For the past 35 years we have worked with numerous private neighborhoods to develop a proactive protection plan. As a Michigan based company with offices in Flint, Saginaw, and Detroit, Teachout Security Solutions has learned what criteria you should consider when choosing a security solution.
Gated communities give residents a sense of peace, security, and exclusivity. Found in metropolitan areas across the country, gated communities have seen a steady rise in popularity since the 1980s. In 1997, an estimated 3 million units were built behind walls across America. In 2001, 7 million gated home were occupied, rising to 11 million in 2009, and the number keeps growing. To keep these communities safe, security measures go beyond the gates and wall themselves. Cameras, neighborhood watch groups, home security systems and security guards all provide the layer of protection needed to maintain the neighborhood. With annual private security expenses approaching $35 billion, more homeowners are relying on security services from a real person trained to address potential dangers. Choosing the right security service depends on several important factors, and careful consideration will make the neighborhood’s security most effective.
What are your security concerns?
Private security may simply give residents added reassurance, or they may be required to solve a specific problem. Increased traffic or suspicious persons in the neighborhood become a problem when gate entry codes are over-shared. A security guard at the gatehouse can allow or disallow entry without sharing a code and giving the visitor permanent access. If loitering or vandalism has become a concern, security patrols provide an immediate, consistent deterrent, while police may ignore petty offenses or arrive after offenders are gone. Burglary is a serious concern, especially for seasonal residents of a community. While neighborhood watch groups lack training to confront a burglar directly and police need time to get to the scene, a trained security guard has the skills and proximity to address the problem immediately.
What are you looking for?
Gated communities give residents safety, community camaraderie, and exclusivity, though only as long as the system is enforced. Security personnel at the gatehouse reduce the entry of unknown visitors, making a safer and less busy environment for children to play outside. A security guard who is known and recognized by the community strengthens community solidarity, while also preventing disputes between neighbors or neighborhood children. By limiting outsiders from using communities amenities such as pools or tennis courts, HOA fees stay low and property values stay high.
What type of community do you have?
Lifestyle communities are organized around activities or recreation, such as a community with a sailing club or marina, and the security focus might be to preserve amenities, prevent unnecessary expenses, and limit amenity use to those who pay for entry. An elite community, with large, especially expensive homes, may focus specifically on surveillance to prevent burglary. A security community, with close proximity to at-risk or high-crime areas, may heighten security around entrances and focus on loiterers or strangers to the community.
Neighborhoods around Chicago, La Jolla, Tallahassee, Seattle, Miami, and many others have hired private security firms to keep their communities secure, with more considering the option every day. To make your security solution most effective, ask your consultant what they can provide and focus on the needs of your community.