While gated residential communities can offer more security than traditional subdivisions, it's a smart idea to take the necessary steps to prevent security breaches in the first place. Here are some safety tips to avoid security breaches, whether you're protecting your condominium units or gated communities.
1. Designate and Hire a Qualified Security Team
Designate a subcommittee for your security program and include a reputable, expert security guard tour solution. Keep track of vital records, such as contracts, incident reports and guard tours, with software to simplify minimizing security breaches. Additionally, conduct a thorough staff background check, including referrals and documentation. Also, ensure that most of the community's residents find the program acceptable. Here's what your security program should include:
2. Pinpoint and Assess Risks
It's vital to identify and gauge the crime rate within your gated community and its surroundings to determine the type of preventive measures your security program should include. You can also identify any patterns of traffic and access points to determine which areas require more coverage than others. Finally, keep in mind any prospective liabilities or costs that can result from neglecting these observations.
3. Determine and Clarify Responsibilities
Identify what areas need to be covered, and clarify who is responsible for this coverage. Residents are expected to protect their own properties. However, the security team and the governing body of the community should be in charge of safeguarding the common grounds and the perimeter of the property, and patrolling these areas. That's why it's vital to have a gate protocol established for workers and visitors to the premise, including service providers. Additionally, establish procedures to disable former employees' access to the premise to avoid access to sensitive information and other liabilities.
4. Secure All Access Points
Wireless connections have made it easier for hackers to gain access to gated communities and other properties via remotely operated gates and keypads. That's why it's important to have enough coverage for entry points with security personnel when possible. Also, keep entry points locked, and consider using quality dead-bolt locks and keyed knobs to prevent a breach on the premises. Moreover, you can use a fence or wall that is attractive yet stable enough to deter trespassers from entering the property when possible.
5. Educate Residents
Make the residents aware of any agreed-upon gate protocol or other procedures and policies to follow in order to prevent trespassers. You can hold a meeting and distribute brochures or other material to provide updates on these policies. Explain the necessity of hiring a professional and reputable security company to install alarms. Additionally, encourage residents to know their neighbors so that they can recognize and notify the security team when something is wrong.
6. Use Various Passcodes and Modify Them Frequently
Assign different passcodes and passwords to personnel and residents to simplify tracking down who may have contributed to a breach on the property. Additionally, make sure that these passwords and codes are updated often to prevent a breach. For example, access control passwords and alarm pass codes should be updated as often as every six months.
Safeguarding a gated community is a collaborative effort among the residents, security personnel and management. By working together and taking the necessary precautionary steps, you can protect your gated community efficiently and prevent property breaches.
Mark Mayne, Business Development Director at U.S. Security Associates, Inc.