As the holidays approach, it’s important to remember that this time of year is often when your security at home is vital. As crime levels increase, people’s awareness decrease as they slip into holiday mode. So, making sure that your home security is tip top is the best way to ensure a safer holiday season. This also applies to sectional title schemes, and while they may be safer than living in a freestanding home, their security also needs to be checked, maintained and upgraded. Here are seven valuable tips for ensuring that your sectional title scheme is secure before the holiday season.
Who is responsible?
Although the body corporate is responsible for the security of the complex and common property in general, it is advisable that each property owner familiarize him/herself with the extent of the insurance cover put in place by the body corporate in order to ensure that risks not covered by the policy effected by the body corporate is adequately insured against by the homeowner separately and measures put in place to mitigate against security risks.
Intruder’s point of view
Take a look around your sectional title scheme from an intruder’s point of view. This is one of the best ways to pinpoint the vulnerable areas that need extra security. The outside is the first entry point for intruders and your first line of defence, so this should be as secure as possible. Whether with CCTV, electric fencing or any other security measure that your scheme can implement, the more, the merrier when it comes to security. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the communal areas don’t have anything in them that burglars may want to steal, and if there is, that it’s removed at night.
Maintenance is a must
Your current security measures need to be checked and maintained, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security once everything has been set up. Electric fences should be checked regularly because things like trees can get in the way and cause them to short. Gates can be a vulnerable point for schemes, mainly when cars are coming in and out often. Gates should be checked often to make sure they’re in working order, and security cameras should be installed here so that intruders don’t slip in behind people unnoticed.
Keep the body corporate informed
Since the holiday period is one of the most dangerous times of the year, it’s a good idea for homeowners to inform the body corporate of when they will be away. That way, their neighbours and other people in the scheme can keep an eye on their property and be aware that they aren’t around for a while if anything suspicious happens. Awareness is one of the first lines of defence when keeping a scheme secure, and this means extra awareness when people are away on holiday over the festive season.
Be careful with access
Access points are weak areas in a sectional title scheme, so body corporates should be careful with who they issue remotes or gate codes. Access codes should be changed every six months, particularly in large schemes where many people use them. Any access cards that are stolen or lost should be cancelled immediately, and codes should be changed often to prevent the use of old remotes or cards. During the festive season, many people have family and friends coming and going, which can end up a security risk, so access for these people should be controlled to make sure nobody else slips through.
Light it up
Well-lit properties are invariably less attractive to intruders who can be easily seen. So, it’s always a good idea to keep the scheme lit up at night, especially parking areas, gardens and corners where intruders could gain access in the dark. Motion sensor lights are also a good idea for areas that don’t need to be lit all the time. It’s best not to have any particularly dark areas on the property, especially near any access points.
What about the cost?
The body corporate is responsible for the cost of securing a sectional title scheme in communal areas; however, some people oppose security upgrades because they’re often one of the most expensive projects for the scheme. If the body corporate doesn’t have enough funds for the necessary security upgrades or additions, there are other options like Propell’s Project Loans solution. It’s the perfect financial answer for sectional title schemes that have necessary security measures to install but haven’t budgeted for. Schemes can access the funds immediately and draw from them whenever they need to, with loan repayment terms of up to 5 years.
Find out more about our Project Loans solution before the holiday season and get your sectional title security upgrades started now.