One evening way back in the year 1999, I left my first notebook INSIDE a backpack INSIDE my car. My car was parked INSIDE a landed semi-detached home in Georgetown, Penang. It’s considered a safe neighbourhood and I have never heard of any break-ins before. Well, I found out that my car was broken into and my notebook stolen. These days, my backpack goes to everywhere I go and I will walk back to the car to take my backpack with my laptop inside even if it’s a 10 minute walk under the hot sun. You can call it the “Once stolen, forever not forgotten” syndrome. Actually, this is also the reason for the popularity of gated and guarded developments. Assuming we want to look for one, how do we evaluate if it’s PROPERLY designed as a gated and guarded community? Here’s a very good article from iProperty.com.my by good friend Reena Kaur Bhatt.
We should be savvy yeah because even the article says, Gated & Guarded is no magic bullet for crime. Some key points I picked up include looking at the actual scale model of the development. There should be lots of open areas to allow for natural surveillance because this is how everyone can help everyone as the “the eyes on the street” There should be proper walkways and sufficient lighting. Usually, newer developments these days would incorporate these into their design which is a plus.
Secondary safety measures include security guards. I personally would feel worried if the security guards could not understand me or if there is just ONE of him plus he does not look to be fitter than me. I know, these days proptech has allowed security to be enhanced but I still feel safer with security guards who could communicate with me when needed. For developments WITHOUT a proper guardhouse, I will personally skip them. Frankly, if they could not treat the guards well, how are we supposed to believe the guards will treat us well?
CCTV is the 3rd thing mentioned. This usually prevents many potential incidents right from the beginning. The chances for any crime to happen is lessened once the criminal knows that someone is watching. This brings us to the question of, ‘is someone really watching?’ plus are the CCTVs working? It’s good to ask to take a look when we are viewing the potential home to buy.
Nearby police stations or fire stations are mentioned which is a great plus to have. These days, some developments even have auxiliary police as the security force which is a definite plus.
Last but not least would the actual fencing used. I have gone to many of these gated developments where there are holes in the fencing! Well, the guards stationed in the front of the development may not be able to know if a criminal has entered your home if it’s not near to the guard post. Driving around the gated development would give you an idea if proper fencing has been used. For the higher end ones, usually even the fencing has CCTVs too.
Personally, I think it’s very important to also lock our doors, windows properly. Grilles are a pretty good deterrent too because if the criminals need a bit more time to do their work, they would usually skip our home and move on to the next one. Last but not least, always tell our family members not to open doors or even stand too close to the grille when speaking to strangers. Oh yeah, even for gated and guarded communities, I would still advise everyone NOT to leave your backpacks in the car yeah. Happy selecting.
written on 24 April 2018
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