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Homeowner Association Security

Written by Attorney Michael T. Chulak

Residents living within a homeowner association should not rely exclusively on the Board of Directors of their association, or the association, to keep them completely safe and secure from loss or harm. It is not possible for the association to guarantee a completely safe community. Consequently, residents should provide for their own security by taking precautions such as purchasing comprehensive and adequate insurance, obtaining a security system for their home, and following safe practices including those that follow:

Exterior doors that have glass within reach of a door lock should have the glass replaced with a solid material. Otherwise, a burglar can break the glass and then reach inside to open the door from the inside. A double key lock (inside and outside) will create a dangerous condition in the event of a fire.
Place wooden dowels, pipes, or other substitutes in the tracks of all sliding glass doors and windows so as to limit movement. This will make it more difficult for a burglar to tilt the doors or windows and enter your home or place of business.
Place highly visible decals near all likely points of entry to inform would - be burglars that the property is protected by a burglar alarm system.
Place a highly visible security alarm sign in the front of your home or business to inform would - be criminals that the property is protected by a security alarm system. Consider placing a security alarm sign in the back yard as an added deterrent.
Realize that experienced burglars understand that the pedestrian door to the garage is often not highly secured and provides good cover for an entry. Consequently, it is a likely point of entry and must be secured appropriately.
Always install peepholes in exterior doors so that the doors do not have to be opened in order to identify who is at the door. Never place complete reliance on a door chain as they are often easy to break.
Establish a Neighborhood Watch for your community. Place appropriate signs to inform would - be burglars that your neighbors are looking out for each other.
Always arrange to have newspapers and mail removed when you will not be home. Burglars often select homes where there is an accumulation of newspapers and / or mail.
Make certain that the door hinges on all exterior doors are on the inside, not on the outside. If the hinges are on the outside, the door can easily be removed.
Never leave notes for family members or service providers on your front door or other visible location. Burglars will know you are not home.
Instead of placing an extra entry key under a door mat, on a ledge, under a rock, or other common location, consider wrapping a key in aluminum foil and then burying it where the gardener will not discover it.
If someone comes to your front door asking to use the phone to call the police or anyone else, keep the door locked and make the call yourself.
For exterior doors, always use solid core or metal doors with heavy - duty deadbolt locks, with one - inch bolts.
When you are not home, make your home appear lived in by installing a series of timers that will automatically turn on and off lights and other electronic equipment such as televisions.
When hiring domestic help through an agency, you should insist that the agency complete a criminal background check and provide you with fingerprints of your prospective employee.
Create the impression that someone is home by parking a vehicle on the driveway when you are not at home.
Drill holes and insert locking pins in window and sliding glass door frames to prevent a burglar from sliding windows and doors open from the exterior.
Never leave your garage door open when you leave your home. Garages generally make good hiding places for criminals.
When you return home, have your keys prepared for immediate entry.
When you are going to be away from home for a long period of time, adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume. An unanswered phone is a clear signal that your home is empty.
Cover or frost any garage door windows so that burglars will not be able to easily determine if your car is away from home.
Never record a message on your home telephone answering machine indicating where you are or when you expect to return. Don't make it easy on a burglar.
Professional burglars often monthly check local newspapers for wedding and funeral announcements in order to determine which homes will be vacant. Consider taking extra precautionary steps if you or your family makes such an announcement.
Keep ladders and tools out of view so that burglars cannot use them to make easier entry.
If you are moving into a home with an old security alarm system, obtain a free security analysis from in order to determine if an upgrade is needed and how much money can be saved on monthly monitoring services.
Make sure that your street address is highly visible so that law enforcement personnel can easily identify your home if they are required to respond.

Please report any known criminal activity to the Board of Directors in writing at the earliest possible time.

Call attorney Michael T. Chulak at 818-991-9019 or 800-565-2232 for a no cost initial consultation regarding any legal matter.


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