A homeowner association (HOA)’s primary goal is to protect the homeowners and homes in the neighborhood. By protecting individual homes and common areas from vandalism, theft, and loitering, you can ensure that your community remains a safe, desirable place to live.
As an HOA board member, it’s your responsibility to determine which type of security your neighborhood needs and coordinate with a security services provider. Choosing how to spend your association’s security budget is no easy task, however.
This HOA security guide will discuss why security is so important, what types are available for HOAs, answer some common questions regarding neighborhood security, and go over tips for hiring security personnel.
3 Reasons Why HOA Security Is So Important
Having a security plan will go a long way toward making your community a safe and wonderful place to live. Homeowners and homebuyers place a ton of value on being able to live in a neighborhood that’s safe for them, their neighbors, and their children. Here are just a few benefits that increased security will offer your community:
1. Enforce Traffic Regulations and Parking
Having a neighborhood security guard will help enforce your covenant’s speed limits and parking restrictions. Ensuring visitors and guests comply with these rules will make it a safer place for everyone in the neighborhood and keep it looking nice.
2. Deter Theft, Break-Ins, and Vandalism
Preventing or stopping property crimes like burglaries, thefts, and vandalism will keep residents feeling safer in their own community and help maintain property values. Nobody wants to live in a neighborhood that suffers from frequent criminal activity.
3. Prevent Outside Access to Common Areas
Your common areas and amenities are for you and your neighbors. After all, you’re the ones paying for them! Security measures like locked gates, security guards, and cameras will deter unauthorized outsiders from using your facilities.
Overall, these measures will protect the neighborhood’s residents, properties, and common areas. A community with good security practices will remain a lovely place to live for many years to come. Determining which are needed for your neighborhood can be tricky, though, so it’s best to work with an experienced security team to create an appropriate plan.
What Type of Security Does My Neighborhood Need?
Your HOA’s security plan should include a combination of equipment and personnel, depending on the goals and budget of the board. A few things to keep in mind about commonly implemented HOA security measures:
- Installing security equipment like cameras, locked gates, alarms, and lights, is the most cost-effective way to deter crime in your neighborhood.
- Criminals tend to operate in areas where they’re least likely to get caught.
- Neighborhoods that are well-lit with comprehensive camera coverage and difficult-to-breach access points are not ideal targets for petty thieves, burglars, and vandals.
- Locking up access to clubhouses, pools, and other common areas will keep out trespassers, loiterers, and vagrants.
- These types of equipment offer a low-cost, 24-hour security solution for your neighborhood.
- Hiring security personnel is by far the most effective way to deter crime.
- Depending on your neighborhood’s needs, you can hire a neighborhood security guard just for the daytime, nighttime, or 24 hours a day.
These well-trained security professionals will actively patrol the neighborhood, deterring criminals and trespassers. They’ll also be able to quickly report crimes, fires, or other hazards to local law enforcement. A neighborhood with human security personnel will always be safer than one without it.
4 Common HOA-Related Security Questions
Developing and implementing a security strategy for your neighborhood is no easy task. As a board member, you’ll be making critical decisions about spending your neighborhood’s security budget to create a safer, more welcoming neighborhood for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the most common residential neighborhood security-related questions:
- Are Security Cameras Better Than Security Guards?
Security cameras are a low-cost 24-hour solution to deter crime and monitor your neighborhood. That said, having a well-trained professional security guard offers the best protection but at a higher cost than maintaining cameras or other equipment. Ultimately, which of these solutions will be best for you will depend on your needs and budget.
- Should I hire Armed or Unarmed Security Guards?
Neighborhood security guards will typically be unarmed, but it’s up to you to assess your neighborhood’s risk and decide whether or not you want armed security personnel. It’s important to note that if you choose to hire armed security, it’s vital that those people be highly-trained, ex-military, or prior police security guards. Armed security provides a more impactful deterrent to criminals operating in your neighborhood but may make residents uncomfortable.
- Should I Hire a Security Guard or Go Through a Security Firm?
Working with a security firm offers numerous benefits over hiring a security guard. Professional security services providers will carry their own insurance, cover expenses like background checks, training, and certification for their personnel, and even help you install, monitor, and maintain any security equipment your neighborhood has in place. They can also answer additional questions you have about neighborhood security, help you find the right equipment for your needs, and provide other security-related services you might need.
- How Do I Hire Neighborhood Security?
Choosing the right provider is critical to getting the security services you need, whether that’s equipment or personnel, at the right price. Ask other neighborhoods’ HOAs for any referrals or recommendations. Once you’ve chosen a security company, ask them about the experience of their guards, their selection process, and whether they conduct background checks for their employees.
It never hurts to get multiple quotes from various providers in your area so you can compare prices across several providers. HOA board members should have an ongoing conversation with their neighbors about security issues.
If the neighborhood needs the help of professional security services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with SMART Security Pros today. We offer expert security consulting and provide personnel and equipment for Homeowners Associations all over the Washington DC Metropolitan area. Stay Safe!