safety with apartment building security system


You know that security is vital to keep the residents, staff, and visitors at your property safe. But how do you assemble an apartment building security system that will cover all your top safety concerns? From intercoms to gates, this guide covers the five most crucial security system features to protect your property from common threats like package theft, vandalism, and burglaries.

This guide covers:


What is an apartment building security system?

An apartment building security system is a network of devices that work together to protect an apartment building from things like theft, vandalism, break-ins, fires, and other dangers.

Security for apartments will vary depending on the building’s location, size, and other factors. So before selecting your apartment security system, you’ll want to consider which items are most relevant to your property.


Common safety issues at apartments

  • Package theft: Billions of dollars worth of packages are stolen every year. As online shopping increases in popularity, so does package theft. But did you know that 40% of package theft happens in multifamily communities like apartments? Preventing package theft should be a top priority for all apartment buildings.
  • Burglaries: You can’t count on residents to always secure apartments themselves, and burglars know this. Not only are burglaries costly to your residents, but they can also result in expensive damage to the building’s windows and doors.
  • Squatting: You can’t be everywhere at once, so monitoring vacant units can be overwhelming. The issue of people squatting in apartments is widespread but affects some regions more than others.
  • Air quality: While not all air pollutants are harmful, carbon monoxide gas is a dangerous threat. It is highly toxic and odorless, so it can go unnoticed long enough to poison your staff and residents.
  • Bike theft: Unlike cars, bikes are almost impossible to relocate after they’re stolen. As a result, bikes are a frequent target for theft. Even buildings with a bike room for storage can experience theft.
  • Fire safety: Preventing and identifying fires in your building should be a top priority. Not only is fire damage expensive, but smoke inhalation is also poisonous. Carefully follow fire prevention guidelines to keep your staff, property, and residents safe.

You can also survey staff and residents to learn more about their biggest safety concerns; some of them may surprise you.


fire safety for apartment building security system


The top 5 features for an apartment building security system

To address the top safety concerns listed above, your building will need a network of security solutions that all work together. But, thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to keep your property safe. All it takes is some research and investing in the right solutions for the job.

5 features of an apartment building security system:

  1. Access control system
  2. Security gates
  3. Surveillance cameras
  4. Door and window sensors
  5. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors


1. Access control system

Access control is the most critical part of an apartment building security system. To secure people and property in your apartment building, you need to control who enters the property. And some of today’s systems even allow you to manage access into specific rooms at specific times.

Going beyond traditional metal locks and keys to include a smart access control solution will improve the safety and convenience of living in your apartment building.

Look for an access control system with the following features:

  • Wireless: Since there’s wiring, wireless access control systems are quick and inexpensive to install. You want a building access control system that saves your staff time, which applies to the installation process.
  • Cloud-based software: With a cloud-based access control system, you manage access from anywhere, and your data is safely stored in the cloud. Administrators can assign access permissions from the access management dashboard and view an audit trail of everyone who enters the building.
  • Delivery management: Apartment residents get a lot of deliveries from packages to takeout meals. So, it’s essential to make sure the access control solution you choose includes a package delivery system.
  • Mobile app: Convenience is a top priority for apartment residents. When your access control system has a mobile app, residents don’t have to worry about carrying keys or fobs, and your staff doesn’t have to spend time remaking them. With a mobile app, residents can also let couriers in when they’re not home, preventing package theft.
  • Live video footage: For enhanced security, choose an access control system that includes real-time video footage. Choose a system that allows for two-way video calling so residents can video chat with their visitors. Video access also lets you make sure only authorized people are entering the property.


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2. Security gates

Installing a security gate at your property will also enhance the efficacy of your access control system. The physical barrier created by a gate helps you manage vehicle and pedestrian access at your property.

Critical factors for choosing a security gate:

  • Space: Consider where you plan on putting the gate and what it needs to do. Gates for vehicle access will need a larger area than pedestrian access.
  • Traffic: If more people and vehicles come and go through your gated entrance, it’s essential to plan accordingly. Electric gates are better equipped for high traffic than manual gates.
  • Video intercom: Make sure to install a video intercom at your gated entrance to increase security. Integrating your gate with the rest of your access control system will be more secure and convenient.


3. Surveillance cameras

Placing security and doorbell cameras throughout your property adds extra security that your residents may even view as an amenity. Residents feel more at ease knowing an apartment camera system surveils their building. They also enjoy being able to monitor their front door with a doorbell camera.

Important locations to cover with security cameras:

  • Parking lots and garages
  • Outdoor amenities
  • Bike storage
  • Package rooms
  • Service entrances

If you already have a video intercom system, placing surveillance cameras at your apartment building’s front door is optional. However, the more cameras you have, the better covered your property will be.


install cameras for apartment building security


4. Door and window sensors

Door and window sensors are among the best alarm system for apartments. The sensors are placed inside a door or window and activate when the door or window opens. You can program these sensors only to be active at certain times of the day, such as at night. Thanks to recent smart home technology trends, you can also invest in smartphone-based sensors that residents can control from an app.

While some developers also opt to install motion sensors near doors to prompt them to unlock when a tenant approaches, a push-to-exit button is a cheaper alternative that many tenants are familiar with.


5. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may not top a standard list of amenities, but investing in quality detectors is an integral part of home security for apartments. Smart sensors may be more expensive than the traditional alternative; however, they are worth the investment, and many companies may offer a bulk discount.

Smart detectors, like Google Nest Protect, connect to the internet so your staff and residents can monitor sensors from their smartphones. No more poking the smoke detector with a broom when you accidentally burn something in the kitchen. With a smart detector, the resident can turn the alarm off from an app.


Additional apartment security features to consider for your building

  • Smart locks: Traditional metal keys are quickly becoming obsolete. Create a streamlined keyless entry system for residents by installing smart locks throughout the property. Combining smart locks with a ButterflyMX intercom system, your residents can get from the street to their couch using just their smartphone.
  • Package rooms: Your building access control system prevents theft at the entrance of the building. But staff can still end up spending time managing deliveries instead of other more important tasks. With a package room, delivery couriers drop packages in a dedicated, organized space for residents to pick up at their leisure.
  • Front desk station: Almost every part of your property can be enhanced with smart technology, and that includes the front desk. With a front desk station, ButterflyMX-enabled software manages access to your building remotely. What’s more, the front desk station empowers you to see and speak to visitors through the video intercom at your building’s entrance and grant access.
  • Elevator access control: Elevators are an essential part of your apartment building but are often overlooked from a security perspective. But elevators provide access to every floor within your building, so managing who can access each floor adds an extra layer of security for your residents.


If you need an apartment intercom system, try ButterflyMX

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Jeff Granger

I'm a native Texan and tech guru who is fascinated by technology's impact on the real estate industry.