The primary goal of a homeowner’s association (HOA) is to protect the value of property by providing structure through rules and regulations. Although most people think of HOAs as being chiefly concerned with curb appeal, security also plays a considerable role in protecting the value of the community.
Outlined below are tips for homeowners’ associations to improve security and safety.
Carry Out A Security Assessment
When a homeowner’s association wants to improve its security, conducting a security assessment will provide a good starting point. An onsite security inspection can identify the areas within the community that are vulnerable to risk, showing the association where to devote its resources.
Keep The Community Well-Maintained
Because many crimes occur in areas that are not well-maintained, ensuring the community is cared for is one of the more simple tasks to deter crime. It is also important to schedule regular maintenance and repair for the security systems in place on the grounds, such as surveillance cameras and alarms.
Protecting a neighborhood is a community effort. Remind residents to report anything suspicious to the local police, even if it does not appear to be a major issue. Supply the residents with a list of phone numbers to call for emergency and non-emergency situations.
Reminding residents to keep their vehicles and homes locked is an important preventative measure. Anything residents can do to make committing a crime inconvenient can make a big difference in preventing criminals from acting. In addition, residents should be reminded not to leave their keys inside their car. Homeowners’ associations might also wish to establish direct cooperation with local law enforcement and ask them what crime prevention solutions they recommend.
Some other safety measures an HOA can recommend to residents include installing carbon monoxide detectors, leaving lights turned on at night, avoiding hiding extra keys in obvious places and getting a home alarm system that is connected to the police department.
It is also useful for HOAs to pay attention to the latest crime news and trends in the area. For example, if the community gets more visitors at a certain time of year, consider ramping up security during those times and around the holidays. If people in the neighborhood purchase items online frequently, consider measures to deter thieves who steal delivered packages from porches.
Plan The Community With Safety In Mind
HOAs need to make decisions about amenities with safety in mind. Although tall hedges are attractive, they can provide a convenient place for unwanted visitors to hide. It is important to leave a good distance between large pieces of landscaping and buildings as thieves could use extended tree branches to climb into windows. Ensure that there are as few dark spots as possible in the evenings.
Install Strategic Lighting
A well-lit exterior can help to prevent crime in the neighborhood. Criminals tend to stay in the shadows when they are stealing from a community; give them as few places as possible where they can hide undetected. Even if a thief is bold enough to commit a crime in a well-lit area, there is a greater chance that someone will see the incident and be able to report it or give law enforcement information about the perpetrator. Good lighting can also help to prevent falls and injuries in the community, in addition to creating a beautiful environment.
Use Security Cameras
HOAs should consider installing security cameras in strategic locations throughout the community. This can be supplemented with regular monitoring, which means police can be alerted of crimes right away and information can be obtained to help apprehend perpetrators. Security cameras can be installed in common areas as well as streets, and it is important to ensure that there are no blind spots in the most important locations.
Encourage A Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood watch programs get residents involved in community safety. This usually involves volunteer members patrolling blocks of the neighborhood in rotation to prevent crime. However, it is important for the HOA to remain separate from the neighborhood watch for liability reasons. While boards can allow a neighborhood watch to be organized, they cannot have an official relationship with the program.
Hire Security Officers
One of the best ways to ensure a neighborhood’s safety is by hiring security officers. Working with professionals who have the proper experience to prevent crime and patrol the grounds is a good investment. A homeowners’ association may choose to hire several officers, with some carrying out roving patrols throughout the community and others monitoring common areas.
Learn More About Professional HOA Security Services
It is important to hire trained professionals from a licensed security firm for maximum protection. Get in touch with American Protection Group online to learn more about how our team of experienced security professionals can prevent loss and damage in your community and give residents greater security and peace of mind.