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  • Parking lot control

    I have written about our car theft problem at my 2 hotels out by the airport many times. They are open air, park yourself, free lots. We have no budget to fence them in & hire someone to man a gate. If you start to charge for parking to cover the cost of an employee you become liable for thefts. Presently we are not liable but it is hurting our business.

    Recently an "EXPERT" was hired. He suggested putting barriers at the entrances & exits. They are opened by pushing a button. There is a camera that takes a close up picture of the person as they push the button. This has not stopped the thefts.

    The owner is looking for some system that uses the driver's drivers license & records the info from the bar code or magnetic stripe. Does such as system exist?
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    I believe some temporary badge systems will do that. They might have a way to trigger an output to open the gate. It might be able to be made to work for what you want. I'll see if I can find something for you.
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    • #3
      I think you should just put up some signs saying that stealing cars is illegal.
      Washington DC

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      • #4
        Originally posted by integrator97 View Post
        I believe some temporary badge systems will do that. They might have a way to trigger an output to open the gate. It might be able to be made to work for what you want. I'll see if I can find something for you.
        We already issue key cards to open the guest room doors & there are systems that open gates using the same cards. The problem is when you have a wedding of 300 cars arriving, who gives out the cards?

        We are looking for a system that reads information from a card the person already has with them when they arrive.
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mjw064 View Post
          I think you should just put up some signs saying that stealing cars is illegal.
          Does that work in DC?
          sigpic
          Rocket Science
          Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


          http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
          One Man's Opinion

          The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
            We already issue key cards to open the guest room doors & there are systems that open gates using the same cards. The problem is when you have a wedding of 300 cars arriving, who gives out the cards?

            We are looking for a system that reads information from a card the person already has with them when they arrive.
            The only problem with using the persons card is the fact that not all cards have the same information format. You may have a problem interpreting the different formats. There is also the problem of someone using a card that may not necessarily belong to them.

            There are other ways besides an ID card. Biometrics, like a fingerprint scanner, etc.

            I'll look into some different systems for you and pm some links to you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
              We are looking for a system that reads information from a card the person already has with them when they arrive.
              Visitor Management Systems will do this, and can read DL from all states (as well as most passports). I've never used on in a parking lot application, but would assume it is feasible.

              IMHO, I would be skeptical about how effective this would be (until the all fencing, lighting, signage and perhaps CCTV options have been explored).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                I have written about our car theft problem at my 2 hotels out by the airport many times. They are open air, park yourself, free lots. We have no budget to fence them in & hire someone to man a gate. If you start to charge for parking to cover the cost of an employee you become liable for thefts. Presently we are not liable but it is hurting our business.

                Recently an "EXPERT" was hired. He suggested putting barriers at the entrances & exits. They are opened by pushing a button. There is a camera that takes a close up picture of the person as they push the button. This has not stopped the thefts.

                The owner is looking for some system that uses the driver's drivers license & records the info from the bar code or magnetic stripe. Does such as system exist?
                Just use a system like airports use. This has an automatic parking pass dispenser at the entrance and requires a driver to take the pass in order to open the entrance gate. The driver then keeps this pass with him (does not leave it in the car!) while at the event and it is this pass that allows him to exit. When he leaves, an automatic reader requires presentation of the pass to open the exit gate.

                Such systems can be used to implement paid parking as well and yet can also allow for bypassing the parking fee for the attendees of a particular event (attendees are issued parking validation that stands in lieu of payment).

                There is no system that is entirely free of some issues - i.e., someone losing their parking pass while at an event, theft of a pass from an attendee, or even someone driving an old clunker into the lot and then leaving in an Escalade using their pass, etc. But, when you consider the volume of parking traffic that these automated systems handle at airports with relatively infrequent need for human intervention, I'm confident they would work well for lower-volume situations.

                I also think it would be a good idea to get your objectives straight. For instance, eliminating auto thefts is simply not realistic for any parking facility no matter what you do. On the other hand, taking reasonable security measures for vehicles is a practical goal. However, it should always be remembered that as long as your facility can show that it makes a reasonable effort to prevent thefts, the ultimate responsibility always rests with the owner of the vehicle and not with you. Signage to this effect is very important (although signage alone won't feed the liability bulldog).
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-08-2008, 11:33 AM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

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                • #9
                  SecTrainer that is an excellent suggestion for Hotel Security to recommend. They have a system like that at the paid parking at Washington/Dulles and National Airports. This system someone in attendance at all times.
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                    I also think it would be a good idea to get your objectives straight. For instance, eliminating auto thefts is simply not realistic for any parking facility no matter what you do. On the other hand, taking reasonable security measures for vehicles is a practical goal. However, it should always be remembered that as long as your facility can show that it makes a reasonable effort to prevent thefts, the ultimate responsibility always rests with the owner of the vehicle and not with you. Signage to this effect is very important (although signage alone won't feed the liability bulldog).
                    The liability thing is not the problem. We have been sued twice & have won both times. We can prove that when compared to something like a shopping centre, we take more security measures than they do. Our problem is when 3 or 4 people attending an event have their vehicles stolen. Wird gets around & that group never comes back. Hotels rely alot on repeat business, just look at all the loyalty programs they have.

                    P.S. In Quebec a sign can not remove your responsibilty if you are in fact responsible. Eg, Lifeguards are required at public pools, putting up a sign saying "no lifeguard on duty, swim at your own risk" has no legal value here.

                    A question about the airport type system. What stops sopmeone from walking up to the machine, taking a ticket, walking into the parking area, stealing a car & using the ticket to leave with the stolen car?
                    Last edited by HotelSecurity; 11-08-2008, 03:18 PM.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                      A question about the airport type system. What stops sopmeone from walking up to the machine, taking a ticket, walking into the parking area, stealing a car & using the ticket to leave with the stolen car?
                      Typically there is a sensor loop, so the machine won't dispence a ticket if a vehicle is not present, though there are ways to fake it. Also, as some one said, leave a clunker behind.
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                      http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
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                      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                        A question about the airport type system. What stops sopmeone from walking up to the machine, taking a ticket, walking into the parking area, stealing a car & using the ticket to leave with the stolen car?
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrBKzy3b1qs

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                        • #13
                          I couldn't see your movie on this connection, but typically, what keeps that from happening is that many high-end parking garages (I'm especially thinking airports) now are using license plate recognition, or at least surveillance. In the basic surveillance systems, they get a nice video of you in the car on entry (and a shot of your license plate) and they do the same on the way out. So they know what car you came in with and what you left with. If you leave with someone else's car, presumably they could wade through footage by tracking you between different cameras until they found the clip of you entering. Assuming that was your own car you entered with (and not a stolen car), they then know a little about you because they have your original license plate.

                          Also, I'm going to guess that it would be fairly easy to set up a sensor such that you couldn't get a ticket unless you had a car present (some sort of weight sensor under the pad at the ticket dispenser would work, or maybe some sort of infrared beam system to detect whether a car is present). So that could be easily set up to keep someone from walking up, punching the button to get a ticket, then stealing a car and using that ticket to exit.

                          Presumably, a really nice, high-end system could also somehow associate your entrance license plate capture with the ticket you received, and presumably a good system could call up that plate number when you presented the ticket to exit so the attendant could verify the car/plate matched what you were leaving with. That's "presumably", of course. I'm not sure if anyone has actually done that high-tech of a system in a standard parking garage, and there are a lot of usability problems with that model which I can think of (different drivers, husband picking up wife's car from airport while she's flying out for business or family visit, etc.).

                          Is theft of vehicles out of a gated parking garage really that much of a problem? Anyone having experience with that?

                          Geoff

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                          • #14
                            Guess my message was already stated by other members. Sorry for the redundancy...

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                            • #15
                              "Is theft of vehicles out of a gated parking garage really that much of a problem?"

                              About 45 last year after we put barriers up. Over 50 a year before.
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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