Recent studies show that less crime occurs within gated residential neighborhoods.  The fact that people tend to feel safer in them has led to a trend in living within gated communities.  So, is it time to add entry control security gates to your multi-family community?


The Psychology behind the Gate

Any gate that blocks or monitors public entry into an area sends a message. Gates have been used throughout history to do exactly that, to send a message that only designated individuals are welcome.  A gated residential community is a symbol of security, privacy and safety.  All are features residents deserve and appreciate.


The Reality behind the Gate

It’s not that crime never happens behind a gated access, but when it does, it comes as a surprise.  Gated communities are not only perceived as being safer, they are safer.  Here are some reasons why:

  •         Gates act as barriers with the intent of keeping out unsolicited individuals
  •         Limited access means less people, especially those who don’t belong in the area
  •         Decrease in neighborhood traffic, both foot traffic and vehicle traffic
  •         Less access to exit (no quick escape route)
  •         Criminals are likely to be intimidated by gated entries
  •         Likelihood of security camera at gate area
  •         Residents tend to be more security minded

Video Support for Gated Entry


Why not reinforce your gate with extra security measures?  Entry control security gates are not foolproof.  No security system is.  That’s why coupling a gate with video system support is a brilliant idea.  There are a number of ways to attain this “double feature”.

A video surveillance system can be placed in such a way that a watchful eye can be kept on all activity around the gate.  It can monitor those who enter or exit (and even those who try and fail).  It can also be placed to view what goes on around the gate.  Criminals are hard core.  They may try to go around the gate, through the gate or over the gate.  Video support nips such activity in the bud.

Videos can also be positioned to view the license plates of those who pass through, coming and going.  They can also catch the plate information of those who try to enter and fail.  It is imperative that you also keep the camera safe.  You will want to place it in a housing where it cannot be vandalized and also for protection of extreme weather like ice, snow and heavy rain.

Another available option is to integrate the video system with the intercom system at the gate.  That allows residents to actually get a good look at the individual or individuals who are asking their permission to enter.  Videos can be remotely monitored which is a huge plus.  You can be away on business or on vacation and still carry on a conversation with someone trying to enter at the gate.  Or, you can simply monitor the activities with no conversation at all.


Other Perks of Adding an Entry Gate to Your Communities

Not only does a gated community attract residents, it also creates a higher property value.  If your community is for renters, you will most likely bring in more rent revenue.  In addition, it is a common belief that residents who seek to live within a gate are less likely to be criminal minded.  Just the installation of a gate speaks volumes.  It says that your community is security conscious.  Keep in mind that entry gates are considered an amenity.


Gated Community Entry Options

There are a number of choices you have when adding an entry control security gate.  You can chose to have a keypad coded or keyed entry.  You may elect to have a gate attendant or security guard to control who enters.  Or, you can have a combination of the options.


Other Security Reinforcements for Entry Control Gates

You can’t be too safe!  It’s an old adage but it’s certainly true, especially in this day and age of crime.  Gated communities often have other security measures in tact as well.  Some have fences, fortress walls or landscape barriers surrounding it (like high bushes or even a lake or pond). As mentioned earlier, adding video surveillance is also an option.  Some communities even employ security guards to walk or drive around.


Things to Consider When Installing an Entry Control Security Gate

The idea behind a gated community is basically to keep the bad guys out.  You will want to make sure, however, that you do not keep the good guys out.  Be sure to have a foolproof entry for all emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

You will want to put up some effective, visible signage.  It will be important for drivers to know in advance that they are entering into a gated community entrance.  If possible, the sign should give them the room needed to turn around or detour.

Tailgating into an entrance isn’t uncommon.  To avoid this, you can make your residents aware of how dangerous it is so they will readily report such happenings (complete with license plate numbers).  You can employ the assistance of a manned booth or a video system.  There are other measures you might consider too like the length of time a car has to go through.  Options are available, it’s just up to you to decide upon which measure you prefer.

It’s a good idea to “master the gate” from time to time.  That may mean changing the code so repairmen and others who have been given access for a limited time no longer have the code.  Or, if you use a different system than a code, you will need to update every now and then, like reissue keys or cards.  It’s not usually a big deal to keep your gated entry revised and it’s well worth the effort it does take.


Types of Gates

There are five different kinds of gates that can be used when installing a gated entry.

  1.   Swinging gate
  2.   Slide gate (cantilever, overhead and “V Groove”).
  3.   Vertical Pivot gate
  4.   Bi-folding gate
  5.   Vertical Lift gate

Each gate has its pros and cons.  The one best suited for you will be determined by factors such as how much room you have for a gate to open, your budget and personal preference.

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Adding an entry control security gate to your multi-family community is an extra expense but one that will most likely pay for itself.  Gated communities attract residents.  Security gates add value to your property.  And, most importantly, entry control security gated communities have less crime because the gates serve as both psychological and physical barriers.