While it’s true that over the last two decades, New England has become a safer place to call home, that doesn’t mean that security concerns don’t still exist—especially for those in condos or HOAs. While security guards, electronic gates and doormen are a good start for providing residents with a welcome sense of security, thanks to recent technological advancements, there are now a multitude of other ways for condo-dwellers to protect themselves and their property.
Covering the Bases
“It’s easy to do a return on investment and compare the cost of physical security vs. electronic,” says Christopher J. Wetzel, executive vice president of an East Coast-based security firm, “and the latter has proven to be cheaper. If electronics are deployed properly and you’re using the right technology, there’s consistency you will get day in and day out that you might not get if you rely strictly on the human element.” That being said, Wetzel says he feels that some presence of both is really the ultimate safeguard—a physical presence of some kind backed up with video and technology systems.
Janett McMillan, director of sales and marketing for ADT Security, says the more exclusive the community is, the higher the expectation for a comprehensive security program.
“Managers of residential buildings and developments are looking to full-service providers like ADT Security to assess their security needs for residences, buildings, property and common areas and present options and recommendations,” she says. “Increased crime is a significant factor. The association must be proactive and have the proper layers of protection in place to prevent the community from becoming a target.”
Bells and Whistles or Necessary?
Robert Kravets, CMCA, PCAM, president of Realty Corp. of Boston, says waiting until there’s an incident, possibly a serious one, is not the way to start. Most properties don’t need major security beyond door locks, lights, etc., but there are exceptions. “We have one property that’s extremely security-conscious; they have all kinds of (electronic) stuff and have for 30 years. We’ve had security evaluations done by security people, alarm companies. They used to have incidents there all the time, and they haven’t had them for a really long time now. That’s partially because the makeup of the area around the property changed, and because we have a tight system there.”