Is your Estate REALLY Safe?
Don’t be fooled by high complex walls and fancy entrances
Estate Security: The perception is often that very high walls and fancy entrances to complexes deter criminals, but this is not always the case, says Marcel Pienaar, Estate and Risk Security specialist of Fidelity ADT.
“Even in a secured complex, there is always a risk of burglaries and theft from inside and outside the complex and residents should remain vigilant and responsible for their personal security. This is particularly true of complexes that are not fully let or where construction workers are still present,” he notes.
Estate security is often compromised for aesthetics, explains Pienaar. “In our experience, we’ve found that often body corporates are shocked when a estate security specialist points out vulnerable areas in the complex’s security. It makes sense to have a security specialist involved from the get go if possible or to do a thorough assessment before security is installed or upgraded,” he advises.
Access control is obviously a key component of the security solution and having a guard that mans the gate and is also expected to patrol is an issue. “The entrance should be manned at all times, even if residents have their own access cards etc. The guard also needs to be able to alert a reaction company if security is under threat or assistance is needed.”
Pienaar says the estate security systems can be nullified when there is little or no provision for the safety of guards on duty. “An increasing criminal modus operandi is to observe the guard and then hold him at gunpoint allowing the criminals to enter the complex at leisure. Guard room windows are mostly never bullet proof or even tinted to ensure that the movement of the guard cannot be monitored from outside the complex.”
He stresses that the bottom line is that residents need to be part of the contingency planning, conducting regular security drills and monitoring of security systems. They also should not be complacent thinking that the complex security is enough.
“We highly recommend that residents have alarms and other security measures in place in their individual units. It is not uncommon to hear of cases where criminals have moved into complexes posing as residents and then break into houses before moving out with their stolen goods.”
He concludes by pointing out that security at complexes is now becoming far more specialised. “It is essential that the complex’s security provider can provide comprehensive security services that include technical support and pro-active planning.”
COMPILED ON BEHALF OF FIDELITY ADT BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.