The most recent American Housing Survey conducted by the Census Bureau indicated that 11 million homes are located within gated communities, and this statistic is expected to increase when the 2020 Census takes place. To a great extent, gated communities have become a new element of the American Dream. They have almost come to replace the white picket fences of yesteryear, and one of the reasons homeowners are attracted to these enclosed neighborhoods is because they believe they are safer than homes built on open subdivisions.
Gated communities often transmit a false sense of security. Gates, fences, and perimeters are not enough to protect residents. A 2013 study published in Justice Quarterly showed that only vandalism and spur-of-the-moment theft are diminished within gated communities. HOA board members who want to increase security in their gated communities should consider the following measures.
Increase Security Awareness
Leaving doors unlocked and windows open are common issues created by the false sense of security within gated communities. HOA meetings, social gatherings, and newsletters should be used to remind residents that they should not adopt a glass bubble mentality. Residential security does not start at the gate. It starts at the property boundaries.
Hire Security Personnel
Sophisticated burglary crews are known to target gated communities because they research the level of affluence within. These “professional” thieves know more about the false sense of security than homeowners do. However, these thieves will draw the line when they see trained Hayward security guards posted at the gate or conducting patrols. Sophisticated burglars take pride in not getting caught. Therefore, they will not take unnecessary risks and will seek other targets.
Install Smart Home Automation
Modern household technology is not limited to DVRs or advanced refrigerators that notify homeowners when they are running low on milk. Today’s smart home systems include keyless locks that can be accessed by means of fingerprints or smartphone codes. Other security devices include surveillance cameras, motion detectors that send smartphone notifications, and lighting systems that can be remotely turned on or off. If a resident specializes in setting up smart home systems, he or she could be invited to deliver a presentation at the next HOA meeting.
Encourage Closer Bonds with Neighbors
Good neighbors will look out for each other after they get to know each other. Planning activities that bring residents together is something HOA board members should consider regarding the overall security of their communities. The idea is to organize events that go beyond Tupperware parties and neighborhood security briefings and plan activities that are mindful of the diversity of residents. HOA board members should not expect everyone to show up to Bible study sessions. They should mix things up with potluck lunches, pool parties, carpooling, Habitat for Humanity projects, and Disney movie screenings for children.
If you’re looking for unarmed or armed guard private protection in Hayward, reach out to ADS Guards. We are a leading provider of residential security services, and we also offer security for commercial spaces and special corporate events. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 to learn more.