Belinda Bagnall from Residentsline discusses security in apartments and how it can be enhanced.Block residents expect the very best security- for the sake of their financial investment, their personal safety, and the protection of their belongings. Feeling safe and secure in your home is paramount, and residents largely rely on their RMCs and Directors to uphold that right. Intelligent security measures, a sense of community, enforcing appropriate policies, prioritising maintenance, and embracing new technology all come together to create a secure block environment. Here we’ll be discussing these measures in detail; creating a comprehensive guide for RMCs and Directors charged with residential block security.
Basic SecurityLet’s get the essentials in place before we go on to add any extras. Basic security for a block of flats should include:
- An access control system
- Appropriate lighting
- Entrance maintenance
- Changing the locks on flat doors
The Importance of Block CommunityThe most useful aid for block security is fostering a sense of community and neighbourly care among residents. They can be your eyes and ears as a block manager; reporting any maintenance needs or strange activity. For this to work, you’ll need to be approachable and also provide an anonymous route for those who would like to make you aware of something but don’t want to become embroiled themselves. Encouraging group activities and events is a great way to encourage friendships and neighbourly respect. Residents are far more likely to actively look out for each other if they’re on friendly terms. Some blocks go as far as forming neighbourhood watch programs which can work brilliantly. At bare minimum, residents should be aware of their own responsibilities when it comes to security; not allowing access to strangers, not propping communal doors open for any reason or length of time and reporting any suspicious activity to block managers. They should also be encouraged to report any maintenance issues that could affect security immediately (e.g. lightbulbs that need replacing, CCTV cameras that have been knocked etc.).
The Importance of External Community
Making sure your block is involved with the wider community can also help to promote security around the building. Open the lines of communication with property mangers who handle other blocks in your area and share any concerns with them. Make contact with local law enforcements and make them aware that you’re available for discussions about what can be done to improve any anti-social behaviour in or around the block. If you’re a known contact, people will share their concerns, and those concerns can then be addressed. If you are experiencing particularly serious security issues, it may be wise to invest in security personnel for the block, even if it’s only for a short length of time or for certain events (e.g. Halloween, bonfire night etc.).
Motion-detecting, LED lighting schemes are not only great for the electricity bill (and the planet), but they’re great for boosting security too. Good lighting will make CCTV footage clearer, deter most break ins and make residents feel safer. Areas of focus should be entranceways, car parks and alleyways. Any dark spots in the building will be vulnerable- not many criminals will continue with their activity if they’re suddenly very well lit.
SummarySecurity must be a top priority for RMCs. Residents should feel safe in their own home, and it only takes some simple steps to do what you can to uphold their sense of safety. Keeping your block up to date with technological advances in the security systems available will ensure that the value of the block is maintained while boosting safety. It will also reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring which could lead to damage, legal issues and complaints. Being ahead of the game will reduce your stress and workload while also saving residents from the potential trauma of being burgled or worse. Prioritising security is a sure-fire win for everyone.
Residentsline has been providing insurance for flats and apartments for over 25 years. We enjoy providing support and assistance to our customers in all areas of leasehold. Call us today for a quote at 0800 281 235.