Parking Lot Security

Source: FEMA 426 Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings

Parking restrictions can help to keep potential threats away from a building. In urban settings, however, curbside or underground parking is often necessary and sometimes difficult to control.

Mitigating the risks associated with parking requires creative design measures including parking restrictions, perimeter buffer zones, barriers, structural hardening and other architectural and engineering solutions. Operational measures may also be necessary to inspect or screen vehicles entering parking garages.

The following considerations may help designers to implement sound parking measures for buildings that may be at high risk:

  • Locate vehicle parking and service areas away from high-risk buildings to minimize blast effects from potential vehicle bombs.
  • Restrict parking from the interior of a group of buildings.
  • If possible, locate visitor or general parking near, but not on, the site itself.
  • Restrict unauthorized personnel from parking within the secure perimeter of an asset.
  • Locate general parking in areas that present the fewest security risks to personnel.
  • If possible, design the parking lot with one-way circulation to facilitate monitoring for potential aggressors.
  • Locate parking within view of occupied buildings.
  • Prohibit parking within the stand-off zone.
  • When establishing parking areas provide emergency communication systems (e.g. intercom, telephones, etc.) at readily identified, well-lighted, closed circuit television-monitored locations to permit direct contact with security personnel.
  • Provide parking lots with closed circuit television cameras connected to the security system and adequate lighting capable of displaying and videotaping lot activity.
  • Request permits to restrict parking in curb lanes in densely populated areas to company-owned vehicles or key employee vehicles.
  • Provide appropriate setback from parking on adjacent properties if possible. Structural hardening may be required if the setback is insufficient. In new designs it may be possible to adjust the location of the building on the site to provide adequate setback from adjacent properties.
  • If possible prohibit parking beneath or within a building.
  • If parking beneath a building is unavoidable, limit access to the parking areas and ensure they are secure, well-lighted and free of places of concealment.
  • Do not permit uninspected vehicles to park under a building or within the exclusive zone. If parking within the building is required, the following restrictions may be applied:
         -Public parking with ID check
         -Company vehicles and employees of the building only
         -Selected company employees only or those requiring security