by SecurityNet Security Consultants
Basic on-site security inspections seek answers to questions like these:
- What are the condo HOA’s security exposures and vulnerabilities?
- Is there a Neighborhood Watch Program? (If not, a proactive HOA will think about starting one.)
- Are residents in the complex trustworthy neighbors who watch out for each other?
- Is there control over who enters and leaves the building or association property?
- Are fire stairs locked from the outside so that residents can exit but others cannot enter?
- Are entry doors solid core and installed with deadbolts and eyeholes?
- Are door strike-plates secured with 3″ screws to prevent being kicked or forced open?
- Are door jambs constructed with solid wood and free of any rot, breaks, cracks or other damage?
- Do all windows, including those on the second floor, close properly and are they equipped with locks?
- Are sliding door locks intact? Do they have more than one lock to prevent lifting the doors out of their tracks?
- Are locks re-keyed and not moved to another unit or amenity building? (This is more broadly relevant to a rental community than to ownership units. But it is one that prospective owners or occupants of any residential unit should consider.)
- Are all keys for common area facilities closely controlled and accounted for?
- Are mailboxes and public areas well lighted and equipped with good locks?
- Are the exterior areas of the condo complex well lighted? Good illumination should be the norm at all entrances and nearby dark areas, including open parking areas and garages.
- Are the carport and living unit numbers set up so that they do not match thus making it more difficult to determine who is not home.
- Is the property well maintained? Are burnt-out light bulbs replaced promptly, landscaping maintained, and graffiti removed immediately?
- Are shrubs and other landscaping trimmed to remove hiding places for an intruder?
- Are there customized Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to minimize security risks? Are they good? Are they still comprehensive? Are they up to date?
- Are the SOPs actually followed? Regular, systematic supervision is ALWAYS required and is usually a weak link.
A skilled expert will typically see at least a few serious problems that owners would never notice. He or she should inspect the grounds, common areas, and at least two typical units. Sensitive interviews of a sample of owners, tenants, and nearby neighbors are helpful. Observing daily routines (day, night, weekends, even holidays), something smart criminals do by the way, with a practiced eye is another standard practice. An expert consultant will, within a relatively short period of time, understand how the community functions and what its critical security issues are.
Click below for information on other aspects of condominium HOA Security:
- Neighborhood watch for condo HOAs
- Professional security assessments for condo HOAs
- Why use a professional security consultant … or not?
SecurityNet is very experienced at improving condominium HOA, apartment, and senior citizen community security. We are happy to answer general questions by directors, owners, or managers at no charge and to discuss options for obtaining expert solutions to specific security challenges. Please feel free to contact us at (415) 392-1810 or by email at [email protected].