Safety First

Article excerpt

All building managers face security issues. But safety becomes an even bigger concern when the building includes a large, multistory parking facility. Cars can be stolen or damaged. Cashiers can be robbed. Tenants can get mugged.

Recently, a parker was even carjacked from a big city garage. The list of what could possibly go wrong in a garage, especially a downtown facility, seems endless.

"Every owner has a security issue," says John N. Gallagher, CPM, of Polinger Shannon & Luchs Co., Chevy Chase, Md.

Building managers employ a variety of methods to keep tenants and cars safe. Many use building security guards to regularly check parking facilities. This is done even though it may be the responsibility of the parking operator to handle security.

Video cameras that record activity in the garage are another popular security device. Closed circuit cameras feed pictures directly into a viewing room so garage activity can be monitored. This continuous monitoring is favored in big buildings with 24-hour traffic. Other video systems, designed for facilities used primarily during office hours, record activity, which is reviewed only when problems arise.

Many garages have panic buttons in strategic locations. This allows people to call for help if there is trouble. Probably the newest variation on the panic button is a special device carried by monthly parkers. …