The importance of improving the safety of multi-family housing for residents and staff

Sce Pike is the head of MFH at ADT and provides WiFi, Access, Automation & Security.

Personal security has declined in the US over the past decade. In 2019, Mercer, the world’s largest outsourced asset manager, completed a 10-year survey of personal security trends and published the findings in their annual Quality of Life Ranking. The report found that personal safety has declined in the United States.

You don’t have to look far to read headlines about mass shootings, racially motivated attacks and riots, all of which contribute to Americans’ perception of a lack of security. According to an study by the LR Foundation: “Almost two in five people (39%) in the US feel less safe than they did five years ago, compared to 27% in 2019.” The pandemic, violence and uncertain political climate of recent years has led us to consider our personal well-being, both mental and physical, in ways that we have not done before.

The message is clear: the subject of personal safety is indispensable.

How can the multifamily industry build personal security into their buildings?

Historically, the multifamily industry has been good at understanding the next wave of consumer desires. For example, as public interest in “going green” grew, the industry embraced sustainability through: LEED Certifications and, more recently, smart thermostats.

As personal safety becomes a priority for residents and staff, it is the duty of building owners and property managers to prioritize safety as well. Here are some best practices to ensure the safety of your residents and staff.

1. Security processes for personnel

Without proper training, your employees can be totally unprepared for emergencies. Implementing training programs for all employees is key, along with establishing a “Security strategyfor things like office security, vacancy displays, and rental and property inspections. Start by conducting a security assessment with your staff that outlines the goals, then create a simple checklist of how to deal with certain issues during times of vulnerability. OSHAs Universal Precautions for Violence is a great resource to get you started.

2. Increased Site Security

In addition to automation, a plethora of on-site security measures are available, including access control services, smart unit locks, security cameras, video doorbells and alarm panels for multi-family communities and single-family rentals. These tools can alert residents and staff to security issues and are monitored and backed up on a trusted platform. In addition, you can increase residents’ confidence in the safety of the building by maintaining railings, stairs and lighting in the common areas and by regularly inspecting the property’s locks and security equipment.

3. Safety on the road

Next generation smart properties not only have on-site security, but also help keep residents and staff safe safety offer for the road. For example, you might want to give your staff the ability to activate an emergency call to a security company’s control room using their badge or a portable pin, so they can call for backup from anywhere. Group tracking features can also enable staff to keep an eye on colleagues who are carrying out evictions or vacant units in case they encounter any problems.

Attention to personal safety promotes the retention of residents and staff.

At a time when ‘quiet stop’ is a common topic on social media, making your buildings safer for staff is a worthwhile investment of time and resources. Showing your staff that you prioritize their safety through on-site training and on-the-go safety products can save you valuable turnover. And you can show concern to residents by providing reliable security services that help them stay safe. After all, if the house they live in takes care of them, why would they want to move elsewhere? Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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