July 16, 2024

5 key security features investors should look for in residential estates

3 min read

Safety and security remain a top consideration for property investors in South Africa, with estate developments remaining in high demand. While estates often lead the way in security measures, it’s important to understand exactly what features are effective in keeping homes and residents safe.

“Gated estates continue to attract attention for all the right reasons, with private individuals, families and retirees enjoying easy access to quality facilities because of the perimeter security,” explains Reece Daniel, developer of Serenity Hills on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. “It’s important for investors to note there is a lot more to security than just box-ticking. State-of-the-art security features are vital, but these must be supported by strong community networks working in cohesion. When considering an investment, it’s well worth researching all the security features beyond what is evident.”

1. Biometric access

Modern estates will often have a gatehouse where security guards are based with biometric access control – facial recognition being the most cutting-edge of these security features. This access control should be supported by a relevant security app that allows residents to share a unique code allowing visitors access to the property. This code will be compared against identification of the individual and vehicle.

2. Camera surveillance

CCTV cameras should be located in key positions around the estate, including entry and exit points, to increase the monitoring of activity. CCTV cameras are great security options for deterring criminal activity and ensuring rapid response in case of any emergency. Thermal cameras and infrared cameras are the latest technological features to look out for when it comes to CCTV cameras.

3. Patrols and response

Camera surveillance is an important aspect, but this is enhanced by regular security patrols. This means monitoring the gatehouse as well as all entry and exit points while also forming regular patrols throughout the estate. The visual security presence is a major deterrent for potential intruders. An emergency response by the on-site security team is another element of safety that has to be considered, with a well-managed and constantly updated response plan a necessity.

4. Perimeter fencing

Electrified perimeter fencing is a must for any secure estate. This level of security ensures residents can explore the estate freely without safety concerns. Any breaches to the security fence will set off an alarm demanding immediate attention, with daily patrols to monitor the state of the fence.

5. Community engagement

A gated estate should not cut the residents off from the surrounding community. Fostering good relations with everyone in the area builds better long-term security. Estates that support local communities with job creation are also contributing to the local economy while diminishing the threat of criminal activities.

State-of-the-art security features at Serenity Hills

Serenity Hills on the KZN South Coast offers investors eco-focused and future-minded housing in an A-grade security estate. The recent completion of the Serenity Hills Gate House – including face-recognition access control and 24/7 monitoring – ensures residents of this top-class estate are kept completely secure. Alongside the electrified perimeter fencing that allows complete freedom to use the many on-site facilities, Serenity Hills has strong connections with the local community.

Through international donors together with Swiss entrepreneurs, the Wenger family, established the Serenity Hills Skills Upliftment Centre that includes the Sweetbike Community Project distributing refurbished bicycles to high school pupils in the surrounding rural areas.

Ayanda Masengemi, associate director for Serenity Hills, explains that local empowerment and fostering community connections have been at the heart of the development: “We are working closely with the local ward councillors in the area to prioritise partnerships with small local businesses and employ local labourers.

“Through the Sweetdale Skills Centre, we coach emerging entrepreneurs to promote self-sustainability. The practical training for qualified artisans means residents at Serenity Hills also benefit from local skills. Our aim is to try to give as many local people a slice of the cake as possible. By strengthening the local businesses and communities, we’re creating an inviting environment for further development, investment and enhanced security.”

Investors keen to get significant value for their investment in this pet-friendly estate are encouraged to check out the remaining plots available in Serenity Hills before the launch of Phase 2.

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