Enhancing Physical Security in Residential Complexes: A Comprehensive Guide
By Jeff Welch
September 11, 2023
Physically Securing a Residential Complex
The security of a residential complex is a top priority for property owners and managers. Safeguarding a residential complex and its people from potential threats requires strategic security measures that can be customizable and adaptable based on the property. Here we outline the steps to follow when physically securing a residential complex.
1. Develop a Security Plan
The first step in physically securing a residential complex is to develop a security plan. This plan should be tailored to the specific needs of the complex and its residents. It should consider the complex's layout, the types of buildings and features present, and the security risks that are most likely to occur.
2. Implement Security Measures
The next step is implementing security measures once a security plan is in place. These measures may include installing security cameras, hiring security guards, and establishing entry and exit procedures. These measures must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they are effective.
3. Create a Safe and Secure Environment
One of the most essential aspects of physically securing a residential complex is to create a safe and secure environment for residents. This means having well-lit areas, keeping landscaping trimmed and debris-free, and having adequate security measures, as previously mentioned. Depending on the property or residents, some residential complexes may require enhanced security measures. Educating residents on safety procedures and what to do in an emergency is also important.
4. Develop Policies and Procedures to Promote Safety
In addition to the physical security measures in place, it is also important to have policies and procedures that promote safety and security. These may include things like background checks for all employees, visitor screening procedures such as gated entry or security guards, and rules governing the use of common areas. These policies and practices will make maintaining a safe and secure environment for everyone easier. It’s also important to stay current on the latest trends and the future of apartment and condominium security.
5. Physical Security Measures Must be Used with Other Measures
It is important to remember that physical security measures are only one part of keeping a residential complex safe and secure. They must be used with other measures, such as having an effective security plan and training residents on safety procedures. By taking all of these steps, you can help ensure that your residential complex is safe and secure, as the need for physical security has never been more relevant.
6. First Impressions Matter
When evaluating the security at a particular location, it is essential to make a holistic assessment of the property. Factors such as lighting, access control, camera systems, signage & warnings, security personnel, and housekeeping are crucial in determining the property's vulnerability to crime. The property's condition communicates its vulnerability to crime, and these observations can shape your discovery process and evaluate testimony.
7. Incident History Informs the Standard of Care
The history of the property and the surrounding area should be evaluated for the level of prior crime. This information shapes the standard of care regarding what reasonable security measures should be provided for the premises. Combining historical activity with information on the type of property, its location, and expected uses, it is possible to establish a property-specific standard of care that would provide a reasonable degree of safety for residents, guests, and employees.
8. Learn from Past Mistakes
Having performed numerous security evaluations, it's clear that inadequate security can lead to severe consequences. For instance, a residential complex that chose not to install cameras but posted signage indicating CCTV monitored certain areas can lead to a false sense of security. Such decisions can violate the standard of care and open owners to potential liability.
Do residents feel safe at your residential complex? If not, or if you would like to pinpoint any potential security vulnerabilities, schedule a security assessment with Grab The Axe today. Experts from the Grab The Axe team will thoroughly assess the property and provide insights for strengthening the overall security posture to stand up to the current and evolving threat landscape.
Citation: Pearl, M. (2021). Security Assessment: Apartment/Condo Walkthrough. Robson Forensic. Retrieved from https://www.robsonforensic.com/articles/bar-nightclub-premises-security-expert.