Apartment buildings constantly see a steady churn of visitors arriving on foot and by car. As such, residents in apartment buildings face a lot of security risks from outside visitors… as well as from other residents. Property managers, especially those responsible for building security, must address the concerns of apartment dwellers to mitigate their insecurities and worries, else they open themselves up for lawsuits, tragedy, and a tarnished reputation. Residents of apartment buildings are counting on their building managers to provide them peace of mind.
When security is concerned, apartment buildings and condominiums have a different set of needs. Everyday traffic is very high, especially if the building is fully occupied with a high number of units on the premises. Visitors come and go, and repair men, mailmen, delivery people and the constant parade of residents make any improperly guarded apartment building a serious security liability.
Making the condition worse is the existence of multiple entry points, where anyone from small pets to unauthorized intruders can enter the building. A typical apartment building will have a couple of elevators, several entry and exit gates, lots of garages and a parking space. If you are the building administrator of this kind of an apartment building, you need the following tips to improve the security of the residents in your complex.
At the very least, you should install security cameras around your premises and in every floor of the apartment building. If you can’t afford this basic expense, you can’t really afford to be running an apartment complex in the 21st century. If you are really concerned with securing the lives and properties of your residents, you should at least install security cameras in every strategic point of the apartment property. There should be enough cameras to cover the key entrances of the building, the common areas, the key exit points, and any sections of the building that pose risks to its residents.
By installing these cameras, you should also hire and the personnel that will monitor those cameras 24/7. There is no point in installing security cameras if no one is going to be watching them — that would only give you and the residents a false sense of security. Luckily, there’s an affordable and effective way to do this called remote guarding (more on that in a minute).
If you have the budget and can afford it, you should install a video surveillance system in your apartment building (yes, this is more comprehensive than simply installing a few cameras). This should be in conjunction with the security cameras that you might have already been operating. By investing in this kind of surveillance system, you will be able to reduce the liability of the building. That means its insurance rate will also be reduced since the risks have also been reduced.
Additionally, the surveillance cameras will deter would-be-robbers and thieves. These criminals know when cameras are looking at them and will try to avoid places that they deem as hard targets. The cameras will also ensure a safe environment for the building residents. An important element in the operation of surveillance cameras is that they need to be positioned in places where there are high security risks where intruders and trespassers are likely to access — and where crimes on persons and properties are likely to be committed.
The video surveillance system must also be operated 24/7, since criminals often commit their crimes at times of day that they consider to be strategically weak. This system should preferably have the capacity to record the events that it has seen so that the security team can conduct a review of the video recording if something bad happens.
You need to establish specific security policies that will be applicable to all the residents in the apartment building. No one should be exempted from following these regulations. Help educate residents that these restrictions or rules are not there to annoy them, but to secure their living arrangements and prevent disaster. Different apartment residents have different priorities in regards to safety and security. But since they are living in the same apartment building, they need to find common ground regarding security and establish rules and regulations along those lines.
As a building administrator, you should lead them in their security discussions, ensuring that everybody will arrive at the same conclusion and agree to the same security rules and regulations. Once all have agreed, everybody in the apartment building must be required to follow those agreed upon and accepted security policies.
Eliminating the security risks in apartment buildings will go a long way in ensuring the safety of its residents. However, before you can do the eliminating, you must define the areas inside the apartment building that are security risks. This might include back door entrances or back door exits. The fire exits could also be security risks, as these are often in out of the way places and designed to be used in a hurry. Every complex is unique, and you’ll need to conduct a thorough audit to understand what you’re dealing with.
Once you have defined the security risks, start taking measures to close these security loopholes. This could include structural retrofits, surveillance systems, or traditional on-foot security guards.
More and more consumers are shopping online. Those who live in apartment buildings have their products delivered by couriers to their apartment or condo units, thereby increasing the traffic inside the premises. Despite this, you can still lock down the security situation at your complex by installing a remote guarding security system that will provide a management and security solution to your residents.
Security companies like Galaxy Protection can provide and install a network of HD video cameras in key points of your apartment building which will diligently record every person that enters. They also maintain a security team at their headquarters which will monitor all the events that are seen by the HD cameras. This system can provide security to your premises 24/7 without having to spend a fortune hiring a dedicated on-site security team.
Apartment keys can be duplicated and can be used by unscrupulous persons. On the other hand, access cards are very difficult to duplicate, yet they function like door keys — oftentimes much more effectively. These cards can considerably enhance the security inside your apartment building. If you use them instead of apartment keys, no unauthorized entry will happen inside your premises.
As the apartment dwellers swipe their cards to access their units, there will also be a digital record of what happens. In other words, there will be a real-time manifest on who enters the apartment units and what persons are inside the building at any time. If a tenant loses his card, he could easily be provided with another one. From there, he simply needs to report the loss so that his lost access card will be invalidated.
Your response to trespassing incidents, robberies and the like should be immediate. In other words, to provide 100 percent security to your apartment dwellers you should be fast in responding to their security concerns. This prioritized mindset and approach is the all-important crux of security matters. This is the primary advantage of installing remote guarding systems. Once a robbery happens, the system instantly responds to the threat and takes the necessary action. It’s a commitment to getting ahead of security events, before they cause serious and lasting harm to your property and tenants.