Residential Gated Communities Security: Balancing Security and Convenience

When it comes to gated communities and developments, there is a fine line between providing adequate security, and ensuring residents are not inconvenienced.

When it comes to gated communities and developments, there is a fine line between providing adequate security, and ensuring residents are not inconvenienced. In this post we are exploring a range of security solutions that meet the brief when it comes to being effective, yet practical for residents.

Gated community security

The appeal of living in a residential gated development extends beyond community feel and well-landscaped grounds. As the demand for secure living increases, so does the need to strike a balance between making sure residents are well-protected in their homes, and preserving the convenience that everyone values.

The gated entrance is not just a barrier, but a gateway to a pleasant lifestyle that combines the tranquillity and comfort of home, with the protection of cutting edge security.

Join us as we delve into the subject of residential gated community security, exploring the fine balance between the need for sophisticated security, and the seamless flow of everyday life.

Access control for gated developments

One of the most popular types of security for gated developments has to be access control.

The most popular credentials for gated community access control systems range from key cards to RFID fobs or PIN codes for keypad readers. Today’s systems will also employ smart keys, using smartphone apps to activate the gates, or biometric entry, such as fingerprint or iris recognition.

There is also the option of number plate recognition for vehicle access control.

It is important to consider the practicalities of each of these entry methods. Key cards and fobs are prone to being lost, stolen or cloned, which of course puts the security of all the community residents at risk.

Biometrics offer a higher level of security, as the information is personal only to the authorised resident, and therefore cannot be shared or stolen.

Smartphone entry is also more secure than cards or fobs. Naturally there is the worry that if the phone is lost or stolen, it could be mis-used to gain entry. But remote key cancellation removes that risk.

Combining access control with CCTV is a good way of adding another layer of protection. CCTV can be used to verify resident identity via facial recognition, as well as recording who has entered.

Artificial intelligence can also be introduced, allowing credentials to be automatically verified against a database, without any need for human-based checks. This technology can also be used to automatically detect tailgating, where someone enters a development closely behind another in order to gain unauthorised access.

Community surveillance systems

As well as working alongside access control to prevent unauthorised access to the community, CCTV can also play a vital role in helping deter crime, monitor common areas, and provide valuable evidence in the case of security breaches.

It is important to be aware that when adding surveillance cameras within a gated community, there are various legal considerations to factor in. If for example the cameras are positioned in such a way that they capture images outside of the community boundary, such as public footpaths or neighbouring properties, then they will fall under certain data protection laws.

Whilst capturing CCTV images outside of the community boundary is not an offence, it does mean that whoever is responsible for the cameras will become a registered data controller and will take on certain legal obligations, making it compulsory to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

You will also need to install signage to make it clear that CCTV is in operation and the reason for it, as well as consult with residents as to its introduction within the development.

Read the guide: CCTV Installation: 5 Crucial Things You Need to Know

These days, artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly being integrated into new CCTV systems. This is adding value in a number of ways. For example, AI incorporates machine learning and anomaly detection, which has the power to automate the entire surveillance process, making it more cost effective to run without the need for human input.

AI-powered CCTV can also be used to detect threatening patterns of behaviour and identify suspicious activity, such as loitering outside the development, attempts at unauthorised entry, taking notes or photographs or using binoculars, for example.

Perimeter security

Of course, the most obvious security measure for a gated community has to be its gates. Whether you choose sliding gates or swing gates will depend on the setup of the grounds, available space, and budget. Automated gates are favourite and provide the ultimate convenience for residents.

Creating a physical barrier around the community is also important. High quality fencing is one option, and this can be made decorative so that it enhances rather than detracts from the aesthetic of the development.

Brick walls are another option, as are natural barriers such as hedging. Strategically selected and positioned planting can create a useful barrier to help deter intruders, whilst at the same time enhancing the landscape.

Security lighting

Security lighting that reacts via sensors is a valuable deterrent for would-be intruders who prefer the cover of darkness.

Dusk to dawn lighting is another option, and is often installed at entrance gates to provide residents with a feeling of safety and security as they come and go after dark.

Read the guide: How to Get the Most out of Security Lighting

Smart security

Smart security such as smart door locks and video doorbells are increasingly being adopted by homeowners, and there is no reason why householders within gated communities shouldn’t adopt them either for their own personal protection and convenience.

Video doorbells have a built-in camera and are designed to protect homeowners by allowing them to see who is calling, and answer the door without having to open it.

Smart door locks use a smartphone-based key to allow entry to a property. The keys can be cancelled should security be compromised, and temporary keys can be issued to allow limited time access to, for example, visiting family, cleaners or contractors.

Barry Bros Security: Keeping Homeowners Safe for 75 Years

If you are looking for tailored security solutions to protect your gated community, Barry Bros Security is at your service.

Our experts are equipped with all the knowledge you need to come up with a security plan tailored specifically to your needs, taking into account the aesthetic of your development, as well as the practical needs of your residents.

To discuss your individual needs, you are welcome to get in touch.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.