One thing that some people prefer is being able to live in a gated community. Gated communities provide a peace of mind that non-gated communities do not offer. If you own an apartment complex, provide the security your tenants want by installing security fencing and gates. Here are several things to consider.
Access control panels
When choosing the type of access control panels for your automated gates, you'll need to take your tenants into careful consideration. If the majority of them will drive through the gates, a transponder or keyless pad that works similar to a garage door opener may be a preferred option. However, if the majority of your tenants travel on foot, a keypad entry may be more suitable. If you have a mixture of tenants with vehicles and tenants who walk, it may be a good idea to install both types on the same automated gate.
First responder accessibility
When considering installing gates and fencing around your apartment complex, your primary reason is likely security by keeping unwanted guests out of the community. However, first responders, utility companies, and trash service may need to gain access to the property.
- First responders. Fortunately, many areas mandate accessibility for first responders, which typically consists of a key and lock-box for every gate in every community in their service area. There are also monitoring systems that automatically open gates when sirens are detected, which may be ideal for your apartment complex if you have a number of elderly residents or cater to retirees.
- Utility companies. The various utility companies will need to have accessibility to the property. You can give the utility companies the same access control panel accessibility as your tenants, such as a transponder key or a code to enter into a keypad. Alternatively, you can ask the utility companies to call your main office so your property manager can open the gate for them.
- Trash service. Your local trash service may have a system in place for gated communities, which typically consists of a key and lock-boxes that open each gate in their route. If they do not, you will need to give them the same accessibility as your tenants, especially if they pick up the trash during the early morning hours before your property management office is open.
Speak with a custom gate company of your choice for more information about accessibility for first responders, utility companies, trash service, and other entities who may need easy and fast accessibility to your apartment complex.
Accessibility during a power outage
With gates that operate with electricity, you'll need to determine how the gates can be operated when there is a power outage. Preferably, install a battery back-up for your gates. If you have several gates, you may only need to install a back-up power supply on the main gate. Just be sure to inform your tenants that they can only use the main gate during a power outage. To avoid draining the battery in a prolonged power outage, only connect it to run the access control panel and not the mechanism that slides the gates open and close. However, this means your tenants will need to manually slide the gate open, which may be difficult for the weak and/or elderly.
Maintenance of the tracks
The gates will slide open and close on tracks. It's important for the tracks to be free of any debris, such as twigs and leaves, which could damage the track and cause difficulties with the gate opening and closing. Assign your maintenance personnel or your property manager with the task of clearing the tracks on a regular basis, particularly after a wind storm. Also, the gates should be tested for operation and inspected for corrosion or damage on a regular basis.