November and December tend to be very busy months with so many holidays falling in a short period of time. Although 2020 has been a little different from other years, people are still doing a lot of shopping – albeit online – and decorating to get in the spirit and maintain some sense of normalcy. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to stay safe – not just from the coronavirus, but from other potential dangers as well.
Here are a few ways HOAs can boost safety this year:
Check lights. Sunset comes earlier and earlier during the winter. Make sure that streetlights are working and are set to come on just as it’s getting dark. Install motion sensor lights around common areas such as the clubhouse so they’ll automatically turn on if movement is detected. It can be a good idea for members to consider these types of lights at their own homes as well to deter suspicious activity.
Trim shrubs. Talk with the landscaping team to ensure that trees and shrubs are cut back away from windows and buildings. You don’t want to give people an easy place to hide. Plus, they can be a safety hazard in the dark; another good reason to keep common areas well lit.
Stay alert. Encourage homeowners to stay alert to their surroundings and not be focused on their phone when heading to and from their house or car. Report anything that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary.
Share contact information. The HOA should distribute important numbers to members such as the local police department and fire company, HOA security guards, the property management company, or someone on the board they should get in touch with if they have concerns. 911 is the best choice in an emergency, but non-emergency situations need followed up on as well.
Collect mail and packages. If members are ordering gifts online, they should track their packages so they know when to expect delivery. If they won’t be home, they should ask a neighbor or family member to pick them up so they’re not left sitting outside. They should put a hold on their mail or have someone collect that as well, as it can attract unwanted attention if left to pile up.
Practice fire safety. Double check that any holiday lights are approved for outdoor use if that is where they are being hung. It can be a good idea to turn them off when not home to avoid potential fire hazards. If decorating a live Christmas tree, make sure the lights are not damaged, and that the tree has plenty of water so it doesn’t dry out. Any candles – such as those on the menorah – should never be left unattended.
Part of building a strong HOA community is neighbors looking out for one another. This is especially true when it comes to safety. Neighbors should get to know one another and report any suspicious or potentially dangerous activity to the proper authorities. Sending out safety reminders can help the association work together to make it a safer and more enjoyable holiday season. For assistance with HOA communications, rules enforcement, vendor relations, or other tasks, partner with a property management company like Kuester. Contact us today to learn more.