One of the primary reasons people are drawn to HOA communities is the security programs in place. After all, the protection of the common amenities and the individual homeowners is a top priority of most HOAs. Many communities use security guards/doormen, surveillance camera systems, auto-locks, and more to deter criminal activity.
While additional security measures, like engaging live security guards, may seem like a good idea, this may create more problems in the long run. A virtual security guard is most likely a better option for your community. Of course, the HOA board and the homeowners should discuss security options to determine what would be best. Below, we’ll discuss some of the issues that should be addressed when choosing security options for your HOA.
How Many Hours a Day is Security Required?
To determine the frequency and intensity of security needed, the HOA community must first establish what security threats they are actively facing. To figure this out, a few questions should be considered: Where is the community located? Security needs for an HOA in the middle of a bustling city will likely be different than one located in a quiet suburban area. Are there recurring issues that continue arising at certain times of day, such as night burglaries or daytime trespassing?
Are there non-residents taking advantage of the community amenities? Depending on the answers to these questions, some communities may require 24/7 surveillance, while others only need security on nights, weekends, or holidays.
What Security Options are Needed?
Once an HOA has decided when the security is needed, they must decide how much of the HOAs budget, whether that be a percentage or a fixed amount, can be dedicated to security options. This will determine the type of security that can be utilized.
Surveillance Cameras, Locks, Lighting, and Alarms
By installing security equipment, such as cameras, locks, lighting, and alarms, in an HOA community, you can monitor low-level crimes, such as violations of HOA guidelines, vandalism, trespassing, and property damage. Of course, it is important to note that while this may deter some criminals, an HOA should not rely on these basic security measures to stop all crimes.
To be most effective, the HOA must ensure that cameras are installed in high-risk areas but never in places that violate the privacy of the homeowners. Without the careful consideration of camera placement, an HOA may fail to prevent crime while also opening themselves up to invasion of privacy lawsuits.
Finally, these devices will experience general wear and tear, but are also vulnerable to intentional destruction and disabling. Cameras, locks, lights, and alarms all need to be maintained through regular inspection so HOAs ought to consider the costs of repairing or replacing equipment when making their security budget.
In addition to, or in place of, the above security options, many HOAs opt to hire live security personnel. While a physical security presence is great, live security guards are only human. They get sick, call out, and miss security issues, but most importantly, they can only be in one place at a time.
This means that while they are patrolling one area, a crime could be taking place in another area completely unbeknownst to them. If security personnel do come across a crime in progress, they run the risk of injury when intervening. An injured guard or would-be criminal could hold the HOA liable.
What many HOAs fail to realize is that for live security to be effective they need to employ and pay a significant number of guards for each shift to successfully monitor and secure the entire community. A virtual security guard may be a better solution in this situation.
A virtual security guard can not only cover a wider area but can virtually jump from place to place with the click of a button. When a virtual security crime sees suspicious activity, they can notify the police and potentially prevent a crime before it happens. Even if the virtual security guard does view a crime in progress, there is zero chance they will be injured. While a physical security presence is great, an HOA needs to recognize its shortcomings.
Schedule Your Assessment
Securiteam offers a wide range of security solutions, including virtual security guards. We can help secure your HOA community, giving you and your residents the peace of mind that should come with living in an HOA community. Schedule your assessment today to learn more about our security options for your HOA.