically place the cameras where they are visible to those on the parking lot while also having the best vantage point that leaves little to no blind spots.  Also, if you have security cameras installed, it is wise to let your employees know where they are, show them what footage can be accessed by whom, etc. Doing this will make them feel more secure, because they know who’s watching out for them, and it will let them know you are serious about protecting your business.

Train employees in implementing security measures

Business owners and managers need to get their employees involved in keeping the company secure. It will give employees a sense of accountability and also foster trust between employer and employee. Train employees on how to properly react when suspicious activity is noticed in their area, whether it be graffiti on a wall, someone loitering in the car park, or anything that does not look right. The last thing you want is for your employees to sit around doing nothing. It will only strengthen the idea that there are no consequences for committing crimes against company property.

Employees make up a large part of your company’s population and they are widely dispersed around company premises during work hours. Take advantage of this and make the employees your first line of defense when it comes to catching criminals or stopping suspicious activity before damage occurs. It is up to you as a manager/business owner to create an environment where employees feel safe standing up for what they believe in when trying to stop criminal acts from occurring. The last thing you want is for an employee who has valuable information and did not tell anyone because they feared for their safety.

Keep in constant contact with employees

Knowing that there is someone out there looking out for the safety of employees and of the company’s property will give them the motivation to remain vigilant. Encourage an open and accessible communication line between owners/managers and employees. If they notice something unusual, they’re more likely to report it to management instead of brushing it off.

Encourage customers and clients to be vigilant as well

It is also important to keep in mind that it’s not solely up to you and your employees. You must encourage customers and clients to get involved as well. They might notice someone acting suspiciously, or they may have witnessed an incident of vandalism occurring while they were at the business. Customers need to be made aware that security cameras are installed on company property, and that they can contact management if something unusual occurs.

With the safety of your employees and property at hand, you must take things seriously. By utilizing tips like those stated above, you will create an environment where people do not fear reporting unusual activity occurring on company property, but rather feel safe knowing that someone out there has their back.