Category: Apartment Security

3 Tricks To Prevent A Break-in By Using CCTV Cameras

You might have come across the famous adage ‘The best defense is a good offense’. Well, no other statement is truer when it comes to ensuring the safety of your apartment.

 

A detailed report on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), published in 2014, claims that there were over 40,000 registered robbery and dacoity cases in the country, over the course of the year. Judging by the way criminals are able to get away, it is not a startling statistic either.

However, as more and more people are concerned about the security in and around their houses, a variety of security equipment are seeing a massive rise in sales. Among these, the sales of CCTV cameras stand out like an inkblot on a white shirt.

If you are looking to safeguard your house with the help of security cameras too, here are a few basic tricks you need to know :

 

  • Install A CCTV Camera Near The Front Door

Gatekeeper

A vast majority of burglars enter apartments through the front door, which is why, installing a surveillance camera with a view of the front door can curb break-ins. To make the most of the camera system while still keeping them away from a potential intruder’s reach, place it at an elevation while pointing it to the front door. Also, use mesh wiring to prevent the wiring systems from being tampered with.

 

  • Understand the usage of FPS Ratio To Record More Data

While installing a surveillance camera is a simple task, maintaining the massive flow of data is not. Here’s how you can deal with it –

Imagine that you have a 2 MP camera that records real-time footage at 30 frames per second (FPS), 24/7.

You will need 500GB of storage space, approximately, for 30 FPS. However, if you can reduce the FPS rate to 15, you can record two times more footage with the same amount of space, without compromising on the quality.

 

  • Get DDNS Or Install Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Viewing security footage isn’t always as simple as it is shown in the movies. One needs to access the camera from a remote location to review the footage. And for that, the camera must be connected to an IP address. However, there’s a catch. Your IP address keeps changing so often, which makes it impossible to connect it to the system. Instead, you will need to get access to a DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Service), which is, basically, a personal domain name that resolves back to your original IP address, irrespective of the number of times it changes.

 

To sum it up, having a surveillance camera will help you identify the perpetrator at first sight. Apart from CCTVs, you can also use the Gatekeeper app, a visitor tracking app for apartment complexes, to safeguard your family in a better way. The Gatekeeper app is not just a handy tool for your security guard, but also for your guests, since they will be allowed a quick entry, unlike unwarrated visitors.


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Three Apartment Security Systems That You Need To Stay Safe

Apartment security has become a major concern in the country, especially in urban India. NCRB has stated that there has been a drastic rise in robbery and burglary cases in the past few years in Indian cities. Keeping this in mind, nowadays, many people have beefed up the security systems at their house.
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Without having a robust security system in place, your house becomes an easy target for criminals. This article will guide you on why and how to choose some of the modern day security equipment.

 

  • Access Control Systems

This is the most common type of security system one would come across. Access control includes doors, gates, windows, fences and common area lighting. Due to the presence of 24 x 7 security officers, access control barriers are what residents prefer when it comes to apartment security.

 

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  • Card Access Systems

Considered as one of the best security measures, Card Access Systems provide the best technology to access locked doors and gates. If your residential apartment is a part of a newly constructed building, then opting for this type of security is the better than any traditional security measure. This is because it offers top notch security management, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Access cards use specially programmed software to record date, time, and location of every entryway. For instance, access cards can store information of residents and visitors who enter and exit the building, spa, gym or parking lot. All these features make card access systems worth installing.

 

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  • Advanced Key Control System

If you install Key Control System at your residence, it will not only be an efficient guardian to your home, but will also prove to be a pocket friendly deal. The best feature of key control systems is that if the access card is damaged, lost, or the resident moves out, the card details can be deleted from the server just with a few keystrokes.

Owners of multi-storied residential properties will prefer this system more. This is because advanced key control systems can safely store the codes of each and every person using it, and can be password protected on all floors.

 

Apart from using a safety system, you can also make use of Gatekeeper, a simple app that allows you to monitor visitors and store their information. It is easy to use, which means your security guards will have a more efficient system of maintaining security.


Apartment Security And Technology: Tracing The Evolution

The requirements of apartment security are based on two factors: properties at risk and threats to those properties. If we look at India’s apartment security system of the past few decades, it was largely constituted of security guards manning residential apartments, colonies, and localities. But with the advent of modern technology, things have grown by leaps and bounds.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the evolution of apartment security over the years and how it developed into an advanced system that we witness today.

How It All Began?

In the early 1700s, English inventor Tildesley created the first-ever ‘calling bell’. This device was equipped with set of chimes that were mechanically connected to the door lock. So whenever someone tried to open the door, the alarm rang and alerted the residents. Shortly after this invention, came in the ‘level tumbler lock system’ aka the modern day lock and key system.

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Home security systems kept on advancing and evolving throughout the 18th and the 19th century. Many inventions and innovations pertaining to home security were carried out throughout this period. But after the advent of the computer and the Internet, things took a drastic turn for good.

Let’s take a look at the revolutionary advancements made in this field, especially post-1990.

From 1990s To Present Day

By the 90s, the cost of apartment security systems went down and they became more affordable. The burglar alarm system evolved to a whole new level during this era. Also, the motion sensor technology was improved in the 90s, and used infrared technology to avoid false positives. Besides, there were professional security companies that installed these safety measures in homes.

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But after the year 2000, with modern and powerful computers being used to control home security systems, things never remained the same. Wireless technology acted as a catalyst to this.

Presently, people can monitor their homes through smartphones and can receive alerts on it. There are many apps like the Gatekeeper app, which can be used to track visitors entering apartment complexes.

Just like humans have evolved over the years, home security has too. And you will be spoilt for choice when you go about looking for a home security system. However, you must choose one that is efficient and meets your personal security requirements.


A Newbie’s Guide To Setting Up An Ironclad Apartment Security System

With the rise in robbery and burglary cases in urban India, protecting homes from being attacked has become a priority for city dwellers. Since the police is finding it tough to keep these incidents at bay, it has somehow become the responsibility of the citizens to protect their homes, or install an apartment security system.

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Recently, in Bangalore, a group of robbers barged into an elderly woman’s house at wee hours and not only stole all the valuables present in the house, but also brutally killed her. This horrific incident took place in the first week of June 2016 and the police are yet to find the culprits.

To counter this, the markets these days are flooded with modern and hi-tech security devices. You’ll come across many types of equipment like burglar alarm systems, access control systems, and surveillance cameras.

This article will guide you on how to choose a security system for your house, if you’re a novice in this field.

Understand The Differences Between Devices

An apartment security system protects your house against external threats through the use of technology. There are many parts in a security system but one thing that is standard among all equipment is the keypad. This keypad helps in activating and deactivating the system. They are also available in different styles as per your requirements like touch screen and keyless.

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Other than the keypad, you’ll also be required to consider sensors and motion detectors. Many of the security systems come with the facility of strategically placing these sensors and detectors at doors, windows and common rooms. Once turned on, these sophisticated devices can easily detect activities and movements of unauthorised people entering the house.

Understand Your Needs

As modern technology is advancing, you’ll be required to consider many factors before you zero in on a security system for your house, and a lot of it depends on your requirements (why you’d like to have a security cover installed). Prepare a list of priorities, assess them and see which equipment fits your need. Also, ensure the systems are working fine and you aren’t facing any technical hassles while utilising.

What You Should Know

Before you decide to have a security system installed at your home, it is important to check the reputation of the company that is manufacturing the product. If the product is damaged, the company should have a robust service team and a backup facility. After-Sales Services from a company are highly useful. A security app like Gatekeeper is a great idea. This app has already been successfully adopted by security guards in 100 apartment complexes all across India and is expected to reach out even further.

Investing in a security system that doesn’t address your needs is a waste of money and resources. Therefore, make sure that the system you buy satisfies all your requirements.


Enhance Vehicle Tracking in your Society

ApnaComplex announces its latest innovation – ‘Vehicle Sentry’ – A RFID based Vehicle Movement Tracking System. Enhance Vehicle security in your Society today!

Vehicle Tracking of is one of the key responsibilities for security guards of every apartment. In addition, Vehicle Security itself is a very important issue for every society. With theft of vehicles increasing, it has become an imperative for societies to address this issue. How would one know whether their vehicle is safe and is still at the same place they left it? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep track of your vehicle’s movement whenever you are not using it?

Usual Process in most Housing Societies

  • Vehicle owners are issued ‘parking lot’ stickers which are to be pasted on windshields
  • Vehicles are usually authorized to enter a society after checking the sticker by the security gaurd
  • No way to ‘de-activate’ a sticker once issued – leading to entry of unauthorized vehicles even after they left the society
  • More often than not, security relies more on familiarity of the vehicle/resident than on sticker – leading to problems when security gaurds change
  • No record of when a vehicle came in and when a vehicle left

We, at ApnaComplex, are proud to announce the launch of ‘Vehicle Sentry’ – a RFID based Vehicle Movement Tracking System that is fully integrated with the ApnaComplex’s cloud platform, to solve all these above issues and to reduce your worries.

What exactly is Vehicle Sentry?

Vehicle Sentry is an Vehicle Tracking System that is RFID based and fully integrated with ApnaComplex cloud. At a broad level, Vehicle Sentry includes RFID tags for all authorized vehicles and RFID readers, that are connected to ApnaComplex’s hardware (Sentry Controller) which in turn is connected to ApnaComplex cloud via internet.

This mix will ensure that your vehicle security is enhanced in your housing society. These readers are positioned at security gates to detect vehicles with authorized RFID tags and capture the movement. One of the most important features of Vehicle Sentry is that it automatically synchronizes vehicle-related, and other data of your society on the ApnaComplex portal. In addition, the resident also can receive an SMS regarding the movement of their vehicle, in and out of the society premises.

How does Vehicle Sentry, the Vehicle Tracking System work?

Authorized vehicles are first fitted with RFID tags. Next, RFID readers are installed at the gates, or entrances, and exits of the society campus. These Readers come with ApnaComplex’s own custom hardware called ‘Sentry Controller’ that acts as the gateway between ApnaComplex Cloud and the RFID Readers. Sentry Controller helps sync the vehicle entry, and exit information to the ApnaComplex cloud server in near real-time, and also keeps the reader in sync with tags issued for new vehicles and de-activated tag list.

Important features of Vehicle Sentry, RFID based Vehicle Tracking system –

    • When a Vehicle with valid tag passes near the gate, the light/buzzer connected to Reader will buzz indicating the detection
    • Can be configured to hoot for invalid tags
    • Security can open / close gate accordingly instead of looking for inaccurate vehicle stickers
    • Can be hooked up with a boom barrier for automatic entry/exit
    • Vehicle Movement information will get automatically synced up with ApnaComplex portal
    • Admins can check the vehicle movement records any time in the portal
    • Data of any new tags issues or old tags deactivated will automatically updated the RFID reader (as long as internet connectivity is there)

    Vehicle Sentry System - Vehicle Tracking System

    RFID based Vehicle Tracking System – Vehicle Sentry by ApnaComplex

 

How your society can benefit from Vehicle Sentry and why you need it right now –

  • Increased security in your society: Vehicle sticker validation is old news since the movement of every vehicle entering and leaving the campus is now tracked, making it more secure. Unwanted intrusion is avoided with the use of Vehicle Sentry.
  • Easy and quick recording and updating: All the data regarding your flats and vehicles are stored in one database only. Any other RFID solution you implement will force you to maintain separate databases of vehicles and flats, which in turn makes you update the same information at multiple places whenever there is a tenant moving in or out. Vehicle Sentry is an integrated solution to this concern and redundant efforts do not come into the picture.
  • Cost Effective: Extra hardware is unneeded at places where the RFID reader gates are installed. All functionalities are driven from the ApnaComplex portal. Your estate manager can issue and deactivate tags and update the portal, all the while being in the estate office, and the data is synced with the RFID readers at the gate. In addition, you could just deploy the vehicle movement tracking with our boom barrier, making it very cost effective for housing society deployments.

The phrase ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure‘ couldn’t be stressed upon anymore during the time of Benjamin Franklin than it could be in today’s age of deception. Vehicle Sentry is your best and most genuine bet.

How do I get Vehicle Sentry for my society?

To know more about Vehicle Sentry and to implement it in your society, kindly submit a sales request at Contact Us page and we will get back to you with the details.

This is yet another innovative approach by ApnaComplex to keep your mind free from worry, while providing you with the best services possible. Look forward to the greater safety of your vehicles in your society with Vehicle Sentry!


Announcing Water Monitor by ApnaComplex – Track Water Tanker Trips and Consumption in your Apartment Complex

We are proud to announce the launch of “Water Monitor” – an Android App to easily keep track of the Water delivered by Tankers to your society.
Water Monitor by ApnaComplex
Getting Water Supply from private tankers in an inconvenient truth in most housing societies in urban areas. Keeping track of the trips made by tankers is always a tedious and susceptible to manipulation. In addition, at the time of payments to vendors, calculations need to be done manually on the payment to be released. Care needs to be taken to avoid double payments for the same trips. There is no easy way to understand the consumption trends as well.

Water Monitor solves all these and does more.

What is Water Monitor?

Water Monitor is a new-age android app offered by ApnaComplex which is used by the security staff at the entrance gate of large apartment complexes and allows them to record water tankers coming in and the volume of water being supplied with pictures. Committee members can monitor and analyse the number of water tankers coming in and the volume of water being supplied from the ApnaComplex portal directly. The application can be installed on any Android smartphone or a tablet. Just click a photo of the water tanker coming-in, enter details and upload all the details on your complex portal in less than 15 seconds.

Who Needs the Water Monitor App and Why?

Any large apartment complex need this app for easy monitoring of the water supplied by the water tanker agencies. Usually any large apartment complex require a minimum of 300-500 water tankers to address the water needs of the residents every month. This huge volume of water is usually supplied by multiple water supplying vendors. Since there are multiple supplier and multiple tankers coming in multiple times, keeping a track of the water tankers and the volume of water supplied becomes a tedious job. Too many entries and log books leads to confusion, in many cases treasurer ends up paying more money to the vendors.

How does the Water Monitor App Work?

As soon as a water tanker approaches the apartment complex gate. The security guard will open the ‘Water Monitor’ application and enter the 4 digit password to login. The security guard will select details like vendor name, volume of water being supplied – in case of shortage security can update the actual volume, click and upload photos of the water tanker as a proof. The most important aspect of Water Monitor is its ability to run stand alone without internet connection and sync up with master database of ApnaComplex portal as and when internet connection is made available. Once the details are uploaded, an SMS with all the details are automatically sent to the committee member or manager who is responsible for monitoring water supply in the society.

How to View Details and Analyse Data?

The designated committee members can log into the complex portal and view the details like—
• Vendor and the volume of water supplied
• Number of tankers have entered the complex of a specific or all vendors
• Billed/unbilled trips of specific/all vendor
• Amount of money spend of specific/all vendors
• Select the period and view the total amount of money spent on water with specific/all vendors etc.
The above details can be viewed for different interval period by providing the dates for analysis.

Water Monitor will certainly make a big difference in the way your Society is monitoring the delivery by tankers and the subsequent billing associated with this.

Water Monitor is exciting. How do I get one for my society?

All our Accounting Edition and Ultimate Edition customers can see a new menu item for Water Monitor under “Expenditure” to do the configuration of Water Tanker Vendors and Water Tanker Trips. Next, download and install Water Monitor App and you are ready to roll!

Yet another instance of true innovation from ApnaComplex.com – be it Gatekeeper App for visitor tracking, or bringing real-time balance sheet, or having bio-metric devices for staff attendance, or making society software accessible on mobile phones – we continue to raise the bar higher and higher in Apartment Management space!


Should residents take up the initiative to install CCTV cameras for their own security?

cctv cameraQuite often we hear instances of chain-snatching, vehicle theft and burglary in our area and complaint about how CCTV cameras should be installed to nab the culprits. But how many times have we actually gone ahead and done something about it?

About 3000 residents of Hennur Layout in Northeast Bengaluru have come together to do something about the situation and have gone way beyond just complaining.

The residents had been gripped with the fear of burglary, vehicle theft and chain snatching for quite some time now. What added to their woes was that their local police station was moved to a neighbourhood constituency about 2 years back. The residents plead for a police station in their area and a resident agreed to offer a place for setting up the police outpost. Despite of setting up a police outpost, chain-snatchers brutally attacked a woman. Although the culprits were nabbed, the residents felt insecure after the entire incident.

For ensuring 24*7 security for residents to feel safe, Hennur Layout Resident Welfare Association (RWA) decided and installed CCTVs to monitor their locality all day-long. The RWA spent about Rs.1.25 lakh and installed about 6 CCTV cameras with a fully established control and monitoring unit in the locality. Vantage points connecting to other layouts were chosen across the locality to install the cameras. Anybody mobbing out or entering the layout has to pass through these specific points. Moreover, the cameras installed are bullet cameras, which function even during rains. Even when it’s dark, the images it captures have very good resolution. A DVR system has been set up at the police outpost to record and monitor the images. These images will be jointly monitored by RWA and the police.

The Hennur RWA plans to extend these services in other localities as well. Although a few organizations contributed, finances were mostly provided by individuals. However, the RWA was disappointed about no police official turning up at the inauguration of CCTV cameras. Police must encourage and promote more of such resident initiatives. The citizen activism shown by residents for ensuring law and order in their locality has set an example for other localities and RWA.

Source: Bangalore Mirror


Five Quick Tips about Better Apartment Management

quick-tips-271x300 Apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs, with growing sizes of apartment complexes in India. With most of the members offering a voluntary service to their apartment residents as a management committee member, the personal life of an individual gets quite affected in dealing with apartment maintenance issues.

At times it becomes difficult for new management committee members to understand which areas to concentrate on to offer their residents a superior experience of staying in the apartment.  Five quick tips for management committee members for better apartment management are: 

Automate Society Billing & AccountingFinancial matter often becomes a bone of contention between committee members. Accounting and book keeping, income and expense tracking, penalty calculation should be streamlined as soon as possible. Try to reduce your reconciliation efforts and try to 100% automate your billing and collection effort. The best option is to employ a software that incorporates tools such as Income Tracking, Penalty Calculation, Maintenance Charges Payment Reminders, Metered Utilities and Payment Gateway offering significant effort reduction without disturbing your current accounting practices and to help you in better apartment management.

Resolve Resident Complaints Efficiently – Resident complaint management is one of the toughest areas one has to deal with as a management committee member. Ensure you set up a system as soon as possible for central tracking of resident complaints, suggestions and requests. The whole process of residents filing a complaint and committee members resolving and closing the issue needs to be automated. Use a software that will help you track the complaints at various stages with an auto escalation mechanism to escalate unresolved complaints. This will increase the resident satisfaction and enhance their faith in the management committee.  

Communicate effectively with your Community – Effective communication with your community is very important. Use community collaboration tools to post notices and reach out to everyone, securely share photos of community events within the society, have healthy discussion on any topic via discussion forums, send important messages/emails to other committee members or residents. Create and publish articles like Policy on Pets, Waste Management Guidelines, Diwali Celebration Tips, and Monthly Newsletter for residents – the list is just endless. For better apartment management, it will be an intelligent move to use a software that offers the facility to use all these communication tools at one go and create a strong communication link with your community.

Manage Apartment Facilities & Staff Smartly – Residents often complaint about how the apartment facilities are not maintained well by maintenance staff etc. Save yourself from the pain of manually overlooking asset tracking, inventory management, parking lot management, maintenance staff and service staff management. Offer superior experience to residents by empowering them to book an apartment facility online! Maintain a central record of visitors visiting your apartment for security purposes. Managing and keeping a check on all the above mentioned areas is a herculean task. What you need is an apartment management software that does it all for you and help you manage all apartment facilities smartly.

Proficiently manage society data – Maintain directory of owners, residents and flats in your apartment in a systematic manner for reaching out to them easily. Maintain list of office bearers and committee members for communicating with them in an effective manner. Centralize all your society data in one place for your own convenience. Create an online presence for your complex and provide details such as amenities available, directions, location of the complex to visitors or interested parties outside the complex.

It’s time for you to move away from countless number of confusing spreadsheets and remember to become a management committee member you don’t need to learn about accounting and facility management anymore. A good apartment management software can do all that for you. What you need to focus on is creating an inclusive culture so that residents collaborate with you to manage your apartment in a better manner.

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!


Housing Society Safety Measures During the Kite Festival Celebrations

Organizing kite festival celebrations in your housing society can be a lot of fun. However, mishaps and loss of lives during the kite flying festival have often been reported in the press. It therefore makes sense to draw up a list of safety precautions and ensure that these are strictly followed during the kite festival celebrations at your apartment complex.

Safety Measures During Kite Festival Celebrations


(i) Children love to fly kites from terraces and roof tops. While this may be exciting, the element of danger increases. There have been several reported instances when people flying kites from terraces and roof tops have lost their balance and toppled over. So before the festival gets off to a start, draw up some ground rules. One option is to ban flying kites from roof tops and terraces. The second option is to appoint two or three people to patrol the roof tops, especially the areas where children are flying kites. They can keep an eye to ensure that the kids do not venture too close to the edge of the terraces.

(ii) The second danger during the kite flying festival comes from the manja that is used. Every often, the manja is manufactured using plastic and ground glass in order to give it a cutting edge. Sadly enough, these manjas have been responsible for killing people as they are sharp enough even to slash throats. Given the danger involved, specify the kind of manjas that can be used during the kite festival. Circulate the specifications well in advance so that people can buy the right kind of manja.

Kite Festival

(i) One of the problems with the kite festival is that it causes havoc among birds. Several birds fly right into the path of the kites and are severely injured. One way to avoid this is to adjust the timings of the kite flying festival. Make sure that residents of the apartment complex do not fly kites early in the morning or at dusk as this is the time when birds are very active. Again, a bit of advance planning and sufficient notice will ensure the co-operation of all the residents.

(ii) The kite festival may see the influx of visitors to the apartment complex as residents may invite their friends and relatives. Make sure that all of them are bonafide guests and not trouble makers trying to sneak in. Alert the security and instruct them to get verification from the residents concerned before allowing any strangers into the complex. Make alternate parking arrangements to ensure that the visitors’ cars do not create a traffic jam in the locality.

(iii) Make arrangements to deal with any medical emergencies that may arise. Have a doctor on call and keep one vehicle and driver on standby at all times.

(iv) The end of the kite flying festival can leave your apartment complex littered with broken and torn kites. These are not just unseemly but can also be a fire hazard. Make a plan regarding garbage clearance and implement it as soon as the festivities are over.

With a few basic precautions, you can organize a safe kite festival in your apartment complex.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trail as well so that you can try before you buy!