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.

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.

Why physical security is crucial in protecting your business from crime

While many businesses fall back on CCTV as a low maintenance form of security, as we explained in our recent blog it is anything but an all-in-one solution. CCTV has indeed proven to be weak in many areas and it is particularly worth remembering that a camera cannot physically prevent a crime from happening, only document it taking place. It simply records the event in the hope that police or private guards can be informed in time and a conviction can be secured later on.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide full risk assessments so that we can identify any vulnerabilities and then recommend the best tailored approach to protect your business. This often means a variety of different physical barriers designed to make your property unattractive to criminals and could include one or a combination of the following protections:

Creating a robust physical perimeter around your business site should be high on your agenda, but equally it is just as important to maintain your gates, fences and other types of security solutions, for if they are damaged over time due to intrusion attempts or even just accidentally damaged in your day to day activities then they could leave you vulnerable.

This is why we offer a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and 7 days meaning that we can get to you quickly to repair any damage and keep your business safe and secure.

To find out more about our servicing and repairs options, please visit http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/service-repair/ or contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security needs.

How to manage traffic with speed ramps and flow control plates

Whether you are looking to control traffic in a multi-storey car park, a bus lane, construction site or another type of premises, there are a number of different options available to you. Of course, employing traffic controllers to direct vehicles is one way to prevent unwanted access, but there are other methods which are considerably cheaper in the long run and more reliable.

Speed Ramps
Speed ramps are an excellent way of restricting the speed of traffic as it moves around your site. Together with signage to warn road users, speed ramps provide an effective way of calming traffic. Our GA5750 speed ramp is made from heavy duty recycled PVC segments and available with embedded cats-eyes and high visibility yellow and black sections, providing an important visual notice to on-coming traffic. The GA5750 offers differing speed restrictions with two separate heights available, and it is also available in different lengths.

Flow control plates
Here at Gateway Automation we provide three different styles of flow control plates:

Our sunken flow plates force mono-directional traffic, allowing traffic to pass over them in one direction but not in the other. They are made from steel but feature noise-reduction buffers which quieten the noise of the metal box moving back into position after a car has travelled over it.

Our surface mounted flow plates are made from heavy duty chequer plate steel which makes them very robust. They are surface mounted and ideal for concrete applications, such as multi-story car parks or economy projects.  They feature a sophisticated spring action system which ensures they return to position after a vehicle has passed overhead.  We also offer an even more robust version which is suitable for heavy goods vehicles, the GA5875HD.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises to assess your security requirements, contact us here.