HOA Security and Access Control

Homeowner associations in subdivisions, planned communities, or condominium buildings make and enforce rules for the properties and residents. HOA-governed communities often have common areas like swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses.

A private swimming pool run by a homeowner association is an attractive amenity for property owners and potential buyers. However, while they can be popular, pools create some liabilities for the association that need to be addressed to avoid safety and legal concerns. To retain the benefits that a pool brings to the community, the HOA board of directors or association management should mitigate these risks of operating a pool by instituting proper safety measures.

There are four areas of risk to consider:

  • Individuals getting hurt or drowning in the pool area
  • Chemical imbalances in the water that can cause illness
  • Overcrowding and unauthorized entry – this includes people swimming during closed hours or unsupervised children or pets gaining access
  • Vandalism

To mitigate these risks, a HOA should consider:

  1. Proper fencing and gating – this is a basic requirement and is required by North Carolina State law. Check here for a FAQ on Wake County Pool Regulations.
  2. Control access – options available to HOAs include mechanical coded lock systems, magnetic strip key cards, and coded key fobs. Card and key fobs are the most popular solutions to control swimming pool and fitness center access. Requiring proximity cards or badges to enter the pool gates keeps strangers or unattended children out while offering convenient access to members or residents. They can also be set up to open gates at specific times and coded so authorized personnel can review when keys are used for legal as well as illegal entry.
  3. Cameras – A perimeter fence and locked gate is a good start but will not always deter trespassers or vandalism and can’t help in identifying the perpetrators if this happens. Cameras are recommended to supplement fencing and gates. Cameras serve two purposes. If they are openly visible to people entering your community, they will serve as a deterrent to vandalism and off-hours entry. They will also provide helpful evidence for prosecuting individuals caught in the act of committing crimes or in enforcing violations of an HOA’s governing documents. In addition, should someone get hurt or drown, cameras offer the option to review the situation to ensure that safety equipment was in place and that lifeguards and EMTs followed protocol.    It is important to note that cameras should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure proper operation.

Key Considerations when installing or upgrading pool surveillance cameras:

1) Fencing and camera line of sight: Angles and positioning are major concerns for the direction you would like to aim the camera. Be mindful of potential visual obstructions that could become a problem in terms of where the camera is positioned.

2) Height off the ground: If possible, cameras should be placed at least nine feet above the floor/ground, so that it will be more difficult for would-be intruders to tamper with them.

3) Image quality: Your surveillance cameras should have “recognizable” image quality that could be used to identify a suspect or clarify a situation.  After all, what good is having video footage if you can’t use it when you need to? In addition to having the right camera, there needs to be enough lighting at night where the cameras are placed to produce usable images.

4) Camera angles for a clear view: For example, a camera that is positioned in an area with seasonal trees may be fine in the winter, but leaves may block the view in the summer. Or if you have a camera positioned towards nighttime lighting or morning/evening sun, it could hinder the camera’s field of vision during that time.

Secur Tek, Inc. has experience helping HOAs in the Triangle Area select and install the right equipment for the situation, budget, and homeowner requirements. We’d be happy to talk with you if you are in our service area, which includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro in North Carolina.


To learn more, visit our HOA page.  Contact us by filling out the form or calling 919-387-1800.