One of the top concerns among residents of condominium and apartment buildings is the safety of their building and their own units. However, some HOAs and property managers — in their ongoing efforts to keep costs down — may sacrifice certain security precautions. Though high-tech video surveillance cameras offer gold-standard protection, there are additional measures Baltimore County residents may implement in order to protect their property.
The Unique Security Needs of Multi-Unit Buildings
While some of these security methods are simple to implement, others require a greater investment of time and money. All of these suggestions can bolster security when applied together.
1. Establish a culture of security
It is imperative for the residents themselves to buy in to the need for security and accept some responsibility for their own safety. The nonstop stream of visitors to your buildings make it difficult for residents to recognize everyone who resides there. It is a sad fact that we live in a world where trust is at a premium. Therefore, more care needs to be taken to not open a door for “new residents.” Building policies should stress this need – in lease agreements, in community meetings, and visible signage.
2. Issue cards versus keys
Advances in technology have contributed to security measures becoming more effective. With an access control system in place, residents are issued a security card similar to those at hotels – rather than a key – that are swiped to enter the building or secured common areas. An added benefit is that it can create a digital log of traffic and a real-time record of who is in the building at any set time.
Lost card? It can be easily cancelled and reissued. Access control also allows you to immediately disable cards of renters or seasonal tenants who are permanently leaving — meaning no more tracking down keys, remembering to cancel access, or change locks.
A bonus: remotely-monitored video surveillance in residential buildings can be integrated with access control to allow entry to authorized visitors or identify intruders.
3. Landscape for security
Property managers should make landscaping maintenance a priority as well. Unkempt flower beds or weedy walkways might convey a signal that other areas in the residence — such as security — are also neglected. As a rule, shrubbery should be no higher than three feet to reduce hiding places. Take regular evening walks to ensure that your common areas are well illuminated and that lighting is not creating shadows where a potential intruder could hide.
4. Keep a watch on movement
Motion detectors can also complement surveillance cameras and lights. But again, proper detection relies on someone monitoring video feeds. The newest line of detectors automatically alerts remote monitoring staff so they can view images and take necessary action — whether that’s dispatching on-site security personnel, contacting authorities or remotely warning intruders to depart with well-placed speakers in the area.
5. Discourage “Package Pirates”
As more and more people opt to shop online, package delivery has become a key issue in condo and apartment complexes. It has led to a great deal of potential traffic by unauthorized individuals.
With a remote-access package management solution, security personnel can manage vendor or package deliveries by remotely granting access to a secured package room or lockers, also monitored by remote personnel at all times. Separating the delivery traffic from residential traffic will both improve security and ease building access for residents.
Apartment Building Security Experts
All of these services can increase the effectiveness of on-site security staff and prevent unnecessary calls to the police. Having an extra “set of eyes” on demand, 24/7, expands your security efforts and provides your tenants with the satisfaction of knowing you’ve got their back – and increasing the possibility they’ll renew their leases when the times comes.
If you are a property manager in the Baltimore County area, or anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region, contact Maryland Security Professionals today for a consultation on how to maximize your building’s safety measures.
- Reviews.com, “Best Property Management Software for 2018,” https://www.reviews.com/property-management-software/
- Spectrum, The Guide to HOA Community Safety, https://spectrumam.com/the-guide-to-hoa-community-safety/