Security Principles for Apartment Managers

Last Updated: November 9, 2009By

by Michael Hodge

Safety and security of employees, residents, and guests should always be a concern for Apartment Managers.

It’s actually the law! As most Courts find where there is a foreseeable risk of harm, those who control such properties have a duty to place “reasonable” measures to prevent such an occurrence.

Risk Analysis
Risk or threat analysis is the first step in the security process.  This process entails an examination of many factors, and subsequently determines appropriate measures to implement.  Some of these factors include:

• Level of crime in and around an area
• Apartment Industry education and awareness
• Proximity of property to major thoroughfares
• Existing security features

Many law enforcement agencies will assist property managers with crime assessments and ongoing programs that alert managers to crime in and around particular areas.

If law enforcement is not available, professional security consultants should be contacted for the assessment process.

Afterwards, expect recommendations to be provided that will eliminate or reduce the risks identified during the assessment.

The Physical Security Program
A physical security program involves three (3) areas of equipment, man-power, and polices and procedures.

According to the risks of a particular, security equipment is necessary.  Most commonly used are:

Locking devices
Vehicle and pedestrian access control devices
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Whatever devices are used, it’s important to have someone with the knowledge and experience design the layout and strategic locations.  Failure to do so can raise a negligent security claim!

Sometimes, a recommendation is made for the use of security guards.  It’s important to ensure that a guard force is properly trained and constantly monitored.  If the guard force is not proprietary, apartment managers should let the guard force “manage” its personnel.  Again, apartment managers making decisions on manpower allotments, post-selection, polices and procedures open themselves up to “negligent security claims.”

In short, leave it to those who have been trained in this area.

Polices and Procedures
The last area of a physical security program involves the implementation of security polices and procedures.  Again, trained individuals are necessary to write security plans, and operating procedures.


In conclusion, customer service includes providing a safe environment residents, employees, and property visitors.

Foremost, identify your risks.  Secondly, provide appropriate security measures.  Lastly, adequate security is all about adequate management!

Author Michael A. Hodge, CPP, JD is President of Security Management firm Michael A. Hodge and Associates, LLC.  He is an Expert in Apartment security negligence and provides security consulting services to Property Managers all across the United States and abroad. You may contact Michael at Michael A. Hodge and Associates, LLC at and 240-381-5197 or


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