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Understanding Home Security, What does home security entail?

May 21, 2024 #Kenya News, #News
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By SGA Security Lead Engineer, Cyrill Kasembeli

Home security entails the measures needed to deter, delay, detect, and respond to any sort of intrusion, burglary or access by unauthorized persons. Achieving home security involves various methods, ranging from the traditional guard at the gate to alarm systems coupled with response services, video surveillance systems, access control, perimeter protection, and many more.

Are aspects such as ambulance contacts, fire rescue, nearest hospital or police station considered as part of home security?

In the current times, home security goes hand in hand with home safety. In essence, while home security focuses on protecting against external threats and criminal activities, home safety focuses on minimizing internal risks and ensuring the well-being of occupants within the home. Aspects such as emergency medical response, fire rescue, and roadside assistance, although falling under safety rather than security, are offered by different players in the home security space as value additions.

How affordable is it to have a home security package?

Affordability is relative. Home security packages vary from basic, low-cost options, such as a panic button-only system, to more detailed and tailored offerings, which may necessitate a prior security risk assessment. In essence, a package can be tailored solely based on your security needs or, alternatively, taking into account the client’s budget constraints. My recommendation is to opt for a package that aligns with your security requirements. Ultimately, safeguarding your assets should be the priority, and being excessively cost-conscious could potentially leave you vulnerable.

How does security for a personal home/ unit differ or compare to that of a rented unit?

Security is a service, and fundamentally, there’s no difference between obtaining security services for a rented unit and for a property you own. Technological advancements in the electronic security sector, for instance, have facilitated the development of wireless systems. These systems are straightforward to install, preserve the aesthetics of the property, and are easily relocatable in the event of a move.

Guards can be reassigned to your new location seamlessly. In essence, whether you reside in a rental unit or a personal home, you should expect to receive the same level of service.

If the landlord has installed security aspects like electric fence or security cameras; is there need for a tenant to have additional?

This depends on the tenant’s preferences and specific needs. There are two main reasons why a tenant might opt for additional security systems.

Firstly, they may need unrestricted access or control over their security system for example access to video footage. Secondly, the tenant’s security preferences might differ from those of the landlord, prompting them to enhance security in their own space.

For instance, consider a scenario where the landlord has installed CCTV cameras covering the common areas of the estate, for example, parking lot and the tenant wishes to have visibility of their living room and monitor who enters and exits the space using their mobile phone. In such a case, the tenant would need to procure additional security services to achieve this level of surveillance and control, as it aligns with their specific security requirements.

How does home security for a townhouse differ or compare to that of a rural home?

Rural homes face a greater risk of intrusions compared to urban homes due to their sparse population and isolation. Rural homes generally lack the proximity-based deterrence that is found in town environments. Moreover, rural properties often feature multiple access points or could have no perimeters at all, complicating the implementation of security systems.

Urban homeowners may find it easier to access advanced security technology and services, such as smart home security systems, video intercom, and neighbourhood-wide surveillance networks because of the presence of network infrastructure.

Essentially, the difference lies in the implementation approach and is greatly influenced by property size and access to technology and infrastructure.

Owing to the past incidents involving Airbnb’s, how important is home security in today’s society?

Given the past incidents in Airbnb’s, the importance of home security in today’s society cannot be emphasized enough. There are risks associated with short-term rented apartments, and measures need to be put in place to ensure the security of guests.

Home security, I would say, is a critical consideration for Airbnb owners. Solutions tailored specifically for the needs of Airbnb businesses include guest verification systems and alarm systems capable of alerting authorities in case of security emergencies.

There is also the need for enhanced security protocols at these establishments, such as verification of visitor identification either manually or using advanced visitor management systems, the use of access control, and video surveillance systems, etc., to mitigate risks associated with the short-term rental business.

For such a business (short term rentals) what kind of security should be implemented?

Some of the security measures that can be put in place in short-term rentals include;

Having onsite security personnel, get the services of security guards or personnel to provide assistance to guests as needed. These security personnel will patrol the residence and respond promptly in case of a security emergency.

Conducting background checks on guests, this should be done before confirming bookings, verify guests’ identities and ensure they have a clean record.

Installing alarm systems equipped with panic buttons. These systems can alert the guards at the rentals and the response company in case of emergencies such as a guest being attacked. Ensure that alarm systems are regularly tested and maintained for optimal performance.

Installing surveillance cameras in the common areas of the establishment. This will ensure any suspicious activities are flagged and the responsible people alerted.

How do you balance home security in your Airbnb and privacy?

Install surveillance cameras only in common areas and avoid placing them in private spaces such as inside the houses. This ensures that guests’ privacy is respected at all times.

Additionally, clearly communicate with guests about the security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras around the establishment at the entrances or smart locks before their stay. Transparency helps manage expectations and respects guests’ privacy.

If you install cameras (whether hidden or in the open), should Airbnb clients be informed?

Yes, current data privacy and protection regulations mandate the disclosure of any video surveillance activities to individuals accessing the property. Hosts must inform guests about the presence of CCTV cameras and their intended use for surveillance. Guests should be made aware of where the cameras are located and how their data will be collected, processed, and stored.

This requirement should be fulfilled by displaying visible warnings, which could be further emphasized by notifying guests accordingly.

Similar to the above, should guests in your personal home be made aware of the same?

Yes, guests in your personal home should be made aware of any video surveillance activities. It’s important to inform guests about the presence of cameras and their intended use for surveillance purposes. This disclosure helps maintain transparency, respect guests’ privacy rights, and ensures compliance with data protection regulations. If need be, guests should be informed about the location of cameras and what their intended purpose is.

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