Posted in Blog  
  on Dec 23, 2014

Safety Options for Single-Family Units

Your rental property is an investment. And there are a few subtle ways to protect this investment, such as getting homeowner's insurance. However, it's also important to think about more direct ways in which you can physically protect your rental properties from burglars and vandals. Here are three options for protecting your properties and your tenants:

Alarm Systems
Alarm systems use sensors and codes to protect your buildings. The sensors will alert the authorities when a door is opened or a window is broken. Codes entered onto keypads can change alarm settings and turn the alarm on and off as your tenants come and go.
The sensors included in alarm systems must be installed. This cost of installation can vary significantly depending on the type and number of sensors used. Some sensors can only measure when a window or door has been opened, whether by a tenant or an intruder. These less expensive sensors throughout the home won't alert tenants to dangers such as carbon monoxide, fire, flood, or broken windows.
The more expensive sensors can detect significant risks to your tenants and property. They can also alert your tenants when there is motion detected in the home.
For example, someone may sneak into a home while the alarm isn't armed. They then may hide until the tenants are asleep. The intruder may even watch from their hiding place as someone enters the code to disarm the alarm so that they'll be able to disarm it before they start stealing valuables. They can them disarm the system, take valuables out of the home, and rearm the system.

This scenario is possible for a system without motion detectors. However, with motion detectors, as soon as they intruder began to move from their hiding place, the sensors would trip, the alarms would sound, and the tenants would be alerted.

Gated Entry
Another option for tenant and property safety is gated entry. This entails having a strong gate constructed all around the property line with just a few entry points (for instance, one in the front, one in the back, and one on the side), for tenants to use. The tenants would need a key card or gate code to gain entry onto the property.
The Gate
The gate you choose would need to be high enough so that no one could jump or climb over it. Yet, you'll want to monitor the height, because costs of installing the gate increase as the height goes up. Also, for aesthetic purposes, gates that are very high tend to make residential properties look like prisons, and this may turn off potential (or even current) tenants.

Video Surveillance
Criminals may be less likely to steal from or damage your property if there are cameras visible on the land. If they understand there is a greater risk that they will be captured because they are being videotaped, they are less likely to take the risk of getting caught.

Playback and Monitoring
You may not need to have a specific security professional viewing the security cameras of a single-family home throughout every hour of the day.
There are ways to digitally record and store various amounts of video so that you have it on file and can play it back to see who spray-painted a garage door or stole a laptop from a home. Since most people notice an act of vandalism or theft has taken place soon after it happens, you may opt to store video that covers a limited date range.

Based on the property you're protecting, its neighborhood, and your budget, use this information to make a decision about the best single-family unit security options for your rental situation. Keeping your property safe protects the longevity and the value of the land and structure that you have invested in.


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