As we all know, awareness of your surroundings at all times is essential for personal safety and the safety of others. Unfortunately, parking lots are too often the scene of accidents and other criminal incidents. For the safety of all attending the services on Easter Sunday and beyond please read and keep in mind some of the helpful hints indicated in this blog.
Stay Alert: For those on foot, stay observant of automobiles moving through the parking lots. Pedestrians should remember that not all motorists adhere to safe driving practices. Look before stepping out into the aisles or cutting across spaces for speeding vehicles. Drivers are also responsible for controlling their speed throughout the parking lots. It is not unusual for a driver to be distracted by something while pedestrians step into a driving lane. Be your best safety net by using cautious.
Walk Smart: Pedestrians on foot should avoid darting between vehicles. A person should listen as well as look for a vehicle before moving about parking lots. A vehicle is often easier to hear than to see. Families with small children should be especially aware of this. Pay special attention to any vehicles that arouse suspicion, and spend as little time in the parking lot as is feasible.
Go to the Light: If attending services after hours or any times of darkness, go to the best lit areas. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that for drivers, some of the best lit areas of the parking lots may also make it difficult for the driver to see what is in front of them at the last minute before being able to apply brakes. If at all possible, avoid parking behind shrubs, trees, and other large objects that would make it easy for a criminal offense to happen due to less lighting.
Stay Focused: Do not be distracted by electronic devices, phones, etc. A parking lot is not a place to be unaware of your surroundings. Make it a habit to wait until you are safely inside of a locked vehicle or inside of a locked building before using these devices. However, keeping your cell phone within reach for emergency use (such as calling 911) is always the best idea when crossing parking lots, especially parking lots unattended at night.
Be Wary of Strangers: Give special attention to any individual in a parked vehicle that seems to be out of place. If you are approached by an unknown individual in the parking lots and your suspicion has already been aroused, quickly walk away into the direction of the church or any other building you are visiting. Never stop to have a lengthy conversation with a total stranger.
Stay with the Cameras: If you know that cameras are focused on areas of the parking lots or focused on the buildings that you are visiting, use those areas specifically to park your vehicle, and use as a pathway to your destination. Keep in mind that cameras have the capability to help law enforcement apprehend criminals and act as a daily deterrent against possible criminal offenses.
Lock It Up: Never take for granted that your vehicles and its contents are safe. Do not make your vehicle a target. Lock away devices inside of your vehicles such as GPS devices, laptops, cell phones, purses, and any bags which may send a message to criminals that there is something within the vehicle for the taking.
Remember, by working together and staying aware, we can help each other stay safe!
God Bless You All,
Director of Security