Every Apartment Owners Association has a permanent headache: The Right Apartment Security Agency.
Finding the right apartment security agency for your community is very important, as proper security is one of the primary concerns that people look into, when moving into an apartment complex. Apartments are relatively safe to live in, as people reside well within accessible distances from each other, but adequate security measures should always be taken in order to avoid any slip ups or mishaps.
There are many facets involved in filtering out the best apartment security agency, and these are quite easy to follow and implement. Once you properly list out and analyze your expectations from an apartment security agency, you will well be on your way to finding the right one.
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#1- Proper Background Check
Every Apartment Association must think of the security guard as an extended member of the apartment community. Wouldn’t you like to trust your security with someone who is well qualified, with all the necessary credentials?
This is why an apartment owner’s association needs to do a routine and comprehensive background check on every applicant. While contracting security guards, make sure you keep an eye out for off duty policemen, because they’ll have a lot of experience in the field. It is important to have security guards on the rolls, who have prior experience doing night duty, patrolling and log maintenance.
Go through their profiles; see the amount of experience they have garnered over the years, see how adept they are at tackling tricky situations and hire them based on all these points. You can ask the security agency to do this for you, but you’ll need to follow up with them regularly. If the agency does not have these profiles or make them available to the Apartment Association, then it is definitely advisable to move to the next agency.
Who you should not hire!
#2 – The Importance Of Effective Equipment
An apartment security agency will provide all guards with a pager, but this will hardly be effective in helping the guard take immediate action.
You’ll need to include a section in the contract demanding that all guards from the agency should be properly equipped with radios, cell phones, flashlights, notebooks, pens (tactical or combat ones) and vehicles. Providing the security guard with a list of emergency contacts and a phone line will also prove useful. Dress code and attire/uniform is also extremely important. Security guards need to have an aura of confidence and authority, and shabby people do not exude that, however big their moustaches may be.
This will make things a lot easier for the guard supervisor in an emergency situation, but increase confidence and bring relief to the welfare association and the residential community as well.
Ex-policemen make great apartment guards!
#3 – Maintaining A Log
Asking your guard to maintain a log of his activities is a very good way of keeping track of your guard’s productivity. This should be properly and clearly mentioned in the contract as mandatory.
Anyone can maintain a log in a generic way, writing abrupt entries like:
“10 PM to 11 PM – Roads are clean. No sign of trouble.”
This should be avoided as far as possible. Entries like these will hardly help you keep track of what your guard’s been up to. Mention in the contract that the entries in a log should be more detailed. A sample would be:
10 PM: Checked the south-side gate, generator room, swimming pool entrance and toilets. All locks intact.
10.10 PM: A black Maruti, Number plate: XYZ has been allowed into the complex, heading up towards Block C. Signed an entry to meet Mr. Kishore, apartment no. 392. Sent two security personnel to escort him to Mr. Kishore’s apartment. Awaiting response and confirmation from guards via walkie talkie from Apartment 392, C Block.
Entries likes these will help during a post mortem analysis too, if there’s been a problem and all instances and clues need to be brought onboard.
#4 – Contract Issues
Apart from the above mentioned clauses in the contract, you will need to make sure that through the contract, the guard or the agency should be held responsible for any losses that occur due to negligence on his/their part. This will provide you with indemnity, and will make the guard take his role even more seriously. This will also increase the commitment of the agency involved.
Certain contracts may also have an indemnity clause that works in the favour of the security agency, so every apartment association keep an eye out for such lines.
Good security guards are a necessity for any apartment complex that touts of being a safe haven for its residents. Get the insights of every person from your apartment association while framing certain clauses of your contract, and once an agency has been selected, open all channels of communication between the residents and the guards in order to make things smoother and easier for both parties.