Many homebuyers are attracted to gated communities governed by homeowners’ associations for maximum peace of mind. Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) carry out many duties to enhance the well-being of their communities, from ensuring common areas are properly maintained and improving the appearance of the neighborhood, to protecting residents and common areas from criminal activity.
Many HOAs use a multi-pronged approach to security that includes passive measures such as security lighting, active measures such as the presence of trained security officers monitoring access points and patrolling the area for overall surveillance. One very effective method that HOAs can use for monitoring the neighborhood is to implement security cameras.
Why Should HOAs Use Security Cameras?
The visible presence of HOA security cameras gives residents the reassurance that their association places a high priority on the community’s safety and security. Although security officers can also be very helpful in this regard, they are unable to be everywhere at once; cameras ensure that no vulnerable space is ever left unmonitored.
Cameras can be used in conjunction with locked entrances, alarms and increased lighting to provide a high level of deterrence. By placing cameras that are monitored regularly at strategic locations throughout the community, the police can be alerted to crimes in progress. Their visibility is also a crime deterrent.
Which Security Cameras Should HOAs Use?
Modern security surveillance cameras are more affordable than their predecessors. They are easy to use and provide high-resolution feeds which make it easier to see clearly what is happening and identify trespassers and other criminals.
Many HOAs are opting for new systems with features that were once limited to the military and government agencies, such as scene change notifications, remote accessibility, thermal imaging, tripwire settings and motion detection.
One common approach for video surveillance is perimeter security, with HOA security cameras being used to detect motion across the most vulnerable areas of the neighborhood’s perimeter.
Remote accessibility is also being used more frequently to allow users to view live video feeds of the security surveillance cameras from any connected device. Security firms can monitor the cameras 24 hours a day and observe detailed video feeds.
Today’s HOA security cameras can also be integrated with other surveillance and security products, such as video doorbell cameras and video intercoms. These offerings can alert residents of suspicious activity, which they can then share with the community at large.
Balancing Security And Privacy
Although many of your community’s residents will recognize the need for comprehensive security, it is important to approach surveillance cameras with privacy in mind. Some residents may not be comfortable with the idea of having their activities monitored, so it is important to explain to residents how these cameras can improve their quality of life significantly without needlessly compromising privacy.
Signs should be posted in the areas where camera surveillance is taking place, and the cameras should never be positioned where they can take video footage inside the homes of residents. If drone flights are being used for security, flight paths need to be designed to avoid invading people’s privacy. It is also important to disclose to residents what type of footage is gathered, how it is being stored, who will have access to the footage, and how long it will be stored.
Managing HOA Security Cameras
If your HOA installs security cameras, it is important to approach the responsibility of managing the footage carefully. Maintenance is essential to ensure the proper operation of security cameras, and regular inspections and evaluations should take place to make sure the equipment is performing as expected.
Enlisting the services of a professional security firm is one of the best ways to safeguard recorded footage, making certain that it is handled responsibly. Issues with the equipment can be identified before compromising the integrity of the documentation.
Although outsourcing this responsibility may initially be more costly upfront, an established security firm will have more experience addressing crime and safety and will be more familiar with the most effective tools for any related situation. However, HOAs need to carefully select the security firm to avoid liability issues. Consider references and choose licensed and experienced security firms.
Utilizing Security Personnel To Surveil The Neighborhood
To serve as an additional deterrent and for quick response to incidents, some communities may also hire on-site security officers in addition to camera monitoring.
This is particularly valuable in high-crime areas or neighborhoods that have experienced multiple break-ins. Security officers can be positioned at access points to monitor those entering and exiting, and they can also carry out roving patrols to identify crimes in progress.
Get In Touch With The Residential Security Experts
If your homeowners’ association is in search of an experienced and licensed security firm, contact the professionals at American Protection Group to learn more about their services and discuss your community’s needs.