Make sure your car park is fit for winter

Make sure your car park is fit for winterBRG Advertising-Traffic Barriers

James Fildes, Bid and Proposals Manager at car park specialist Berry Systems, discusses the importance of preparing car parks to keep vehicles, people, and property safe this winter.

As winter approaches, facilities management companies will already be preparing for the colder, darker months and taking steps to tackle the challenges that this time of year brings.

Car parks are no exception to this and user safety and security could be put at risk if premises aren’t properly equipped to cope with certain factors associated with the seasonal weather.

So, what do you need to consider when preparing your car park for winter?

The potential dangers

The main challenge that winter presents for a car park is undoubtedly the weather.

Combine the increase in rainfall with colder temperatures and icy conditions, and the ground is likely to be much more slippery, increasing the possibility of an accident occurring. Nobody wants a pedestrian to take a tumble or a vehicle to temporarily slide out of control.

A thorough assessment of the facility to check for areas where puddles may form and where drainage may be blocked should mitigate the risks of icy areas if temperatures drop below freezing. Ensure all boxes storing salt or grit are fully stocked. Anti-slip paint is also an ideal method to improve safety.

As well as the cold weather, shorter days and longer nights can make car parks more susceptible to criminal activity, so it’s important to consider how to reduce this to protect people and vehicles.

Check that the lighting system is in full working order to keep the facility well lit. Not only will this act as a deterrent, but it will make users feel safer as they make their way to and from their vehicles. CCTV and on-site security are also important to achieve this. Coded access is also another great way to keep out anyone who shouldn’t be there.

No need for speed

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that not everybody drives sensibly and to the conditions. Throw in the element of human error and that’s when accidents can happen. As well as the obvious risk to pedestrians, substantial damage can also be caused to the facility itself if an impact occurs at speed.

To help prevent this happening, all speed bumps should be assessed to ensure they are fit for purpose and clear signage needs to be in place. Vehicle restraint systems and safety barriers need to be checked to clarify that walls and columns are protected from expensive structural damage if a collision does occur. Checks could include visual inspections and reports to make sure any damaged barriers or posts are replaced, or by undertaking physical anchor testing and tension checks.

Protecting pedestrians and property

Bollards and pedestrian handrails are also a highly effective way of mitigating risks. A review of the facility to ensure sufficient measures are in place is always recommended, providing the correct levels of protection.

All existing handrails should be checked to be certain that fixings are firmly in place and there is no damage or sharp edges.

Likewise, bollards should be inspected to clarify that they are fit for purpose and ready to withstand vehicle impact if an accident should happen.

Check your access control systems

As well as preventing accidents and collisions, it’s also important to ensure the perimeter security measures of a car park are fully equipped in order to protect vehicles and property.

Any products in place to keep out unwanted visitors, such as arm barriers, turnstiles, or other access control methods, will need to be checked over to make sure they are all in full working order.

Perimeter security fencing should also be carefully assessed for any breaches and that it is still fit for purpose to give your facilities the required level of security.

Keep the Neighbours Happy

With the dark winter nights drawing in, car headlights can often create a level of annoyance in bus car parks surrounded by housing and residential properties. Antiglare panelling and mesh infills are an ideal way of reducing headlight glare and penetration out of the car park.

Ask the experts

Facilities management is all about reducing risk, and there are plenty of risks which come with winter and the adverse weather conditions that follow. All of these actions will reduce those risks as well as limit potential damage and keep people, property and vehicles safe.

As well as carrying out the maintenance and inspection of multi-storey car parks in accordance with the Institution of Structural Engineers and latest British and European standards keeping facilities fully operational, we also provide an expert in-depth site testing service. This includes installation compliance testing which is recommended for car parks every 16 years to ensure safety standards are still being met.

With 50 years of experience in the car park industry, Berry Systems is perfectly placed to ensure your car park is fully equipped with the necessary safety and security measures. Our extensive range of products and services mean we can help mitigate the risks that this time of year can bring and keep your premises safe this winter.

As part of the HS Security group, we are able to offer a turnkey solution for your security needs in car parks along with our existing line of vehicle and pedestrian safety protection.

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Make sure your car park is fit for winter