HOA Gate Access improving Security

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Submitted by Happs on February 18, 2013 - 8:43am

The HOA I live in has a main front gate with a simple keypad and screen where you can enter a code for the gate to open. The code hasn't been changed in a long time and I bet a lot of remodeling contractors, guests and other non residents have it. Is there a gate entry system where you can give out hotel like key cards to contractors, pool service people, landscapers, real estate agents and then have the cards time limited, such as they wouldn't work after a certain period of time, like after a remodel has been completed or for landscapers, pool service people, etc the card would only work during certain hours of the day? The UPS, FEDEX, USPS, the weekly common area landscape services and the newspaper delivery person would get permanent cards. I wonder if there is a system that uses no gate key code that way you don't have to worry about careless owners giving out the code?

Alternatively, if this is too expensive to implement, how often should an HOA change the gate code?

Submitted by earlyretirement on February 18, 2013 - 9:07am.

Do each of the property owners have their own separate code? Or do all property owners use the same code to enter? And your contractors... do you just give them the main code or does each get a separate one?

I own in a few buildings that do it different ways. I guess it depends how advanced the system is and if it has the ability to track each code. Also, is there a security camera at the entrance that records each visitor?

In one of the buildings I have they don't change it too often but each property owner has their own code and code for their guests. And it has the ability to track which codes were used to enter and also a security camera so they don't change it too often.

Where I live now they just changed the system last year where they can issue electronic transponder stickers that just stick on the window. With that they can track EACH visitor and entry and it can be activated for a set amount of time or you can always call to deactivate it.

The system is great but I imagine it was expensive to implement. The stickers work in various entrances around the development so you can use it to enter each entrance. And they can electronically track each entry to know who entered by the sticker #.

And they were pretty smart about the set up. They started deactivating the stickers for those that are not current on their HOA bills or late many months behind. I found that interesting and a good idea. They also shut off their internet/cable which is included in the monthly HOA bill.

Submitted by spdrun on February 18, 2013 - 9:51am.

Gate systems keep honest people honest. Remember that they open from the inside without a keycard or code, and pedestrian access is usually unobstructed. Cars can still easily be stolen, or someone could let a car in.

Submitted by Coronita on February 18, 2013 - 10:50am.

Idon't think the gates really work.. most gates allow more than one car to pass in...You just have to tailgate someone in front.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on February 18, 2013 - 11:09am.

My mother lives in a guarded gate community (golf courses pools, community center the whole shebang), you would be surprised, they have still had a few robberies, you would think if you can pay the HOA then you would not be robbing people but it seems that is not the case as most were internal residents (at least the few they caught), then you have the gardeners etc..

Well At least they drive around 24-7 and they will call 911 if they see you passed out somewhere on the ground, also if you cannot get a hold of someone they will go knock on doors so I guess they are not totally worthless.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on February 18, 2013 - 11:22am.

This place is not cheap either, some models selling for over 500K in this community,

Submitted by earlyretirement on February 19, 2013 - 8:34am.

flu wrote:
Idon't think the gates really work.. most gates allow more than one car to pass in...You just have to tailgate someone in front.

I do think that gated communities definitely put a big dent on possible crime. And Guard gated communities in conjunction with video cameras really make it much safer and deter people from attempting to enter.

I live in a guard gated community with video cameras (Santaluz) at the entrances and crime is VERY low in the development. And now they are putting up for vote to even make the pedestrian access from the various entrances also gated so that the pedestrian needs a key fob to get in.

I voted in favor of that one.

Will these things totally eliminate all crime? Probably not. But the statistics do show that they work. Communities like this make it one of the safest and lowest crime rate communities in all of Southern California from what the HOA board tell the residents.

Submitted by Happs on March 12, 2013 - 2:47pm.

I agree with the sentiments expressed about gated communities and them not being foolproof, but do any of you live in a community where there is a card system managed by a third party, where each homeowner gets a certain number of cards that can used to gain access anytime, vs a general contractor who is doing remodeling or a real estate agent's card would only work for a limited number of months and only during certain days/times of day?

Presently, each homeowner has the name code and they give it out cavalierly to general contractors who give it out to all the subs, tradespeople even for one day jobs etc. I think a system with no code and only cards, and where a plumber for example, is forced to dial the homeowner at the gate to be buzzed in is best.

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