An informed community is a safe community. So why is it that the topic of security makes some people nervous? It’s important to speak openly about safety within your neighborhood, in terms of what your team is doing to keep everyone safe, as well as what residents can do on their end. Here are four ways to open up the conversation around security in order to educate your residents on the topic, and ultimately, keep your community safe.
It’s important that you keep residents in the loop when an incident occurs rather than trying to keep it a secret. No one wants to hear through the grapevine that there was a robbery in the community.
When an incident occurs, be sure to:
- Immediately alert residents depending on the severity: If residents are in danger, work quickly to send out text and email alerts warning everyone to stay inside. If residents are not in immediate danger, consider posting a bulletin alerting them of the issue and letting them know that your team will provide more details as they become available.
- Provide follow up communication: It’s better to be transparent and provide as many details as you legally can to help the community feel safe after an incident occurs. The more information you provide can also help prevent rumors from spreading. Consider sending a follow up email highlighting what happened, how it was addressed, and what is being done to prevent this from happening again.
- Make yourself available: Whether it’s by inviting residents to ask questions on your community bulletin, or extending office hours, let residents know it’s okay for them to ask questions about what happened, and contact you with any concerns they may have. By further communicating with you, they may be less likely to take to their concerns to the rumor mill that will only make their fears worse.
Many times, people are afraid to report something suspicious at the risk of overreacting. Let your residents know that it’s okay, and encouraged, to report suspicious behavior to your team. They need to know that these reports won’t go unnoticed and that your team will take action and investigate. Whenever someone reports something, be sure to check it out. Even if it’s nothing, follow up with that person to let them know your team looked into it. Encouraging people to come to you with these reports can also help curb rumors, as opposed to residents reporting suspicious characters on community social sites.
Utilize your newsletter
Your newsletter is an excellent way to share frequent safety tips with your communities. In fact, we recommend including a Safety Tips section in your weekly or monthly newsletter. In this section, you can educate your community on the dangers of tailgating, how to keep their packages safe, and why it’s always important to lock your doors even if you live in a safe neighborhood.
Help keep your community safe by hosting safety-focused seminars. Seminars ideas include:
- Bring in a professional to host a self-defense class
- Have a police officer host a safety education seminar where they’ll talk about current crime statistics and how residents can protect themselves
- Host a safety seminar specifically for children
- Encourage residents to come learn about the security tools your team utilizes so they can see everything you’re doing to keep the community safe
- Do have an incident response plan in place? Consider walking residents through this plan so they know what to do when a security breach occurs
- Invite a representative from a trusted home security company to your community to educate residents on what they can do to keep their homes safe
Interested in learning more about keeping your community safe and secure? Get your copy of our free whitepaper, Reinventing Security Technology in the Property Management Space.