Among the essential criteria are high-quality lighting, surveillance equipment, operation and management, as well as a clean environment. Car parks can be extremely hazardous places. Although fires in car parks are rare, there is concern in the fire safety industry that new vehicles (including electric vehicles) are creating increased fire risks and/or fire spread, as seen in a recent fire in Liverpool. Undoubtedly there are fresh challenges ahead in light of the changes that will come following Brexit and the potential for more devolution and additional mayoral appointments. Ensuring that vehicles are driven safely and parked correctly can be problematic to control. fires, particularly in underground or large multi-storey car parks. Normally, accessible parking bays are larger than standard ones and have extra space around the bay to offload wheelchairs or other mobility equipment. It’s vitally important, therefore, that communication about what is and is not allowed is crystal clear in every instance — which is why good car park signage is a must. Whatever the configuration or type provided, there are a number of hazards associated with car parks including: over-parking and site congestion resulting in dangerous manoeuvres, blocking of pedestrian routes, etc, lack of properly segregated and/or poorly marked parking areas without clearly defined pedestrian routes, carelessly parked cars that obstruct pedestrian routes and reduce the visibility of other drivers and pedestrians, lack of safe, segregated routes from the parking area to the workplace (including poor surfaces, lighting, etc), security concerns of crime against individuals using or working in car parks as well as vehicle-related crime, poor maintenance of car park equipment and facilities resulting in equipment failure and accidents. Mike Sopp looks at the potential hazards, the impact of safe design and use, and the benefits of inspection and monitoring. Set an appropriate speed limit to slow traffic down, and consider adding physical elements that have a traffic calming effect, such as permanent, Monitoring car park usage will enable you to judge how successful the measures you have put in place really are, and to make adjustments accordingly. The aim is to encourage collaboration amongst local authorities to set and implement high standards. It was found that the barrier had not been secured and drifted open. Overcrowding is one of the principle causes of accidents in car parks, so it’s important to check that this does not become a problem. Make essential pedestrian routes a priority for maintenance and improvement, including regular removal of fallen leaves and twigs. No matter where your business is and what itRead More >, As train fares and fuel prices continue to rise, we are all feeling the pinch when it comes to paying to get to work. Direct people into your building safely via anti-slip mats inside external doors. Even extremely heavy or torrential rain can cause a hazard if your car park doesn’t have good natural drainage, and you may have to keep grit or sand available should surfaces become slippery during the working day or overnight. For major developments, such as multi-storey or underground car parks, architects and designers use guidance provided by organisations, such as the Institution of Structural Engineers. Parking Lot Hazards Parking lots carry a number of inherent risks—risks that any organization that owns a lot or provides one to employees or patrons through a third party should be aware of. If you issue parking permits, for example, make sure these are checked regularly. It is recognised that one of the main hazards in car parks is over-parking. One interesting development has been the Positive Parking Agenda, which is an initiative working to enhance public awareness of parking issues. However, in doing so, the employer should give consideration to the security of, for example, bicycles left by employees in car park areas. If you issue parking. This could also have a positive impact on the private sector, and would encourage new approaches to parking issues, as well as improved communication and better management. Fill potholes promptly to minimise driving hazards. Clearly thought needs to be given to usage of the parking area and the maximum number of vehicles allowed. Also, make sure signs are cleaned regularly. This includes fallen branches, twigs and wet leaves, as well as snow and ice. It is therefore essential that when designing a car park, fire safety requirements of Approved Document B are taken into account. A risk assessment should be completed on the car park taking account of how the car park area is used; access requirements, location, physical features (benchmarked against best practice) and management procedures.

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