Situational Awareness

Car burglar in actionBy Scott Kangas, CAPP

My father was a safety engineer for insurance companies most of his adult life. His job was to evaluate the risk factor (or potential businesses losses) from an insurance standpoint. Because of this constant exposure and frequent dinner-table discussions, I picked up a variety of tidbits about staying safe and secure.

One of those is to remove anything from your vehicle that makes it stand out from others, such as scuba diving decals, NRA or firearm decals, or any other such item that might give some knucklehead the idea that you might have something of value they might be able to steal and pawn or re-sell.

A modern update might be to not have the family-style decal on your back window. Those just might encourage someone to follow your car to see where the kids live. That’s along the same lines as not putting information about where your kids go to school or even their names on social media so they can’t be tracked quite so easily.

I took my daughter to a Chinese dance program many years ago. They dropped five tons of rice on the stage during the dance. My thoughts were not on the dance but the explosion potential if the rice dust was ignited by a hot (or broken) spotlight. What was the flame spread potential (we were below stage so probably over our heads) and which was the closest exit? Just like when flight attendants point out the exits, I became very aware of my surroundings. It all points to types of situational awareness, which are great skills for parking professionals to develop.

Scott Kangas, CAPP, is a retired parking professional and member of IPI’s Safety and Security Committee.

2 thoughts on “Situational Awareness

  1. Scott,
    I so agree with you on being careful about car decals. I was never a fan of those Baby on Board signs, or kids’ names on backpacks, barrettes, etc. for the same reasons. It’s unfortunate we have to think this way. But, we do. How many people actually review the back of the hotel door to determine where the nearest stairs are? I like this term, “situational awareness.” Let’s share that with all those folks focused on phones and texting in parking facilities! Thanks for helping to keep us all safe!

  2. When I was at Northern Illinois University we decided to place stickers on the ground at corners to get people that were looking down at their phones, the message to watch out for traffic. At University of North Texas several years ago I watched two girls walk into the side of a stopped bus as they were texting. No one was hurt, but they could have been.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *