Avoid A ‘Home Alone’ Situation With The Gatekeeper App

Remember Harry and Marv? The tiny short-tempered man and the tall dumb one, who terrorised the living daylights out of a naughty 8-year-old called Kevin McCallister?

Yes. We’re talking about the plot of the 1990 blockbuster movie, Home Alone, where the bad guys ultimately end up paying for their crimes, behind bars. While the movie served its purpose of entertaining people and raking in some big moolah, the depiction of events hold no semblance in the real world.

Now, imagine a country like India where there are thousands of Harrys and Marvs – probably a lot more deadlier – goofing off in every major metropolis, and most probably in an area surrounding you too. How do you keep your apartment and your kids from witnessing or being victims to rancid, violent Home Alone-esque occurrences?

 

Gatekeeper Home Alone

 

The answer lies with choosing an effective and efficient security system of course, like the Gatekeeper app by ApnaComplex, one of India’s leading security solutions providers. It’s quite like a benevolent all-seeing eye watching over your kids. Here is a scenario on how Gatekeeper can effortlessly handle it without the guard having to break a sweat.

 

The Trespassing And The Break-In

Remember when Kevin, despite all his best efforts, could no longer hold the “There are people in the house” act? Well, the criminal twosome from the Wet Bandits gang decided to invite themselves into the McCallister household, which spelled more trouble for the obnoxious little kid.

However, when you get Gatekeeper, the visitor tracking app, there is no chance of random strangers gaining unauthorised access to your apartment complex, let alone your doorstep.

 

Gatekeeper

 

The All-Seeing Guard

For a visitor to enter your apartment complex, they will need to provide brief details of the resident they are going to visit and their door number at the security booth. For the information to be rechecked correctly with the resident, the guard has the option to then send a text message or call the resident and confirm whether they are expecting a visitor.

Once the authenticity (or the apparent lack thereof) of the visitor’s request is ascertained, one can figure out whether a visitor is around for the right reasons or not!

Having a high-security feature in the form of a user-friendly app will not just help you avoid the Home Alone situation, but will also play a key part in safeguarding the well-being of your kids and your entire family.


Mind-Numbing Real Life Security Incidents Indians Face

If you go over crime rates of the past few years, India hasn’t quite been the safest place for its citizens. Instances, particularly those relating to thefts, burglary and breach of security systems, have seen a steep rise in recent years. In fact, most of the thefts and robberies took place in apartment complexes, which already had a number of security guards manning the gates.

 

security-incident

 

Talking about robberies and thefts, a few occurrences, like the ones in Greater Noida and Mumbai come to mind, both of which took place in well-guarded apartment buildings. These issues also received wide media coverage from popular news agencies, like The Times Of India.

In Gaur City housing society, one of the sprawling complexes of Noida, over 15 apartments were ransacked by miscreants when the owners were, either out for work or had gone shopping. The criminals made away with a sizable sum of jewellery and cash.

In another incident  in Mumbai, in a posh Vesu area apartment, a theft of Rs.35 lakh in cash had taken place at the residence of a textile processing unit owner.

Such instances occur due to the lack of an effective and foolproof security system that can handle these unpleasant situations in the first place. In fact, these aren’t even the most bizarre incidents faced by people in India. Here are a few other security threats faced by Indians:

 

security-incident

 

Being Followed Home

Indian citizens have seen a fair share of strangers follow them home. However, this particular incident took things to the next level. It was a humid Friday night, and a 20-something woman stepped out of her house to wait for a cab. While she was waiting, a 6-foot man appeared from a crossroad. After surveying the area for a brief time, he just picked the woman up and carried her away, while she kicked and screamed for help.

If her housing complex had an efficient security system, such an incident could have been easily avoided.

 

Snatching Valuables Off Senior Citizens

Senior citizens usually go out for walks around their residential campus after their dinner, to help their metabolism. Chain snatchers take advantage of such situations.

They grab their jewellery and make a run for it. Elder people cannot be expected to run after them, since they, sometimes, use motorcycles during these episodes. Having good security means that miscreants will be kept out of housing societies, providing the dwellers a safe place to carry on their regular activities.

These are just few real-life security incidents faced by a majority of people in India. To tackle such cases, having an efficient security system like the Gatekeeper app, from ApnaComplex, can help keep your housing society safe.


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.


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.

apartment-security-evolution

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.

apartment-security-evolution

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.


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!


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


Announcing launch of Gatekeeper – An Innovative Apartment Security Solution by ApnaComplex

ApnaComplex is very happy to launch “Gatekeeper” – an android based for Visitor Tracking System in Apartment Complexes and Gated Communities. This innovative system works in online as well as offline mode to handle situations where internet connectivity could be an issue at the security gates.

Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex lOGO

Security in Apartment Complexes – Concerns

Security is one of the main reasons why people prefer to buy (or rent) a flat in Apartment Complexes and Gated Communities. By design, Apartments are expected to offer better security as Apartment Associations can afford to hire security agencies to provide round the clock security in the property. There are many aspects to the security in Apartment Complexes – the key one being tracking entry and exit of Visitors into the Apartment premises.

Most apartments employ a “visitor’s register” – a log book where a visitor is expected to make an entry to record details of the flat she is visiting, and the purpose of the visit etc. This is surely one of the dispensable processes as it practically makes no difference if an entry is made or not. The entry does not validate anything from the visitor. Even worse, the log maintained is never audited for any accuracy – any attempts to do that will generally prove futile as data is illegible, incomplete and mostly inaccurate in almost all the societies. The security staff just ensures that the entry is made as a routine with out really validating its accuracy. Also, due to the paper-based nature of the log, its not possible to analyse the data. For example, things like identifying frequent visitors, list of visitors to a given flat in last 6 months is almost impossible for committee members.

Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex – Introduction

Gatekeeper is an innovative solution which addresses the challenges mentioned above regarding visitors tracking. Gatekeeper offers the following functionality:

  • Easy interface that can be operated by security staff (for example, the access to the android app is controlled by PIN number instead of typing complex passwords every time)
  • Ability to record visitors – automatically pre-populate details of frequent visitors based on the mobile number
  • Take picture of visitor’s vehicle or visitor
  • Send a verification code to the visitor’s phone number to ensure the phone number is valid
  • Quickly look up residents of the flat the visitor is meeting – this helps in validation – also SMS can be sent to the residents with details of visitors
  • Generate visitors pass and record exits

The most important aspect of Gatekeeper is its ability to run stand alone without internet connection and sync up with master database as and when internet connection is made available. Most societies have difficulty in getting internet connection at the security gate for various reasons. While one of the reason is surely cost related to providing an internet connection, the other reason for not enabling internet access to security is a potential misuse of the internet facility.

This is where Gatekeeper’s unique advantage comes in. Gatekeeper can work with out internet connection most of the time. Gatekeeper needs internet connection at the time of installation to populate the client side application with master data as a part of setup. The master data for a given community is picked up from the ApnaComplex server. Once setup, Gatekeeper need not have access to internet. Gatekeeper can store all visitor’s details on the tablet / mobile device – when internet is not available. Once internet is made available (for example, by bringing the tablet in vicinity of the society office’s wifi) Gatekeeper will automatically initiate sync up of all visitors passed to the server.

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

Please contact our team with your interest. Please do not forget to mention if you are an existing customer of ApnaComplex! We will get back to you on the costing and how you can get started.

Yet another instance of true innovation from ApnaComplex.com – be it 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 in this space!


Housing Society Security – Security Measures During Navratri

Security measures needs to be tightened in every housing society for internal safety during the Navratri festival. During the nine days of festivities most people come out of their houses to participate in the garba and dandiya dance that’s held within the complex.

This dance event commences in the night and continues till the wee hours of the morning, so it is all the more necessary to provide proper security during this festival.

Security measures during navratri

Security Measures to be Taken Before Navratri


Some common security measures need to be enforced during Navratri as general resident movement with the housing society will be at an all-time high during this nine day festival. A few security measures that can be taken up are:

  • Prior to the commencement of the Navratri festival, a complete identity check of all guards should be conducted and a photograph of those working within the housing society should be recorded and kept handy.
  • Another important measure is that all outsiders who enter the housing society need to mention their names, surnames, the purpose of their visit and whom they’re there to meet.
  • The guards need to contact the person staying in a particular apartment (through the intercom telephone system) and inform him about the guest. Only after the guard receives a nod from the resident should the guard let the guest enter the complex.
  • Car parking must be strictly monitored and every person having a space in the parking lot needs to display the parking sticker before being allowed into the society.
  • Many residents may order food from outside. In such cases, it is always advisable to first inform the resident and then send the person to the apartment.
  • Burglar alarm systems can be installed in individual apartments within the housing society. Prior to Navratri, a proper check must be conducted to ensure that all alarm systems operate properly.
  • Food and vegetable vendors and other people looking to sell wares should be evaluated and not everyone allowed into the housing complex.
  • In many houses, laborers or workers may be hired for repair work. Such people should not be allowed to enter the housing society before, during and immediately after the Navratri festival.
  • A complete identity check of all tenants must be conducted, especially before the Navratri festival.
  • During the apartment association meeting, residents should be advised to maintain a keen eye and in case there’s any space for suspicion, the same should be immediately reported to the apartment association.
  • Identity cards can be issued to maids, cooks, laundry boys and other daily workers who enter the society. This is a long term solution that can help the apartment association maintain proper security within the housing society throughout the year.

Prevention is always better than cure, so it is always advisable that guards as well as residents take an extra effort to enforce as well as abide by the strict security rules imposed during the Navratri festival.


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 trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

The Importance Of Apartment Complex Home Security Systems

An apartment complex is one of the secure locations that you can live in, as any well organized apartment complex will have professional security guards placed strategically near the gates and within the complex. This strong emphasis on security may negate the need for further measures, but it’s any day better to be safe than sorry. Crime rates in India are rising, and according to unvalidated reports, a burglary occurs every 14 seconds.

Make their work harder!

Make their work harder!

Steps That You Should Take

You can beef up your security by installing various home security devices and systems, so that nothing untoward happens out of the blue. Many homeowners are opting for such security devices and systems because they are widely available now and are quite affordable as well.  When it comes to security systems for an apartment complex, you can either opt for indoor home security systems or outdoor home security systems, depending on your apartment’s placement and your personal preferences.

If you already have a security system, ensure it is not an outdated system installed, you must understand that burglars have come a long way with regards to technology, and it won’t take them long to dismantle your system or get past it using some loophole in the system.

Some of the systems that are popular are:

  • Spy Holes – A spy hole is one of the oldest, cheapest and most effective security tools, and this should be installed in all the houses in the apartment complex.
  • Door Sensors/Window Sensors – This is a contact sensor system that is magnetic in nature. Its main advantage is the fact that it is wireless and can be installed in any door and window. You can turn on this system whenever you’re not at home or during nighttime and during this time, if any doors or windows are opened, a siren will immediately activate and bring down the house while also alerting the monitoring station.
  • Wireless Alarm Systems – True to their name, these systems are wireless and operate through radio signals. These systems will continue to run even if there’s a power shutdown and all other appliances are switched off, and this is their biggest advantage.
  • Occupancy Sensors – You can install an occupancy sensor if you have an extended budget, as this is one of the prime security devices. This device will detect movements and sense the presence of human occupants within its range. You can turn this sensor on whenever you leave home, and upon sensing intruders, it’ll immediately alert the monitoring station and turn on all the lights in the house so that the burglar can’t hide.
  • Heat/Smoke Detectors – Your home security systems should not only cover break-ins, but should also comprehensively cover other risks such as fire breakouts. Smoke detectors can help in this regard, as these systems will trigger off an alarm upon detecting any kind of smoke. The system will also alert you immediately through its control panel, and it comes with a 24-hour power backup facility.

Burglars usually survey an apartment complex before they strike and they normally pick out a house that poses the least amount of risks. With the help of a comprehensive home security systems, you can make their task hard, and make your complex safe.


ApnaComplex is a web based apartment management software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by brining in more transaparency and accountability in manging the complex. Sign up your complex today and get the benefits!


This article aims at collating and providing information for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use it only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic and any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts.