Do you own or manage a commercial property? In addition to regular maintenance, keeping common spaces safe should always be a priority. 

While it might be easy to think that minimizing landscaping and eliminating outdoor features where danger can lurk is the best way to improve safety, there are better options. Using good materials and thoughtfully designed outdoor living spaces, you can create beautiful spaces on your commercial property that offer safety to those who use them. Here are a few ways to increase outdoor safety for tenants and customers with better hardscaping and landscaping. 

Proper Illumination – Rather than flooding spaces with bright light, proper illumination means having the right amount of light in the right spots. Illumination installed closer to the surface of parking lots, driveways, and walkways allow pedestrians to see and be seen without being blinded. Proper illumination is essential to help avoid crime and prevent accidents. Installing effective lighting can boost visibility for pedestrians and eliminate hiding places for criminals. The right lighting will improve direct and peripheral vision for drivers and help pedestrians feel more at ease. A careful and controlled lighting plan can also help reduce your energy costs. For outdoor patio spots, consider in-deck LED lighting systems. 

Snow & Ice Management – Throughout much of Canada, snow & ice management needs to have a plan. Commercial properties should have a dedicated space for snow storage during the winter months. This lets snowplow operators do their job safely and conveniently. It also ensures that drivers and pedestrians do not need to maneuver around random snowbanks blocking their line of sight. As for ice management, drainage is key. Hardscapes should be designed to allow water to drain easily, such as a walkway built using a pedestal system. With instant drainage, you’ll minimize salt costs, environmental damage and the risk of slip & fall incidents. 

Surfacing Materials – The wrong materials used in common areas can increase maintenance, supplies, slips & falls. Choosing your materials carefully can create safer places while saving time, labour and money. Outdoor porcelain tiles are slip-resistant, and when installed with a pedestal system, they will drain immediately too, which makes them perfect for around public swimming pools. 

Greenery – Trees and plants can play a crucial role in public safety. Pruning away excess growth can improve sight lines and visibility. However, over-pruning can cause strong, sharp branches that can injure pedestrians walking by. Tall stalks with high branches or low shrubbery can help improve safety, minimizing potential hiding spots for nefarious characters and animals alike. 

Layout & Circulation – A well-designed commercial common area will incorporate a plan for circulation routes. These should be designed to allow pedestrians to take the shortest and safest route possible. Understand how pedestrians and drivers interact on your property. Try to section them off or compartmentalize them, separating walkways from roadways. Installing a median or boulevard strip will help to keep pedestrians away from moving vehicles. 

Good lighting, maintenance and the use of the right materials are key factors for property managers to keep in mind for commercial property safety. If you want to learn more about smart materials for your hardscaping and landscaping projects, Stonedeck Innovations has everything you need to create a safer property while saving time, labour and money.