What comes to your mind when you think of a gated community by a prominent builder? Acres of manicured lawns, gardens, happy families, state of the art amenities, pools, people leisurely strolling around and job opportunities for maids and the likes. Pretty much sums it up, right? Ever wondered what comes to the mind of someone with a sinister agenda at the mention of apartment complexes – cars, personal belongings, valuables, countless gadgets, many opportunities for crime and petty theft and much worse.
Pardon us for opening the article on a scary note. But if you give thought to just how much can be stolen or how much damage can be caused inside an apartment complex by one guy with a bad agenda, you’ll realise the need for tight security. Thankfully, for residents’ associations are strict about having security protocols and personnel in place. But unfortunately, in some residents, the system is just not strong enough to hold up against some perpetrators. And some housing societies have guards and CCTVs are just there because it is customary of all gated communities to have them. Such systems sometimes are merely functioning and until it is too late, associations do not realise just how incompetent their security was.
Conventional Security Systems Are Obsolete & Outdated
Let’s discuss about security measures inside apartment complexes. Here’s what they are comprised of –
- A band of security guards distributed around the premises, exit/entry gates, clubhouses and other active spots
- A CCTV circuit with cameras in every block, clubhouse, kids park and lanes
- A record keeping system which is usually a ledger or similar physical entity typically used at the gate.
And that’s pretty much it! Do you realise that all of this cannot do much at preventing crimes? They may discourage crimes to a certain extent but once a crime is happening, not much can be done about it other than merely documenting it.
Here’s why –
- Security guards are, at the end of the day, humans. They are prone to error. At the gates, some days have a surge of guests. Entering the details, verifying their identities, allotting parking spots for them etc are time-consuming. This could overwhelm them and they will start speeding up everything increasing chances of sloppy records.
- Manually entering each visitors details is not just time-consuming. It also creates a rather long queue at the gate which could extend well into the main road disrupting traffic there. And this is something that annoys the visitors easily. Nobody wants to spend several minutes waiting for their turn.
- While CCTVs are vital in any security system, they also need someone to constantly analyse the visuals they are broadcasting. Until there is human intelligence to decipher the visuals and act upon them if needed, CCTVs will merely capture videos of crimes and hazards. They deter crime, but rarely ever stop or even intercept them.
- Physical ledgers, books etc kept at the gates can be really bad materials to aid in any investigation if the occasion calls for it. Guards may not have legible handwriting, they could accidentally enter incorrect details, the visitor could provide them details that are false. And such records are easily destroyed within seconds. Water could spill on them, someone could intentionally steal them, burn them or even tear pages out to cover their tracks.
- Maintaining staff attendance is another big part of running a society. But such attendance books are so easy to fool, Maid 1 could sign for maid 2 because they are friends. When someone goes back to the records to calculate pay based on days worked, this could be bad. Such records play a big role in identifying the culprits behind crimes. And if they are easy to manipulate, they will be of no help during an investigation.
- If a worker was previously removed from the premises for bad conduct, physical measures will do nothing at preventing his return a few years later. The security guards present at the time of him being expelled could no longer be working in the compound. People may fail at identifying that he was the blacklisted employee from a few years back. We’re sure we don’t have to elaborate on what entails if such a person returns.
- Visitors who checked in could stay hidden inside the premises and wreak havoc later. If physical ledgers are your only means of recording visitors, they could enter their sign in the timeout column as well while checking in. At the end of the day, when the guard checks the register, he’ll think that everyone has indeed checked out.
We could go on all day about why conventional systems are no longer strong enough to hold fort against anyone with a mind to sneak in and cause harm. Despite this, many apartment complexes continue to stick to outdated measures such as the ones mentioned above.
Associations often hire a band of guards from agencies that provide security personnel. The MCs expect them to have all the training required for the job and rarely provide any training related to their apartment specific needs. Needless to say, this leaves the guards on their own to use whatever limited training they have to guard an entire community with thousands of residents.
Why does this happen? Why do communities get lax about something as vital as security? Simple – it is convenient. It is convenient to pretend that you’ve done everything right until a mishap takes place. But the price you pay for convenience is quite high. Which is why those who are serious about security use a combination of human intelligence and software solutions to put up a near next to unbreachable security.
ADDA GateKeeper: Keeping Crime At Bay, One Apartment At A Time
Software solutions have numerous benefits over conventional manual security measures. They are less prone to error, they work round the clock, are easy to update/upgrade and are tougher to tamper with. Here are some of the features that the Gatekeeper app offers.
- ADDA Gatekeeper subscription includes two tablets that the guards would be trained to use. Using this, visitor details, photo capture, attendance records etc can be digitally saved and stored for future use.
- Gatekeeper alerts you when a visitor has checked in and has not exited premises even after a considerable length of time. Helps immensely in locating any visitor who is still lurking around.
- Biometric parameters will be used to capture staff attendance. That would be very difficult to fake or impersonate. Fingerprints of staff and domestic helpers can be recorded so even if someone gets blacklisted, saved biometric parameters can help the security guards identify them should they try to enter the premises once again.
- Digitally stored records are difficult to tamper with. Such records can be accessed by guards and MCs everyday to check for activity within the society.
- The ADDA Gatekeeper app comes with an in-built panic alert button for medical and non-medical emergencies. The button can be used to alert personnel at the gates and a safety contact of your choice to come rushing to you. In your situation allows it, you can even enter nature of emergency so that first responders can come prepared to handle your emergency.
- The Gatekeeper app can be used to keep track of move in/move out of tenants. Otherwise, you might be clueless about people who move out and still access amenities.
- The app will also help you make sure that drinking water tankers are actually emptied by checking tank parameters.
- Gatekeeper allows residents to create digital invites that can be shared with guests they are expecting. The guests can then show this at the gate to avoid long queues and procedures to check into the society.
The app packs a very powerful punch and is used by hundreds of apartment complexes within the nation. At ADDA, we understand the dangers of having an incompetent security system which is why we work around the clock to ensure that the Gatekeeper app does everything required to deter, prevent and stop crimes.
Remember, the price you pay for choosing what is convenient over what is effective is way too high. This is a matter that concerns the safety of hundreds of residents who pay you maintenance dues for security and other features. So be wise about your decisions.
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