By Krisha Brooks, GMR
Whether the facility is a restaurant or retail storefront, owners and managers can agree sufficient lighting plays a key role in exterior facility safety. On a superficial level, lighting plays a significant role in presenting a warm and inviting storefront for customers. However, from a personnel, customer and branding standpoint, having adequate lighting in place that is regularly maintained, inspected and positioned makes an important difference towards alleviating safety and liability concerns.
There are a variety of factors to consider when establishing an optimized safety strategy for retail facilities. While there are situations beyond anyone’s control, decision makers should adhere to the following best practices:
Lighting Approval Process
Most retail shopping centers are managed by a landlord or property management team and, when situations arise, they are responsible for updates and improvements to the property. It’s important to allow sufficient time for various approval processes should lighting or security capabilities need attention.
Customer Safety and Visibility
It’s important to ensure that customers enter a place of business and feel they have a clear sense of their environment. To that end, keeping surrounding areas of a business clear from obstructions, such as overgrown foliage, clutter or large signs, is important to deter criminals from the opportunity to be concealed. Sightlines should be clear so customers can easily see if they are being approached and can take appropriate action.
Maintenance and Visual Appeal
Businesses work to create inviting drive ups and attractive environments for their customers, and the majority of first impressions begin in the parking lot. The configuration of lighting fixtures should be reviewed on a regular basis and light levels should be designed to be uniform across the parking lot.
Brighter lights mixed with dull lights can relay a poor impression on customers. Likewise, positioning fixtures in a way that creates “light islands,” with vast surrounding swaths of dark and shadows, is not recommended. In addition,