8 Retirement Community Security Measures that Protect Residents
Jun 04, 2020
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home, and that’s why security measures are an important part of life for retirement communities in Oklahoma City and elsewhere.
Some 55+ communities may have a variety of security measures, some of which you need and others that are just optional. Here are a few of the security measures you may want to consider if you’re researching a new community:
- Visitor check-in
- Secured areas
- After-hours security personnel
- Locked entrance doors
- Security cameras
- Lighting in all entrances and parking areas
- Emergency shelter areas
1. Visitor Check-in
One of the first lines of defense in an independent living community is to know who is entering the building.
You’ll see people coming to the community on a daily basis. Some are family members and visitors, while others are non-staff support workers, vendors, landscapers, contracted repair workers and more.
A designated single entrance for all visitors, along with the community potentially asking visitors to show ID with check-in, will ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to the building.
2. Secured Areas with Gates or Tall Fencing
In most 55+ apartments, community areas are secured through their layout, such as being located inside a cluster of buildings, or with gates or tall fencing. These types of security measures can help keep track of who comes onto the property. These options typically channel incoming vehicles to one or two driveways that can also have security cameras for real-time monitoring.
Some communities have keypads that open the gates, while others use gate openers or fobs. Between the two, the latter options are generally more effective at preventing unauthorized individuals from getting through the gate.
Unlike keys, gate openers and fobs are more difficult to replicate. For keycodes, people could pass the codes around without realizing the repercussions — that it prevents secure tracking.
The good news is that your new community will have similar security to a gate opener-operated system as long as the code changes frequently. Consider asking a staff member about community gates and how staff and residents gain access to the property. If your community uses building layout instead of gates or fencing, ask about security at the entrance, such as security personnel.
3. After-Hours Security Personnel
There are times in which you want to attend an evening concert, go for a walk at a cooler time of day or run over to the grocery store late in the evening. In addition, you might find yourself arriving home late after visiting the grandkids.
In all of these situations, knowing there is someone to secure the premises after most staff has gone home is reassuring. Security personnel, whether stationed at a gatehouse, entrances to the building or at a desk in the front lobby, can help ensure your safety after office staff have left for the day.
4. Locked Entrance Doors
Some communities have a main entrance, while others have multiple entrances or side doors. By keeping doors locked, either after office hours or at all hours, your community has added one more security measure for all residents. It may be helpful to attend resident meetings, which can guide you and your neighbors on best practices for allowing people through the door.
5. Security Cameras
Security cameras are an optional security measure to look for when choosing your new home. When you see cameras installed in parking areas, all entrances, hallways and public spaces, you have more confidence in your personal safety. You know there’s a digital system recording all comings and goings, and so does everyone else.
These cameras may be visible to act as a deterrent, or they may be hidden. Some communities install a mixture of visible and hidden cameras.
Security cameras can be an effective way to discourage potential thieves or mischief-makers from entering the property and attempting to enter your apartment. And in the event that someone does gain access, they may receive swift justice thanks to a mounted camera.
However, some adults may prefer communities without security cameras, or ones that are only located in entrances and exits. Communities have a range of options when it comes to installing cameras, so ask staff about their process and find the option you’re most comfortable with.
6. Lighting in All Entrances and Parking Areas
When you head out to enjoy local entertainment in the evening, you want to know the path is clear upon your return. Inadequate lighting, flickering lights and burned-out bulbs all contribute to hazardous situations. Proper lighting is essential for security, not only for tracking unauthorized individuals but also for your personal safety.
As you conduct virtual tours or view gallery images on an independent living retirement community’s website, make sure you look for exterior lighting either mounted on the walls or affixed to a light post. If you don’t see lights in a virtual tour, however, don’t discount the community immediately. There may still be great lighting that wasn’t captured in photos. Ask staff when you contact the community.
7. Emergency Shelter Areas
Some regions are more prone to natural disasters than others, including Oklahoma City. If the community you’re interested in resides in one of these regions, make sure they have a designated emergency shelter area or an emergency procedure in place to ensure senior safety.
You might even take part in practice runs for emergencies. These practice runs are valuable because they prepare you should the emergency ever arrive at your door. Above all, complete retirement community security means safety for all residents.
8. Health Security Measures for the Community
Should any public health situation arise, such as COVID-19, it’s reassuring to know there are safety procedures in place.
Community health outbreaks might result in lockdowns to keep residents safe, along with doing temperature checks, completing questionnaire screening and restricting visitors. All of these health security measures add levels of protection for you and your new neighbors.
Grand Tapestry: A Secure Oklahoma City Retirement Community
If you’re ready for an Oklahoma City retirement community full of exceptional living, look no further than Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs. Our community incorporates multiple security measures, including 24-hour security monitoring, health security during times of public crisis and emergency shelter areas.
In addition to safety, our community is built with active living in mind. You’ll love the luxury features in our active 55+ community, where you can enjoy planting in raised garden beds, a salt water pool, movie theater, social and wellness programs and a prime location near shops, restaurants and walking paths around Chisholm Creek. Contact us today to hear more about how Grand Tapestry is ready to welcome you home.