The Landlord’s Guide to Security System Features for Apartment Buildings

The Landlord’s Guide to Security System Features for Apartment Buildings

exterior photo of an apartment building on a sunny fall day

Source: ShutterstockBasic_1535823077

Voiced by Amazon Polly

The Landlord’s Guide to Security System Features for Apartment Buildings.

exterior photo of an apartment building on a sunny fall day

Source: ShutterstockBasic_1535823077

Guest Author:  Emila Smith

As a landlord, implementing effective security measures is one crucial aspect of managing your apartment building and making it more attractive to potential tenants. The residents of a building want to know that all steps have been taken to minimize risks such as burglary, vandalism, fire, and other emergencies.

According to recent US statistics, 66% of burglaries affect residential properties, which also experienced 372,000 fires (resulting in 2,615 deaths) in the decade between 2011 and 2020 alone.

Let’s focus on the measures all landlords should take to ensure their apartment buildings have all it takes to protect tenants.

Install Reinforced Security Gates

Reinforced security gates are designed to provide solid physical barriers between public and private areas and can be very effective at deterring unwanted individuals from trying to enter the building.

In order to withstand forced entry attempts, they are usually made with materials such as steel and aluminum. Steel is the most durable option but also tends to be less affordable than other materials. Aluminum is lightweight and cost-effective but may not offer as much protection as steel gates. 

When selecting the right solution, you should consider the layout and size of your property. For example, if your building has multiple doors or exits, you may have to install a reinforced gate or door for each one.

Implement Measures to Ensure Only Tenants and Authorized Personnel Can Access the Building

Access control systems are another crucial feature that your apartment building must take notice of. Their purpose is to ensure that only authorized people can enter the buildings or specific areas of it.

The most simple access control solutions are keycards that can be assigned to tenants or staff members. In order for the card to enable access, it needs to be scanned using an electronic reader. This type of system is also known as card-based access control. Recently, there has been a trend toward using mobile devices as a substitute for cards, which could be used by unauthorized individuals when lost.

More advanced access control solutions are biometric systems, which rely on human characteristics such as fingerprints or retinal scans in order to verify identities. These are extremely secure and difficult to breach.

For particularly sensitive areas, you should consider adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions, that is, access control systems that require at least two authentication criteria (e.g., PIN + fingerprint) to enable access.

An Effective Video Security System is Paramount

Another essential step of an effective security strategy is implementing an effective video security system. Video cameras can serve a double purpose: deterring criminals from breaking into the building and collecting evidence of crimes when they occur.

First, you should decide what type of video security solutions you want to adopt. Fixed, industrial IP cameras are usually mounted on walls and aimed at public areas, such as hallways, entrances, and common areas. On the other hand, mobile surveillance systems use mobile vehicles or sensors to detect and monitor an area.

You should also choose between a traditional wired system and a more modern wireless one, as well as between a system that relies on a physical on-site server and a cloud-based one. The latter one is more convenient and easier to maintain, and it allows you to access footage from anywhere with an internet connection.

Door and Window Sensors Can Provide Additional Protection

These sensors can alert security staff when a door or window remains accidentally open, as well as detect any attempted break-ins. Door and window sensors can be set up on any entrance or exit of your property, and they are usually very affordable.

You can choose among various types of sensors. Wireless ones are typically the most cost-effective option for apartment buildings because they require minimal installation and can be easily moved if needed.

These sensors can also be used to monitor temperature levels in an apartment building, which can be very useful when temperatures become dangerously high or low. By connecting them with smart HVAC systems, it’s possible to regulate the building’s temperature to ensure tenants are safe and comfortable.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can protect tenants from fires and gas leaks

Last but not least, landlords should make sure the building has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These are essential measures to alert residents and security staff of fire or gas leaks, which can be extremely dangerous when not detected.

These detectors should be installed in all common areas and on each floor, as well as in any area of increased risk, such as laundry rooms or boiler rooms. They can be connected to a central system that will alert security staff and allow them to respond in case of a fire or gas leak.

Quick Checklist

To recap, here are the security solutions that any apartment building should implement.

  • Reinforced security doors and gates
  • Modern access control solutions
  • Video surveillance
  • Door and window sensors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors

Other security measures that you may want to implement include surveillance patrols, alarm systems, and panic buttons. Don’t forget to check our basic home security checklist too.