Many truck parking lots marketed today are nothing more than a lot with a fence. Parking at one of these substandard lots is truly putting your cargo and equipment at risk. In this series of articles I will be discussing the minimum-security standards you should look for in choosing a secure trailer parking lot or secure drop yard. Let’s begin with the basic security features of the perimeter of the parking lot.
A basic part of any secure parking yard is the Parking Lot perimeter security, or the area between the parking yard itself and the outside world. This is truly your first line of defense. The purpose of the perimeter is to prevent unauthorized access to the yard. It should provide an unbroken barrier with access only through controlled entry points. As a simple fence usually satisfies this requirement many yards stop there to save costs and call the yard a secure parking lot. However, as you will read a secure perimeter requires more than a mere fence.
An import addition missing in many yards is a barrier to protect the perimeter fence. If the perimeter fence is damaged it may be useless. Therefore, there must be an additional perimeter protection. A truly secure parking lot also has a barrier in place to protect the perimeter fence. This barrier could be a ditch, railroad ties, or anti-ramming barrier, basically anything that would make it difficult to just drive through the fence.
A secure parking yard should also have high quality lighting of the entire perimeter fence. The lighting not only deters would be thieves but also aids drivers and guards at night. The lighting should cover the entire perimeter but must also be planned as to avoid blinding effects on drivers and guards.
Another must have for a secure trailer parking lot perimeter is high-definition CCTV system to monitor the entire perimeter. The perimeter of every yard should be CCTV monitored at all times. All secure parking lots should use CCTV systems that allow 24 hour a day offsite monitoring and recording for future review.
The final piece of a well-planned secure parking lot perimeter is a clearance zone around the perimeter fence and the outside world. This buffer zone makes it harder for would be thieves to hide in the shadows and attempt to breach the fence. It also significantly increases both the CCTV cameras detection of unauthorized entries and the on-site guards’ ability to see any suspicious happenings on the perimeter. The buffer zones should be on both sides of the perimeter fence, with any landscaping and/or shrubs kept low to allow for a clear line of sight.
As you can see the simple fence on an empty lot is not a secure parking lot. As this article explains there are several features of a secure perimeter that need to be in place before you trust your trailer or truck to a yard. In the next article in this series I will discuss the security issues involved in entry and exit from a secure parking lot or drop yard.