How Barriers can be used effectively in car parks

Sometimes the strongest of solutions come in the simplest of forms. When it comes to creating a safe, secure, and well-transitioned car park – barriers play a critical role, Let’s take a look in detail at how barriers can be used effectively in car parks.
Site owners know that access control is incredibly important when it comes to managing car parks. Ensuring that traffic can flow easily, but still be monitored and managed responsibly is essential to providing a positive experience for visitors. After all, a car park that is unsafe or outdated is likely to be unappealing to drivers, and lead to dwindling numbers and uptake.

Managing entry points

One of the most effective ways to manage that traffic is through the use of an automated barrier system installed at entry points. Automatic barriers require electricity to operate, they are built to high specifications and are difficult for criminals to bypass.

In public settings, barriers can be used to slow down traffic and ensure that payment procedures are adhered to, and in private settings, they can help prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering your site. Equally, they can be used to partition specific areas of a car park for staff or delivery vehicles. Automatic barriers require no manpower and can be operated through an array of different entry configuration methods: granting movement through tokens, tickets, pins, or codes.

An experienced provider will be able to design a system that fits the particular needs of your site. This means taking into account the type of car park that you operate, be it public or private, the availability of staff and manned guards, the type of vehicles that need access to your site, the availability of electricity, and the space that you have to work with. This ensures that you are given recommendations bespoke to your business, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that could provide you with headaches later on down the line. They will also be able to provide you with maintenance and support when you need it.

Additional equipment

We take a holistic approach to site security and there are times when car parks may require additional equipment in order to strengthen their facilities. One such piece of equipment that can greatly benefit car parks is our new ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) System.

With direct access to a specialist server, our access GUARDIAN ANPR can identify vehicles that are either whitelisted or blacklisted and grant permissions on those basis. It can control flow to private areas, blacklist troublesome vehicles, and save money on staffing. Equally, it can be used to monitor staff from an HR perspective and clock entry and exit times.

For car parks where overstays and unauthorised long-term parking issues have become problems then another option may be height-restrictor barriers. These prevent access for particularly high vehicles such as lorries or caravans. Find out more here.

Gateway Automation provides a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, access control equipment, barriers, and other perimeter security equipment too.
To find out more, contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure here

Protecting your business this Christmas

Securing your business at ChristmasMany businesses such as offices, schools and factories are are shut between Christmas and New Year. Although this break is much appreciated by employees, business managers need to ensure that security is up to scratch as it is often during this quiet period that criminals target business premises, they believe to be unoccupied.

Here we discuss some tips that managers should consider in order to ensure their premises remains as secure as possible during this time.

•   Create a procedure in advance for the last day in the office. Nominate and agree an individual to secure the premises. Communicate the plans thoroughly to avoid any mistakes or confusion about what the plan is.

   Keep track of visitors- Christmas, for many establishments is a busy time for guests due to more deliveries for example. Ensure you know who is in your building or premises at all times. Having access control barriers and panels for your building can help ensure no unauthorised vehicles or personnel can access your premises.

•    Decide which key holders will be contactable during the Christmas break- Although the likelihood of them being needed is relatively small, always confirm which members of staff who have keys will be available to deal with any emergencies. Share a list with relevant staff to confirm.

•   Turn off electrical items or put in safe mode. If your premises will be empty during Christmas, carry out thorough checks prior to the break to avoid risk of fire.

•    Check heating settings- Although there will not be anyone in the building, you might want to have the heating on for a short time each day just to ensure its being used regularly. This is especially important is certain stock needs to be temperature control.

•    Consider employing security guards- Depending on your organisation, you may decide if it is worth the investment to have a physical security guard on during the days the office is closed. For many companies this may be unnecessary.

•    Ensure nobody is left on their own- On the last day, try and avoid having one person closing the office or building on their own. It is a lot of pressure for them to remember everything and can also make them vulnerable to any criminals that are watching the premises. If you decide to close early, ensure everyone leaves at the same time.

•    Keep the perimeter well lit- Having strong security lighting is not only protecting your employees during dark mornings and evenings, it is also a good deterrent for potential criminals as it can scare them away but also means any CCTV footage will be clearer.

•    Install barriers, gates and signs- Barriers and gates create a physical barrier that can protect your company but they, along with strong signs such as “CCTV in action” act as a strong deterrent.

•    Do a trial run- You can always do a trial run to ensure all protocols are met. You should also carry out a trial security threat to test reaction times.

The tips above are just some of the ways you can ensure your security levels remain high over Christmas. Of course, these tips and precautions can and should be implemented all year round. Having a permanent high level of security all the time ensures the security remains a part of everyday life and will reduce the vulnerability of your business throughout the rest of the year.

To find out more about how we can help with your business security needs, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How to improve public car park safety

Car Park SafetyPublic carparks can be extremely convenient for people as it provides a secure place for them to leave their car. However, despite the convenience of them, they can in fact be dangerous places. There are a lot of cars and people moving around car parks at any one time and all it takes is one person not paying 100% attention for an accident to happen. As the car park owner, although some things are out of your control, there are many things you can do in order to improve public car park safety. Here we list just some of the safety methods you could implement.

•    Bike Racks– Not only do bike racks provide a convenient additional service for those travelling by bike, the bike racks also act as a physical barrier between cars and pedestrians.
•    Height Bars– A lot of car parks cannot handle the manoeuvring of large vehicles but without a physical deterrent or barrier, you have no control over which vehicles enter the car park. Height restrictors are highly visible and act as a visual deterrent. They also physically stop larger vehicles from entering which will reduce the amount of car incidents you would have if they were not in place.
•    Speed ramps– Having speed bumps or ramps strategically placed throughout the car park will ensure cars are slowed down, allowing more time for all drivers and pedestrians to react.
•    Signage– Ensure you have large, clear signage throughout the car park. Reflective car park signs are a must if your car park is open during dark hours. You need to communicate clearly the rules of the car park, which direction the cars should be driving, what the speed limit is and where pedestrians should cross
•    Parking space protector– Depending on the type of car park you own and who uses it, you may need to keep some spaces reserved. Having parking space protectors can do this. They lock in the up position whilst they are not in use and lower on demand, ensuring unauthorised vehicles cannot park there.
•   Flow control plates– Flow control plates can be great in car parks. They ensure cars enter and exit the correct way, reducing any accidents due to drivers not paying attention.
•   Barriers– Having barriers at the entrance or exit can really help make traffic flow smoothly in and out. You can even have an automated access control system that streamlines this. Next to the barriers you could issue tickets which when re-entered at the exit, will operate the other barrier.
•    Pedestrian only zones– You need to create pedestrian only zones to help improve safety for pedestrians when they are nearby cars. You can indicate where these areas are by using clear signage on the walls and floor and reinforce the areas with bollards so cars cannot access

Whether the car par is at a shopping centre, in a town centre, at a factory or other business, having a carpark that is considered safe and secure is vital. It will in the long run create more business for you and mean your car park will run more efficiently. A lot of the methods mentioned above are value for money as the safety they can provide is priceless.

To find out more about what you can implement to make your carpark safer, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How you can benefit from Pay and Display Machines

pay and displayIf you own a carpark, having an automated pay and display machine can reap many rewards. Here we discuss how they can benefit your business. Automated pay and display parking machines are popular across the country and one of the most popular options for all types of car park (whether they are public or private).

•    Saves cost of hiring– Having an automated system means you do not require a parking attendant who is constantly on duty.
•    More convenient for customer– The machines also benefit the customer. Without the need to deal with a parking attendant directly, they can get their parking ticket with ease, especially when the machine accepts several forms of payment. They also know in advance how much their parking costs which is preferable.
•    Flexible- Automated pay and display machines allow customers to pay with cash or by card, making the payment process a much smoother process.
•    Easy to Use– Because the payment process is seamless, customers will end up being more satisfied with the service. This reduces the number of customer service issues you will encounter. The time it takes to pay and receive the ticket is also quick, which customers will appreciate.
•    Maximize park revenue– Having a machine, rather than a person, issuing tickets means your carpark can become a 24-hour stream of revenue as you will not need to ever have closing times.
•    Secure– Having a pay and display machine not only benefits the owner, it also can benefit the customer. Parking their car in an official car park with a ticket machine provides a more secure environment and they are happier to leave their cars here.
•   Sturdy- Not only are the machines sturdy with reinforced doors, you can have additional Anti-Graffiti coating applied to it to ensure your investment remains in great condition and safe from vandals and thieves.
•   Easy to run– The machines have ticket capacity for thousands of tickets and a large cash box, meaning it can last a relatively long time without needing to be refilled which saves your time.

These are just some of the benefits you can gain by investing in an automated pay and display machine. They are cost effective installations which will benefit you as the owner of the car park but also the customers as having a car park they know they can enter, park, pay and exit quickly is important.

To find out more about which pay systems and features are available for your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your needs.

Keeping staff carparks safe and secure

SONY DSCHaving a staff car park is a great benefit for employees. However, having somewhere for them to park their car is not enough. You need to ensure you have undertaken as many preventative and safety measures as possible to ensure that the cars and staff always remain safe, as well as your employees and visitors. If staff do not believe their car and possessions will be safe whilst at work, this will adversely affect productivity and staff happiness. Here we discuss 9 ways you can make your staff car parks as safe as possible, ensuring staff happiness.

Under the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and subsequent legislation, car park owners and operators are fully responsible for the safety of car parks. This includes employers.

1.    Sufficient Signposting
The car parks should be clearly signed throughout. You need to highlight any areas staff cannot park, which areas are for visitors only and have a low speed limit enforced at all times. In addition to this, you should have pedestrian crossings where necessary and pedestrian access only areas.

2.    Bollards
Bollards are a great way to separate pedestrian and driving areas. Knowing the cars cannot enter certain areas will provide peace of mind to the pedestrians and help guide cars in the right direction. During winter months as well, you can use the areas marked out by the bollards to indicate to pedestrians which routes are best to work on to avoid slippery surfaces.

3.    Speed ramps
Having a slow speed restriction sometimes is not enough. Pairing this with speed ramps can really help make the car park more secure. When staff are entering and exiting the car park at the same time each day, there is a higher chance of collisions or accidents taking place. Ensuring cars are moving around the car park slowly and responsibly helps reduce this risk significantly.

4.    Space
Careful planning of the car park needs to happen. You must ensure you have enough room for all cars whilst also ensuring there is enough space for manoeuvring. In addition to this, you need to ensure that any areas that delivery vans need to access or any emergency exits are kept clear at all times.

5.    CCTV
Especially during winter months when many people come to work and leave work in the dark, CCTV equipment can really help make the car park more secure, especially from the employees’ point of view.

6.    Barriers
Using barriers to the carpark is recommended as it can help make the car park more secure and will ensure only authorized personnel can park their car. Although automatic barriers accessed by the employees is possible, another option is to hire a security guard to ensure the barriers are always working, to allow entry to authorised people only and can also greet visitors as well as acting as a deterrent. Barriers are also great to avoid people thinking they can park there for free when they are not employees. This is especially important the closer to cities and built up areas you are.

7.    Height Restrictors
If you only have a small car park which cannot accommodate large delivery vans, then a height restrictor could be something you should consider installing. This will stop larger vehicles entering the carpark and potentially blocking other cars or even causing damage if there is not sufficient room.

8.    Control Access Equipment
To create an even more secure car park, you could use Access Control Equipment at the gates and your work building itself. This double layer of security ensures only people with authorization can enter the car park and the workplace.

9.    Lighting
Always ensure the car park has sufficient lighting. This allows pedestrians to be easily visible by drivers as well as allow people to walk safely back to their cars during winter months.

Although you may not see it as directly related, studies have shown that a good, secure staff car park will lead to happier, more productive staff as they do not dread coming to work because of fear they will struggle to park. If they do struggle to park, they are more likely to arrive to work frustrated which will impact their performance.

To find out more about you can secure your staff car park, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Security solutions for underground car park access

security solutions for underground car park accessModern apartment blocks have become an increasingly common sight in cities across the UK over the last 10-20 years. With space in big cities coming at a premium, many developments are choosing to build up, offering a more European style of living to home-owners and renters. Many of these are keen to avoid long commutes to work from the suburbs and so are choosing to opt for inner city living and the practical benefits that it offers them as opposed to traditional houses and bungalows.

As competition rises in this market, developers are feeling the pressure to provide a greater number of amenities to would-be tenants and buyers. Smart home appliances, CCTV and hi-speed fibre optic broadband are among some of the most sought-after features. However, also high on their list of most-wanted amenities is adequate car parking facilities, which has led to many apartments now being built with underground car parks.

Managing access to underground car parks

It is important in order to protect the vehicles of residents that access to car parks is effectively restricted to residents and staff, as well as allowing some form of access to delivery drivers and emergency services when needed.

While many developers’ first instinct will be to turn to CCTV as a way of dealing with these types of security issues, it’s by no means a fool-proof form of protection. Even the best security cameras can be beaten by a well-disguised criminal, or a criminal who has been able to calculate ‘blind spots’ where cameras can’t pick them up easily.

By employing stronger perimeter security measures such as gates fitted with access control equipment and also other measures like bollards you can properly safeguard both vehicles and the contents of those vehicles from theft and burglary. It also provides a chance to restrict access to approved visitors, therefore reducing the chances of other crimes like vandalism and even arson.

Not only do access controls and perimeter security methods provide help with protecting against crime but they can also act as a selling point for prospective residents, particularly those with high-value vehicles who are looking for strong and formidable security to protect their purchases.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide free feasibility surveys to assess your requirements and also provide non-obligation quotes. Click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure and take a look at our impressive range of access control equipment.

How to tackle the problem of unauthorised parking

clip_image002With an ever increasing number of vehicles on the road, the problem of parking, particularly in inner city areas, has begun to reach boiling point with thousands of land owners becoming increasingly frustrated by vehicles illegally parking on their land, obstructing their day to day activities.

However, this issue which is affecting businesses and landowners nationwide is not something that can be handled by the police, as it is a civil matter rather than a legal one. While in the past land owners were able to use clamping as a deterrent, this is no longer allowed, with The Protection Of Freedoms Act (2012) making it an offence to clamp a vehicle in England or Wales. So with this in mind, what alternatives are still available to businesses to tackle the issue of unauthorised parking on their property?

Barriers
One way to limit access to your site is to use barriers. Automatic barriers, height restrictor barriers and manual barriers all act as effective solutions for limiting access to vehicles or particular types of vehicles. They can be operated either manually – remaining up in business hours and locked down in the evening, or automatically – with access granted via CCTV, proximity cards, a key pad or tokens.

Gates
One of the most effective ways to limit access to a site is to install gates, a particularly effective choice if you are aiming to lock down a specific area such as a staff car park. Having unauthorised cars using up your employees’ parking spaces, or spaces reserved for clients and guests can be infuriating and cause real problems for your business, so gates, bollards and barriers are all good options. Read more about our swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates.

Bollards
If you require a simple but effective solution for dealing with unauthorised access then bollards are a good option. Bollards are particularly effective if you are looking to prevent unwanted parking but also preserve the view of your business site. For example a car showroom might want to retain the views of their property for passing traffic so may opt for a bollard system rather than high fences which obstruct the view of the cars on their lot. Our GA7276H automatic bollards have been built for optimum performance and intensively tested to ensure reliability for over 3000 movements per day. In the event of an emergency or power failure they can be lowered manually and can also be operated simultaneously. Click here to read more about our GA7276H Automatic Bollards.

Gateway Automation provide a range products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.