Security for your Community Property
Whether your association property is a suburban complex or an urban building, securing your property should be part of your condo association’s agenda in order to reduce liability and give association members a piece of mind.
Associations should consider security initiatives that are preventative – meaning these initiatives should deter someone from considering to enter your property before physically attempting to do so. Here are some preventative security measures our association successfully implemented beyond an alarm system:
Hire a Security Company – Certainly one of the most obvious initiatives, but not all HOA and condo associations can afford it. Maybe a part-time security service makes sense? I live in a metropolitan city and we have looked to hire security services on certain evenings when street traffic and the number of pedestrians passing by is heavy; especially later at night. Other times that extra security makes sense are national holidays, like the week of July 4th, when most of our residents leave the building for the majority of the week for their summer vacations. This is prime time for would-be burglars and other perpetrators. If there are a couple HOA or condo associations in the area, maybe group together for a shared security service.
Install a Security Camera – Not only will it record activity on the property, but it’s a great deterrent when prevalent for all would-be perpetrators to see. A sticker or a plate near the front door noting the security cameras is a good deterrent as well. A good video camera and DVR should cost a couple thousand dollars. The price of installation will depend on the level of access for the electrician to wire the cable and electricity.
Add Motion Triggered Flood Lights – Another great security and safety measure, especially in low visibility areas like alleys and access ways. Best part about it – its not expensive to buy or install either.
Require New Keys – Over the course of a year, the number of people that get access to keys for your property can be astonishing. This includes not only vendors and workers of the association property, but workers, friends, and relatives of the residents too. We distribute a special security key made from a very expensive key making system and only a limited number of locksmiths have it. This keeps people from easily copying keys. We provide 2 keys to each association member. If they want more, they need to purchase extra keys at a profit to the association.
Address the Behavior of the Condo Association Members – For us, being in the middle of a major metropolitan city creating a huge security problem, every day, due to residents just not being careful and thoughtful about security. On a number of occasions, either owners or renters have propped open our main entrance to move something in or out of the building. This has made us highly susceptible to potential perpetrators who see an open door and can enter the building. Although we have a recording security camera, we don’t have close circuit to the units, so residents can see who’s at the front door. This created a problem for us, since residents were buzzing strangers into the building. We were able remedy these problems by 1) having a meeting and communicating the problem, 2) implementing a find to try to modify this careless behavior and 3) following up with a condo association memo. This initiative, I believe, have been the most successful preventive measure to date.
These initiatives have helped us reduce our security issues. What has your condo or HOA association done?