As a homeowner, one of the main concerns people have is how secure they feel within their home and community. Many potential home buyers even look at what measures the homeowner association has put in place to keep residents safe. While homeowners associations are not typically required to provide security, there are some simple safety measures each community can take to ensure their residents feel safe.
One of the easiest ways to deter crime within a homeowner association is to ensure there is adequate lighting. Poor lighting can hide all kinds of suspicious activity.
- Eliminate Dark Areas: Associations should review the lighting design within their community and eliminate any dark areas. Make sure that lightbulbs are replaced often and install lights in any areas where it is needed.
- Motion Detectors: Install motion detectors and recommend that owners do as well. Burglars are usually discouraged by lights and motion detectors are a great way for people to know when someone is approaching their home.
Oftentimes crimes happen when the person has an easy place to hide out. Board members should walk the property periodically to inspect t the hedges, bushes and trees within the community to see if there are any obvious hiding spots that should be eliminated. Removing these hiding spots can help reduce the potential for a crime to take place.
- Berms: If your community has berms at its entry point or near parking lots, make sure they are not obstructing any views. If it is not easy to see the street or parking lot, the association may want to consider reducing the size of landscaping on the berms to provide more visibility.
- Shrubs: Planting thorny shrubs at entrances or around common areas may help deter criminal activity. Another rule of thumb is to keep all bushes and hedges trimmed back eliminating hiding spots.
- Trees: Make sure trees are not overgrown or have low hanging foliage. Associations should also ensure that trees are not obstructing any lighting throughout the community.
Get To Know Your Local Police and Fire Departments
One of the best ways to fight crime in your community is to get to know your local police and Fire Departments. Having a good relationship with your community’s local safety departments may make it more likely to receive special consideration when problems do occur.
- Community liaison: Investigate if you have a community liaison for your police and fire departments. It’s always a good idea to get to know this person. Invite them to your association meetings or community events to make a presentation or to handout safety information.
- Association Support: If your police or fire department is hosting an event, ask members from your association to lend a hand. This will help establish goodwill.
Communication is Key
Utilize your community newsletter, social media channels or website to keep owners informed of important safety information.