Security Planning Beyond Surveillance: Parking Peace of Mind Starts at the Door


Security Planning Beyond Surveillance: Parking Peace of Mind Starts at the Door


With an estimated 2 billion parking spaces in the United States, competition is driving the demand for better, more secure parking options. People develop a first impression of a parking structure’s safety and security from the moment they see the entrance. If they’re concerned about their personal safety or the security of their property, they may go elsewhere to shop, dine, work, or reside. That means lost revenue for the facility owner and its commercial tenants. 



To solve the security problem, autonomous surveillance technology is increasingly popular, but the most effective way to improve both the perception and effectiveness of parking security is with a high-performance overhead entrance door. A well-chosen door provides an inviting aesthetic and peace of mind for the intended guests while deterring unauthorized intruders.


Today’s overhead doors are smarter than ever, with built-in technology to ensure optimal entrance control. Whether it’s for a shopping center, an apartment complex, an office tower, or a mixed-use building, there are multiple considerations when building owners and architects choose an overhead door as an asset in their parking security planning:


Door speed

Doors with opening speeds up to 60 inches per second help control traffic. Their fast opening and closing speeds discourage people and vehicles from sneaking in by tailgating behind another entering vehicle. Without opportunities to enter a parking facility, unauthorized people and those with criminal intent may avoid the risk altogether and look for an easier target.



Access technologies

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Today’s high-performance doors offer a full range of technology options for access control, such as mobile apps, wireless key fobs, and traditional key cards. This advanced technology allows doors to be connected to a cloud-based access management portal so building owners can control access rights based on each user’s unique needs, which is ideal for busy parking structures at mixed-use building complexes.


Light curtains

Light curtain systems continuously monitor the door and the adjacent areas for potential obstructions, helping prevent collisions and keeping the door closed when authorized vehicles aren’t in the area. 


Impact prevention


To minimize accidental impact events that could result in damage or injury, an advanced detection system uses pattern recognition and advanced traffic-sensing technology to enhance doorway safety.

These technologies may include audible warning devices, LED flashing threshold safety light strips, revolving traffic lights, automatic edge sensors that reverse the door’s motion or prevent it from closing if the doorway is obstructed, motion or presence sensors that control opening or closing if doorway traffic is detected, and adjustable timers within door control panels.


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LED alert systems

An alert system allows the door to detect traffic and provide visual cues for vehicles and pedestrians in the immediate area. This helps deter loitering around door openings with flashing LED lights triggered by suspicious behavior. For example, if a person is peeking into the window for an extended period of time, lights will flash to indicate their presence has been detected.



Full-width, top-to-bottom slats on overhead doors provide excellent visibility and natural light, which keeps criminals at bay by improving security and safety in the entryway. Specially designed window slats are shatterproof and scratch-resistant to maintain clarity and protect against breakage.


Wind protection

A hurricane-rated door is the best option to protect people and property in hurricane-prone areas or those with extreme wind conditions. Such doors feature heavy-duty reinforced hinges and rigid aluminum slats that provide the strength required to handle hurricane-force winds.



A ventilated slat door maximizes fresh air and ventilation while reducing pollutants and odors in a parking facility. Perforated slats maintain the strength and security of the door (even in high-wind conditions) but allow some airflow, which can reduce the demand for electrical ventilation systems.


The entrance door is an essential part of any parking facility’s security plan. It not only enhances security but it gives a visual first impression of safety from the outside. When people believe that they and their property will be safe inside a parking structure, they’re more likely to choose that location for parking. This could be a deal breaker when choosing a place to live, work, or visit. With the technological advances in the design and performance of today’s overhead doors, architects and building owners have many options for enhancing their parking security. 


Mike Dunn is Vice President of Sales at Rytec Corporation. He can be reached at

Article contributed by:
Mike Dunn, Rytec Corporation
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