11 February 2015
By Leon Cahill, design specialist, enterprise security at Jasco
Residential estates are in
demand for good reason – the environment is secure and well maintained,
residents can often access recreational and shopping facilities on site, and
entry is privileged. But security at these enclosed estates can go very wrong.
Quite often it’s because the multi-dimensional aspects of estate security are
unintegrated, creating gaps in the system with no single point of authority or
Security at residential
estates must encompass not just perimeter protection and 24-hour surveillance
within the estate, but access control too. Possibly the most complex of tasks,
access control systems must cater for service and maintenance contractors,
staff of the residents, the entry and exit of residents themselves, and of
their visitors. If there is a golf estate attached to the residential estate,
entry and exit of golfers and their guests must be managed, as must staff of
any shopping or recreational facilities on the estate.
For the security systems to
work, processes and schedules that comply with security policy requirements
need to be developed. Security staff must have clear roles and be held
accountable for the tasks assigned to them. The communications and other
systems (e.g., utilities) that enable security systems must also be integrated
into the security blueprint. Where there is potential for collusion, there
needs to be a separation of functions and service providers – for example, security
guards and control room staff. There also needs to be tight control.
At the head of this
multi-facetted solution there must be a single point of authority – one that:
- monitors and identifies system failures;
- is fully informed (via system alerts and alarms);
- is constantly aware (monitoring response times and compliance with
service level agreements, etc.);
- has the technical knowledge and skills to manage and maintain systems;
- has the domain experience to troubleshoot and pre-empt security and other
challenges specific to residential estates.
managers were tasked with the appointment and coordination of service providers
and with overseeing the various aspects of security. Today, due to growing
complexity, a greater reliance on technology, and the increasing specialisation
of specific functions, many of these functions are outsourced. In many
instances this only serves to shift the problem as the estate manager remains
responsible for coordinating disparate teams to get the job done. What is
needed is a single provider with multiple capabilities and an experienced team
that can ensure high-level SLAs are met.
As crime syndicates become
increasingly sophisticated, the security industry must continually evolving and
so must residential estate management. It is essential that estate managers and
home owners associations pick a solution provider that has the depth of experience
and capability to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that address
specific challenges and are sustainable, maintainable and cost effective.