Safety in Gated vs. Non-Gated Communities: Which is Better for Your Community?
Everyone wants to feel safe and secure within their own community. Choosing the right balance of added protection while maintaining a welcoming entrance is often challenging. Local government regulations and added costs for association members can deter efforts aimed at better security. Finding the right balance is possible by learning more about gated vs. non-gated HOAs.
Entrance gates to your community are more than just a physical barrier. Many experts agree that gates present a psychological barrier for potential criminals. The very presence of gates signals that forced entry isn't worth their time, effort, or the risk of getting caught.
Gates also reduce unauthorized vehicle and foot traffic. Residents tend to feel more secure when control measures, like that of gates, are in place to control who accesses their communities.
Added security measures such as video cameras can provide added peace-of-mind for homeowners. Integrating a video with a gate's intercom system allows residents to see and speak with their guests. Advances in video security systems have led to cameras that can clearly identify such features as a car's make and model, along with its license plate.
Gated communities are also known to increase property values within an HOA. The attraction of living in a gated community appeals to many and can add as much as $30,000-$50,000 to a home's financial worth.
Associations that are gated communities must tread cautiously in how members perceive this level of security. Homeowners within the community have a responsibility for their own protection and must not rely solely on the gates or cameras. Education and communication regarding safety and security within the community can go a long way to keeping members safe.
There are security measures a community can implement without adding gates. Video surveillance systems of the entrance and in common areas are one way to deter criminals and other unwelcome visitors.
Video cameras are helpful but only if an association takes care of them. Ensuring the cameras are weatherproof is one step to preventing frequent replacements of expensive equipment. Securing the camera footage is essential when something does happen and the footage is necessary for evidence. Deciding whether to contract with a security company or going it alone is another important decision when it comes to camera monitoring and maintenance.
Access control systems can add security for non-gated communities by controlling access to buildings. Pairing these types of systems with video cameras and motion-detection lighting is just another way to help residents feel more secure.
While gated communities are typically quieter due to less traffic noise, road maintenance is up to the community. Roads within a non-gated community are not private and therefore not the association's responsibility. This is another important consideration when it comes to associated costs.
Whether a gated community is right for your association depends upon a variety of factors. This security article by GrandManors provides greater detail regarding the pros and cons of gated vs. non-gated communities.
RealManage provides professional property management services designed to help make communities thrive. Members who feel safe and secure are more likely to engage with their association and to support safety initiatives.
At RealManage, we excel in community development by providing the most advanced management services in the industry. Our staff takes great pride in their ability to assist associations with their quest for a happy and safe place to live. We start by guiding association boards with issues like budget management and community relations. RealManage is a well-rounded resource for any challenges an association may face.