If there's one statistic that speaks to the urgent need for apartment security systems, it's this one from National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC): "Apartments have an 85 percent higher chance of being burglarized than single-family homes."
Almost 700,000 burglaries occurred in residences in 2018 per the FBI's Crime in the U.S. Burglaries of residential properties account for 67 percent of all burglary offenses.
Here are more crime statistics worth noting.
Burglars seek out easy targets where they can get in and out quickly. If they're spotted, they know the police can't get there fast enough. An apartment building can offer opportunities especially when tenants enter through several doors. Burglars will follow someone in acting as if they live in the building.
Suspects look for apartment security systems such as cameras and keypads. The fewer security systems they spot, there is a greater likelihood they will attack the residence.
In 2017, victims of burglaries lost an estimated $3.4 billion in property losses according to the FBI report. Moreover, burglary victims lose an average of $2,416 in their property. That's quite a chunk of change for apartment tenants.
Your multi-family residential property could have a locked door, but it won't always prevent burglaries as more than half involved forcible entry and 36 percent unlawful entries.
The FBI 2017 Crime Clock divulges that a property crime took place every 4.1 seconds, burglaries every 22.6 seconds, larceny-theft every 5.7 seconds. Do a little math and you'll discover that it's 15,157 larceny-thefts and 3,756 burglaries per day!
What exactly is larceny-theft? According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, larceny-theft is "the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another."
Talk about a scary statistic. Living in a multi-family residential property where people come and go does not deter burglars. The Bureau of Justice Statistics says burglary rates are higher for renters than homeowners.
Why is that the case? Apartment tenants do not know everyone who lives in the building. It makes it easy for a thief or burglar to move around the building in anonymity. They can blend in with the crowd. Apartments draw burglars because of their simplicity. They contain fewer hiding spots than homes.
A survey of 400 convicted burglars reveals the two biggest reasons why they commit a burglary are for drugs (51 percent) and money (37 percent).
Here are the top items they want to find:
Here are the top ways they spend the cash they steal:
Factors that affect how burglars select a target:
Aside from illegal drugs, it is not possible to ask your tenants to have less of these essential items. To combat burglary requires investing in multi-layered apartment security systems. The more layers of security you have, the greater the chance the burglars will look for another easy target.
How safe are your apartment tenants? Whether your apartment or multi-family residential community is in a high-rise or not, it will need an apartment security system. Apartment and multi-family residential owners and property managers have a duty to keep their tenants and employees safe. It does not matter whether your neighborhood has a low or high crime rate.
You can also increase tenant satisfaction and foster a sense of community with the right apartment security system.
One of the biggest challenges of apartment buildings is that residents come and go. It makes it hard for them to get to know each other. They probably would not recognize a suspicious person since many people in the building are strangers to them. That puts your property at risk for burglary, loitering, vandalism, and theft.
A well-designed video surveillance system can help alleviate that while showing your residents and employees that you care about their safety.
Video surveillance comes with these benefits:
Need more convincing? Check out the top three reasons why successful apartment properties use video surveillance.
The visibility of video monitoring cameras can help deter crime. Better yet, post signs indicating the area is under surveillance and that's another layer of security that helps prevent some crimes. Even with cameras and signs, you don't want to post dummy cameras and signs because it could turn into a liability risk.
When they see cameras, tenants may think someone is watching the cameras and recording the activity. If those cameras don't do anything, this supplies them with a false sense of security. If a crime happens and it turns out the cameras are fake, the affected tenants could sue the property.
Live video monitoring involves offsite trained security operators who watch your property 24/7 or whatever the contract stipulates. (Some businesses only monitor at night.) The security technology combines video analytics with human intelligence to catch activity as or before it happens. The system alerts the operator who verifies the activity and acts as needed.
Add audio speaker to the system and you add another layer for deterring crime. This lets the operator warn the suspects. In one case, a child climbed the fence outside of the pool on an apartment property. Thanks to the audio speaker, the operator warned the child who promptly climbed down and ran away to safety. This prevented a potential tragedy in which the child could have drowned.
Regardless of age or geographical location, tenants have one thing in common and that is they place a high premium on security. National Apartment Association indicates Baby Boomers and Gen Xers prefer apartments with video monitoring and security systems. Many are downsizing or opting for apartment living to avoid the costs and responsibilities of maintaining a home.
What about Gen Y? Schlage and Wakefield research shows that more than 60 percent of Gen Y want greater security. Another factor many of your competitors may not think about is remote working. CNBC references an IWG survey that says 70 percent of people around the world work remotely at least once a week. A Gallup survey mentioned in a New York Times article finds that more than 40 percent of working Americans work remotely at least part of the time.
Search the web and you'll easily find more data to show that remote working is multiplying. That means tenants who work remotely will spend more time in their apartment. That reinforces the need for more security.
At first, it sounds like a great idea to have a trained security guard on your apartment property. Posting a person onsite who knows how to deal with suspicious activity seems like the best option. However, it can cause more problems than solve them.
A study from CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting reports that a lot of new security guards have a criminal history. It reveals these guards have a history of domestic violence, drug and alcohol offenses, or disciplinary problems for previous jobs in law enforcement.
Additionally, becoming a licensed security guard does not require firearms training in 15 states. Ten states don't require background checks or fingerprinting and five don't have licensing requirements.
Video surveillance is better than security guards. Although the trained operators aren't on the property, they can typically catch crime before it happens and call the authorities. It helps deter crime and stops suspects before they cause damage. The monitoring operators can view the property from vantage points not easily accessible to security guards, who can only be in one place at a time. In addition, live video monitoring can save up to 60% when compared to the cost of guards.
To maximize your ROI with video surveillance, you'll want to add system health checks. Technology is going to break. There's no question about that. A system health check ensures your cameras stay in working order and catch problems early.
Again, tenants from every generation want security. A video surveillance system can fill that need and offers many benefits including potentially multiplying the value of your property. Stealth has clients who operate affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. These places have been able to moderately raise the rent after installing a video surveillance system.
Your property can stand out from the others with video surveillance because it's an amenity many prospective tenants desire. It also yields a fast ROI as far as apartment security systems go. If you'd like to read more, pick up your free complete guide to apartment security systems. For more information about proactive security for your multifamily residential community, contact us.