Buying A Property? Know The Locality’s Security Quotient
Property, whether owned or rented, is a personal place people want to lead a happy and secure life in. However, when making a decision, many times, homebuyers tend to think emotionally rather than rationally, thereby, ending up with choices they might regret later. One such huge necessity that is often overlooked, is the security quotient of the property a homebuyer is eyeing.
So, for those looking for property, here is a checklist you must keep handy to weigh a property based on its security quotient:
- Check the entrance and exit to the location. They should have straight lines of vision from the inside to the outside street, and should not hinder near distance observation.
- The entrance gate needs to be sturdy and high. It must also deter any small vehicle from trying to nudge it open or open it with brute force.
- The stairs from the entrance of the building to your floor/flat should be wide enough to accommodate at least two persons walking side by side, thereby avoiding being cornered by any miscreant on a floor landing.
- There should be enough natural light falling on the common areas such as parking areas, front door, patio, and staircases. These spots should be illuminated by artificial white lights during the night to avoid have dark spots and spaces which allow hiding spaces for criminals.
- The entrance door should be heavy and solid with latches, door handles and door hinges fixed sturdily into them. It should have a peephole which can be covered from the inside of the flat to avoid any person trying to peep through the hole and gauge the activities going on inside.
- The windows of the flats should be sliding. If the windows are large enough to accommodate a person standing or sitting on its frames, then fix a window grille. Be sure the grille is not strong enough to be used as hand-holds for climbing up, or, for securing strong ropes from the outside.
- There should be enough space for quick movement within the house without stumbling or hitting into doors or fixed furniture, in bright and ambient light, both.
- The property should be in a decent range of a mobile tower to ensure good mobile connectivity on your phone. The floor space within should not have any dead spots from where you cannot receive or make calls during emergencies.
- Do a quick background check about the property and try to find out as to how long was it vacant, any reasons apart from the what the sellers have told you about which rendered this property unusable for a period of time, any major security lapses which occurred which led the property not being used before, etc.
- While buying a vacant second-hand property through agents, dig out more information about the previous owners and reasons for vacating it. If reasons are anything apart from natural, do take an advice of a security consultant about securing your flat from any run-ins with criminal elements.
- Do scout and map out the distance to the nearest police station and how long does it take for them to reach the property by foot and by vehicle. This becomes very crucial when you dial for their help during emergencies.
- Ask the developer about the security arrangements (manual and electronic, both) laid down for the property and if they are temporary or permanent. Ask about how are daily helpers and handymen screened. Ask about how guests to residents are handled by the security guards and what procedures are followed if any person comes visiting without prior knowledge of the resident.
You should be able to have confidence in the structure and the layout of the property with regards to the fact that it will definitely present strong barriers to any criminal element. The more boxes a property ticks off on the SQ checklist, the more it is going to be secure for you when you eventually reside in it.
Author Lt Col Omar S Pathare (retd) is a security consultant and the founder of Fortify India.