hoa holiday safety

As the holidays approach, board members must pay attention to HOA holiday safety. Many residents will be traveling or attending events at night. Even those who remain at home need to pay attention to security as there are more vulnerabilities during the holidays.


8 Ways to Foster HOA Holiday Safety

Ironically, the holidays invite not only joy and wonder but also criminal activity. That’s because people often leave their homes unattended to go to events or vacation. There’s also the increased consumption of alcohol to blame for many of the holiday misdeeds.

That said, homeowners associations need to keep homeowners aware of the potential dangers during the holidays. The HOA board should also implement certain programs and protocols to keep the community secure. Here are some ideas to consider.


1. Provide HOA Holiday Safety Tips to Homeowners

Different homeowners will have different plans for the holidays. Some homeowners will be traveling to visit relatives or take a vacation. Meanwhile, others might attend a party or stay home with the family. Regardless of how homeowners spend the holidays, providing HOA holiday safety tips to the residents is a good idea. Here are some tips the HOA can give:

Traveler Safety Tips

  • Purchase automatic timers for lights to ward off potential burglars.
  • Ask trustworthy neighbors to keep watch of the home and pick up the mail.
  • Hire a professional or a neighbor to shovel parks and sidewalks in front of the home.

Night Out Safety Tips

  • Turn on the TV, radio, and lights to make it look like the home is occupied.
  • Make sure gifts are not visible from the windows to deter thieves.
  • Lock all the doors and windows before leaving.

At-Home Safety Tips

  • Exercise caution when answering the door for strangers. Beware of couriers or delivery men when you didn’t purchase or have anything delivered.
  • Donate to verified charitable organizations only. Ask for identification. Refuse to donate if there’s something suspicious.

The HOA can also encourage all homeowners to install video doorbells and security cameras around their homes. That way, they can speak with anyone at the door while away. It’s also handy even while at home, so they don’t need to interact with suspicious individuals who come knocking physically.


2. Invest in Data Security

HOA Data SecurityThe holidays are ripe for identity theft as many homeowners shop online to purchase decorations, ingredients, and gifts. Hence, it may be wise to invest in data security to protect homeowner accounts and personal information. Here are some ways to do so during the holiday season:

  • Process all paper checks immediately
  • Invest in a digital storage platform to store documents
  • Store physical documents in locked filing cabinets and rooms
  • Use file encryption software
  • Work with a shredder company to get a sealed shredder box for sensitive files that are no longer necessary


3. Maintain Fire Safety Equipment

Regardless of the community’s rules on fireworks in the HOA, inspecting and maintaining all the fire safety equipment is important. That’s because homeowners might host gatherings in their own homes with small sparklers or candles. Communities also have more fire hazards as people put up flammable decorations. Consider inspecting, maintaining, repairing, or replacing all the following:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers
  • Fire and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Guide lights
  • Emergency lights


4. Create a Community Monitoring Program

If the HOA doesn’t already have a neighborhood watch, it might be time to consider organizing one. Even a temporary neighborhood watch will do to keep crimes at bay during the holidays. This new committee can help fight potential crimes by working with local law enforcement and making rounds around the community. They can also provide homeowners safety tips and lessen the HOA board load.

If possible, the community can also create a neighborhood watch app. This helps the resident get real-time updates and reports on suspicious activity. They can also quickly access HOA homeowners holiday safety tips and standard protocols for reporting questionable activity.


5. Maintain Common Area Landscaping

Maintain Common Area LandscapingThe community’s parks and common areas should be well-kept. Pay special attention to the landscaping, as criminals often hide in large bushes and overgrown grass. Remember to trim the shrubs and make them up to 3 feet tall. Moreover, make sure to trim low or long tree branches. Ensure that you do this, as offenders may use low-hanging tree branches to enter the premises, making the HOA vulnerable even if it’s gated.

Finally, remember to maintain the walkways and roads. Keep them free of debris, sand, snow, and ice. If possible, apply ice-melting compounds on the streets and sidewalks. Repair any cracks you find and remove water regularly from any paths. This prevents accidents due to changing weather conditions.


6. Keep Christmas Trees Watered

It’s important to water living Christmas trees during the holiday season. The HOA and community residents should remember this, as dry Christmas trees are a huge fire hazard. Moreover, the homeowners should turn off the lights around the tree while they’re away or sleeping. They should also keep the trees away from heat sources such as candles and fireplaces.


7. Enforce Modified Parking Rules

The holidays will always bring increased traffic. House guests and relatives who stay for extended periods will need parking places. Therefore, HOAS should adopt and enforce modified parking rules to relieve congestion and prevent possible accidents. For example, the HOA might encourage alternative parking solutions to prevent street parking or parking in assigned spaces.


HOA Installing Security Systems8. Install Security Systems

Fires are not the only hazard homeowners associations should be wary of. The holidays are also ripe for theft and other criminal activity. Hence, we recommend installing the right security systems, such as alarms and security cameras, to keep the community safe. If the HOA is gated, it’s also a good idea to keep all the community gates locked and guard points of entry.


A Safe and Worry-Free Holiday Season

HOA holiday safety is key to keeping homeowners happy and at peace during the season. After all, nobody wants to be disturbed by crime, fire, or other safety concerns while celebrating with family and friends. The HOA should do its part to keep the community secure and as worry-free as possible.

Keeping the community safe and managing all its operations can be difficult to do all at once. With Clark Simson Miller, you can make HOA management much easier. Call us today at 865.315.7505 or contact us online to request a proposal!