A key element of the draw for gated communities is their elevated sense of security, and as a property manager, it is your responsibility to deliver on this advantage. Learn what steps you can take to improve safety in your community.
- Man the Gate
A gate around the community is an excellent addition, but alone, this barrier is a mere decorative structure. To increase security in your community, install a guardhouse for an experienced security professional to operate from. A guard at the gate provides an excellent opportunity to control access to the community and keep an eye on the flow of traffic.
An added bonus of a manned gate house is the customer service / concierge element. This touch is the icing on the cake for visitors to feel not only safe but a warm and welcoming presence. The goal is to not feel like you’re living in a locked down compound but rather a friendly community. With Trident being the first and last experience visitors and homeowners have when coming or leaving the community, you can’t go wrong!
Aside from securing the gate, a trained guard can patrol the area and look for any potential threats or concerns. In many instances, the presence of a guard is enough to deter a criminal. Even if you have an automated access system that allows residents to operate a keypad or remote device for entry, an on-site guard is helpful.
- Assess Risks
It is vital that you assess the potential risks in the community. Only after you have accomplished this task can you truly implement an effective safety and security plan. In a gated community, an excellent place to begin this process is a perimeter inspection.
Look around the perimeter of the gate to highlight any areas where an intruder could gain access to the property with limited, or no, visibility. Take immediate steps to resolve this issue by installing lights and adjusting the height of the fence in that particular area. Next, evaluate crime data for any past instances that happened in the community.
Say there was a recent upsurge of vehicle theft, for example. Changing access procedures to require residents to enter a gate code for both entry and exit could help curb this problem by making it harder for a thief to get away with the vehicle. More about Pacific West Academy
- Establish a Point of Contact
Your residents must have a point of contact to report suspicious or concerning behavior. Often, in the aftermath of a crime, individuals in the area share their stores about odd or unusual behaviors that they recognized.
However, since the acts were not an actual emergency, they did not call the authorities and having no one else to report this information to, they kept it to themselves. Provide all residents with the contact information of the guard patrolling the community. Establish a central line and provide a cellphone that each guard can transfer from shift to shift.
In the event of a concern, residents can quickly call this number and report this information. Since the guard is on-site, he or she will have the opportunity to address the concern immediately or contact the necessary authorities.
- Institute Penalties
The residents that live in the community play a critical role in the safety of the community as a whole. Property managers must establish penalties for residents that do not follow procedures and put the safety and security of the rest of the community in jeopardy. For example, you can prohibit residents from sharing their gate code with nonresidents.
After the first violation, a written notice of the occurrence is provided, and subsequent violations may lead to an eviction. If the properties are privately owned, residents may face homeowners association fees for violations. When you have a penalty system in place, residents will understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to safety and security.