With summer dwindling away, schools reopening, and fall fast approaching, change is in the air. And with change comes the chance to reevaluate your apartment community’s safety practices and procedures.
But everything is fine, you think. Why do I have to change anything?
Hopefully, everything IS just fine and you can look forward to an autumn full of pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters. But apartment communities are always welcoming new residents who do not know your property well or are unfamiliar with your safety practices.
So as the nights get longer and the weather gets colder, it’s a great idea to take a look at your property with fresh eyes to spot the things you may miss on a day-to-day basis. Here are five things a security professional will look for that you can too.
1. Examine your property’s layout
You probably know your community and its particulars as well as your favorite sandwich order at Subway. But familiarity can create blind spots.
Walk your property as though you were a new resident, paying close attention to areas at night: are there any dark or hidden areas that an attacker could hide in? Do any buildings or fences cause obstructions? If you have security cameras, do they have unimpeded views? Examining your property layout and its landscaping can help you identify any problem areas.
2. Take a look at the lighting
Autumn means twilight will fall earlier and earlier every night until the winter solstice. With your property in darkness roughly half of the day, it’s imperative that your community feels safe after sunset. Are there areas with poor lighting? Any areas residents avoid because they are not well-lit?
Poor lighting can lead to crimes such as theft, breaking and entering, and even assaults. Make sure your lighting is more than adequate outside all buildings, sidewalks, and parking areas to deter crimes and help your residents feel safe to come and go at night.
3. Assess the access entry points of your community
Most apartment communities have multiple entry and exit points. How many points of entry does your community have? Are there any that are not utilized, and why? Identify any problems associated with them.
4. Parking pitfalls
With parking lots being the third most common place for a crime to occur, it would behoove you to assess your community’s parking areas. A few things to focus on:
- Are your lots well-lit? Good lighting deters criminals and makes it easier to identify lurkers who don’t belong there.
- How well-maintained are your parking lots? Appearance says a lot about safety. Make sure parking lines are clearly marked, and remove litter, weeds and fallen leaves in a timely manner. If you get wintry weather, make sure snow removal is a top priority for your residents as well. While most people enjoy a snow day, many residents can’t afford the luxury of being late to work because they can’t get out of their parking spot.
- Is your signage up-to-date and easy to read? Apartment complexes, especially larger ones, have multiple buildings and more than one entry point. Visitors or those unfamiliar with the layout may end up wandering aimlessly if signage does not direct them properly, making them a prime target for crime.
5. Examine the security risks of your residents and community
Everyone wants to leave when the clock hits 5 p.m., but how do you know everything is safe when you lock up? Do you have a system in place to check that the doors are locked at night? If you have employees that stay late, is there someone to escort them to their vehicles safely? Who monitors your property overnight and responds to incidents? Make sure you have a plan in place before something happens.
It’s a lot of work to keep your residents and community safe. Signal 88 Security can help you with these and many other security needs. Signal 88 offers full-scale, no-obligation site assessments of your community.