Neighborhood Security Systems: 5 Tips for Selecting a New Solution
Neighborhood security is a top of mind concern for residents, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and property managers across the United States. The size and scope of HOAs has grown at a rapid pace in recent years – as of 2020, 80% of homes sold in the U.S. were part of an HOA community – meaning that scalable and cost-effective video surveillance systems are an essential tool for these organizations.
According to SafeHome.org, the top five considerations that individuals and organizations have when choosing their neighborhood security system include:
- Professional monitoring
- Ease of installation
Do a quick Google search and you’ll quickly see that there are a wide range of options for HOAs and property managers to choose from. The selection is wide, but not all platforms will be the right fit for your HOA or neighborhood. Some systems require expensive on-premise equipment and use NVRs or DVRs, while others offer a bit more flexibility through cloud-storage.
When selecting your new neighborhood security platform, it’s important that you do your homework about what your organization – and your residents – need not only from the security cameras, but also from the platform technology behind it.
To help make that selection process easier, we’ve created a list of five tips (or considerations) you should be aware of when shopping for a new neighborhood security system.
1. Ensure smart camera placement
Any quality neighborhood security system should allow you to place cameras and video surveillance equipment in high traffic areas, locations with important community assets, and entry and exit locations. Flexibility over camera placement is critical to ensuring that you have optimal coverage over all important locations in your neighborhood.
Here are the main areas targeted for camera placement:
- Entry and exit points – gated or otherwise
- Parks,playgrounds and swimming pools
- Communal property
- Any known areas for criminal activity
- Community mailboxes
Security cameras – when used properly – act as an extra set of eyes for your community in the event that something goes wrong. They help HOAs and property managers recover costs from culpable parties that cause property damage, and provide valuable footage to law enforcement when suspicious activity or unlawful behavior occurs.
It can, however, be difficult to cover every single area of possible concern in a community. Because of that, it’s helpful if you have a security system that allows you to either relocate cameras as needed, or add new ones without disrupting the overall efficacy of your network.
2. Eliminate reliance on on-premise equipment
For most HOAs, it’s very unlikely that the neighborhoods they manage will have central networking centers or servers rooms to which security footage can be routed. Even if there is one, it can be difficult and costly to run cables from all over a neighborhood to this central location (not to mention a nightmare if you need to move cameras or add new ones).
Physical storage locations for security camera footage can also be a liability from both a technical and criminal perspective. They’re an additional point of failure that could impact the entire network in the event of a crash, and they could even become targets from bad actors who want to tamper with the system.
Because of this, a distributed system is a much better option. Technology that lets you connect cameras directly to the cloud – and thereby eliminates the need for on-premise equipment – offers much more flexibility and security for HOAs and property managers.
3. Enable easy community access
Within a community, many different people will need access to security camera footage for a variety of different reasons. This includes system admins, security or loss prevention officers, and even individual residents. As such, it’s recommended that you look for neighborhood security camera systems that allow for an unlimited number of users to be added to the platform.
You should also be able to control access to the platform, and have the option to grant users rights to do certain actions based on their profiles. This might include limiting access for some individuals to specific cameras, or specifying what actions specific users can take (i.e. the ability to view video, but not to make or set changes).
4. Ensure access to local technical expertise
The security market is full of DIY solutions that can be purchased online and installed yourself. But, as most HOAs and property managers would know, the requirements for larger neighborhoods and communities are more complex.
There are compliance requirements, specialized networking and equipment needs, and regulations around camera placement and coverage. These regulations often change by region or state as well.
To meet these requirements and regulations, HOAs and property managers should partner with local technical experts with knowledge about what’s required for camera locations, security protocols, access to internet and power, and so on. These experts will help to ensure that your new neighborhood security system is both technically up to par, but also compliant with all local regulations.
5. Unlock flexible camera options
Most HOAs will employ a mix of cameras, depending on the size, scope, and variety of building in their communities. High-resolution cameras may be required for some locations (i.e. license plate capture at points of entry and exit), but not for others (i.e. swimming pools or areas of general traffic).
As such, it’s important to find a neighborhood security system that allows you to add a variety of different camera types into the network. This will ensure that you are able to use the right camera, in the right place, for the right job.
Even better, your system should also support alternate power options like power-over-ethernet (PoE) or solar, and a variety of unit housing styles (i.e. bullet, turrets, or domes). Together, this will give you the ultimate amount of flexibility over how and where you set up your security cameras.
Camcloud for HOAs and property managers
Camcloud is a modern alternative to on-premise video surveillance systems, making it a perfect platform for HOAs and property management companies.
The three primary benefits of Camcloud include:
- No hardware. Eliminate the need for complex on-site hardware gateways and NVRs. Connect multiple cameras across your neighborhood directly into one cloud account for fail-safe HOA security and video surveillance.
- Object and vehicle detection. Enhance your video surveillance with AI-driven vehicle, person, animal and object detection, making it easy to track and isolate suspicious activity.
- Open platform. Choose from the largest selection of cameras that offer easy and secure plug and play set up. Eliminate complex network configurations, and get up and running faster.
Interested in Learning More?
Contact us today to learn more about how Camcloud and its network of HOA and neighborhood security partners can solve your video surveillance needs.