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Residential Estate Security Handbook 2018

Habitual awareness
August 2018, News

Habits are very good things that allow us to carry out the many repetitive tasks we do every day. Our brains automatically form habits to make these repetitive tasks easier and allow us to do them ‘without thinking’. Of course, there is always the risk that our unthinking habits can lead to problems, like when we are distracted when reversing the car and scratch the paintwork.

Many people create habits in the security realm as well, such as the ‘muscle memory’ police officers use to be able to draw their weapon in an instant without thinking. When officers draw their weapons, they are focused on the situation at hand and have no time to think about their gun, they need it to be in their hand while they focus on de-escalating the situation (or getting out of the way of bullets).

Unfortunately for civilians, we are also in the habit of forming habits when it comes to security. We live in an estate so we switch off our brains because security is someone else’s problem. This would be a nice way to live, but we don’t live in a country, or continent, or even a world where this is a reasonable course of action (perhaps it is in some parts of Europe, but definitely not here).

The prevalence of false alarms is one of the most annoying and dangerous aspects of security in every field or industry. When an alarm goes off we want it to mean that something is wrong and actions need to be taken. In the residential market, most of the alarms are false. We all know that person who is just incapable of remembering to disarm the alarm when they come in or go out.

The result is a habit of saying a few rude words and automatically resetting the alarm because the idiot forgot, again. But this is where the danger comes in. One day it may not be the idiot doing it and we will find ourselves in trouble – the criminals know this and purposely create false alarms to lower our sense of awareness and vigilance. They only have to succeed once; you have to be secure every time, all the time.

It is therefore important to create the vigilance habit and react accordingly, even for false alarms. It is more important for security professionals to do what they can in terms of technology and visual verification to avoid false alarms and the complacency that so easily creeps in when you are inundated with false alarms.

As is our habit, Hi-Tech Security Solutions produces the Residential Estate Security Handbook once every year and this year is no exception. And while we have much information about technology, the handbook also contains some insights into what goes before the technology – managing your risk. Just slapping a few cameras and access control readers down is an expensive way to support your local installer. You need a strategic plan and you need to be able to measure your security against that plan from day one to year five (or more).

We have also included some information on home security, for those not in the habit of leaving their personal security to others. Home security today does not mean creating your own prison, technology can make it almost invisible, yet effective and easily manageable.

Each year, the handbook is based on feedback from the previous year, so please feel free to send your thoughts, comments and criticisms to We’d like the Residential Estate Security Handbook to become habit forming for our readers.

Andrew Seldon


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