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Multi-Family Home Security Tips

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In our thirty-plus years of business, we’ve gained plenty of experience with unique security situations. Every type of business and residence presents its own security challenges. However, some applications consistently present more challenges than others. Luckily, our experience and range of services and products has allowed us to handle even these cases effectively and efficiently. Homes that house multiple families sit near or at the very top of this list of “difficult” security applications. The interconnected, yet “separate” nature of these homes raises a few security issues worth addressing. Today, we’ll share some multi-family home security tips to show you how we address these issues.

First, we’ll look at a couple alarm installation and monitoring options for multi-family homes. Occasionally, we can work proactively to add security and save the owners of these properties some money. Then, we’ll take some time to discuss ways to keep an eye on these properties. Specifically, we’ll look at both hardwired and wireless surveillance options, in addition to explaining the benefits of adding video doorbells to your property. Finally, we’ll address the importance of installing the proper fire safety measures. Now, let’s get our multi-family home security tips underway with some creative alarm options!

Unique Multi-Family Alarm Options

A few years back, we created a primer on Smart Security System Design. In that post, we explain how we work with customers to design alarms that suit their security needs. Taking the proper system design steps from the beginning will result in an efficient installation of an effective security system. Moreover, it can help you avoid common security system design mistakes. This point rings especially true when it comes to installing alarms in multi-family homes. Luckily, working with a security company such as ourselves can help you navigate these tricky waters. We offer many multi-family home security solutions when designing alarms for these applications.

For example, homes that contain more than one family can utilize one security system, rather than multiple systems, in many instances. After all, many of these properties share a basement. Even if we need to drill through walls to run wiring, we can often install one alarm control panel with keypads installed in each of the home’s units. These keypads still allow tenants to individually control their own sections’ security systems. Following this tip can greatly decrease the cost of alarm installation. Furthermore, it can also allow owners of multi-family properties to monitor their alarms by paying just one monthly bill, rather than paying a bill for every section of their property! Next, let’s examine a few ways to add valuable surveillance to watch over the exterior of your multi-familiy home.

A sign reading "Warning: Security Cameras in Use"

Adding cameras to your property’s exterior gives you the ability to both deter and solve crimes all at once.

Keeping an “Eye” Out for You and Your Neighbors

We’ve long touted surveillance as one of the most effective forms of security. Of course, alarm systems do a great job scaring off intruders and calling for the authorities. However, they do not often help customers in solving any crimes. After all, the police usually show up to an empty home when responding to an alarm, with the burglar long gone from the property. For this reason, we recommend installing surveillance that can help you view any threats to your security. This security works especially well in multi-family homes, as these homes often attract unique security issues.

For example, confusion for visitors trying to find the proper section of a home with multiple residents can lead to suspicious-looking behavior that actually poses no threat. Additionally, residents or their guets occasionally bend territorial rules of a property. If someone parks in the wrong spot, causes damage to another living area, or uses someone else’s trash and recycling cans to alleviate their own issues with waste, you will want to know what happened. These types of issues make installing cameras a priority in achieving multi-family home security. Let’s take a look at a couple camera options we offer to help make this important security a reality!

Exterior Cameras

Installing exterior cameras helps secure the entire perimeter of any property. Doing so actually creates a couple layers of security. For starters, people seeing cameras will find themselves less likely to do anything they’d regret. Of course, we always prefer that potential burglars change their minds before committing a crime. A visible surveillance presence can create exactly this type of security.

Furthermore, installing cameras allows you to check on both live and recorded video of any noteworthy events. Modern video recorders allow for a network connection setup that provides streaming video at any time. Our camera customers can use any internet-connected device, including a smartphone, to check in on their property through their cameras’ lenses. Of course, our recorder also stores video in case you miss seeing any suspicous or undesirable activity in real time. At that point, you can save video on a thumb drive to show the proper authorities. This combination of deterrence and crime-solving capability makes installing cameras one of the most popular and effective means of securing multi-family homes. Next up, let’s look at the power of one of the hottest security products on the market: the video doorbell!

Doorbell Cameras

Doorbell cameras add a tremendous amount of security to any entrance where you install them. For starters, doorbell cameras record motion-based clips of anyone who approaches your door. If desired, you can even have live, real-time clips sent to your phone as soon as these cameras detect motion. Your video clips remain stored in the cloud for reference in case they do capture any suspicious or illegal activity. This obviously adds significant security to your property’s entry points.

Furthermore, audio-enabled smart doorbell cameras such as our preferred Alarm.com video doorbell products allow you to communicate directly and immediately with visitors who ring your doorbell. Activation of your smart doorbell will create a live video alert on your smartphone. This alert prompts you to have a conversation with anyone who rings your doorbell. The added security and convenience offered by these unique cameras make them an extremely popular security addition for any application. Last but certainly not least, let’s take a look at how to address fire safety concerns in multi-family homes.

Addressing Fire Safety

Generally speaking, homeowners must only concern themselves with keeping one set of fire detection equipment installed and operational. However, residents of multi-family homes think about much more than this. After all, they have several families all depending on each other to keep their smoke detection equipment up and running. If one family’s home burns down, the rest go with it as well. Therefore, we recommend that owners and renters of these properties regularly check their smoke detection for both their own security and the security of their neighbors. Additionally, consider working with a local fire security company — such as ourselves or someone else in your neighborhood — to ensure that devices work properly and are installed in all of the locations mandated by local fire codes and regulations.

A red flame

Adding monitored fire detection to your multi-family home can greatly enhance the overall security for all of your property’s residents.

Additionally, we highly recommend having your multi-family home’s fire detection equipment monitored. In fact, larger multi-family homes often require monitored smoke, heat, and carbon dioxide detection. Of course, adding this equipment remains a good idea even if it is not required. Monitored detectors call for help upon detecting a fire, something that standard smoke alarms certainly will not do. Therefore, a fire in an empty portion of your property will have a much lower chance of spreading to other areas of a multi-family home. We recommend installing monitored fire detection in any residence. Obvisously, the importance of following this recommendation in multi-family properties gets multiplied due to the number of residences affected by any fire.

Putting it All Together for Complete Multi-Family Home Security

We hope that this post helps you find the multi-family home security options that work best for you! Moreover, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We will happily offer assistance addressing your security needs and concerns. Additionally, we offer free site surveys to both new and existing customers alike. Perhaps you live in or own a multi-family home and wish to follow some of the advice we lay out here. Or maybe you have a different living situation, but still wish to improve your current security situation. Either way, we are here and happy to help. Together, we can create a security plan to keep your property, as well as everyone on it, as safe and secure as possible!