Preventing Unsafe Premises: Technology to Enhance Security

Existing Technology to Enhance Security

As discussed in our last blog on premises liability, landlords in Georgia have a duty to exercise ordinary care to protect tenants from foreseeable risks of criminal activity.  This can mean providing reasonable security measures such as appropriate lighting, security cameras, security guards, controlled access gates, and fencing, strike plates, reinforced doors, or other physical barriers to entry.  However, if you feel  you’re in an unsafe premises or don’t feel that your landlord is taking sufficient steps to ensure your safety, there are certain steps you can take to enhance security in your home.

             Tenants may be interested in a number of new tech products geared towards enhanced security.  There are several options for wireless video doorbells that send motion-activated video surveillance directly to an app on your cell phone.  Another option is to invest in a wi-fi security camera that connects to an app on your cell phone.  Not only does the physical presence of these products provide a deterrent to criminals, but tenants with live-streaming surveillance footage can also monitor their homes even when they are away.  In the event of a break-in, this could provide a tenant a valuable opportunity to call for help, and the footage can help police investigate crimes later.

            Wireless security systems are another tech development that may be of interest to renters.  These products can be self-installed, do not require drilling or phone lines, and are portable.  Many wireless alarm companies provide audible alarms in the event of a home invasion, but do not require alarm monitoring.  Others offer live monitoring service subscriptions.  Some of monitoring systems even come equipped with facial recognition software, so that you receive an alert regarding who exactly has entered your home, and whether that person is a family member or a stranger.

             You can also control the lighting in your home (or program the lights to turn on at the same time every day) remotely from your phone or tablet using “smart” light bulbs.  This can deter would-be burglars by giving the impression that someone is home.  Of course, “low tech” security enhancements like upgrading strike plates, installing additional locks, bolstering sliding doors, locking windows, and getting to know your neighbors will also go a long way towards keeping you safe without a big financial investment.

Owners of property and businesses have a duty to protect their customers and tenants from unreasonable dangers.  Georgia law requires these individuals and entities take minimum steps to learn of dangerous conditions on their property and to correct those dangers so their customers and tenants do not get hurt.  When the property owner does not correct the unsafe condition and someone is injured, the injured person may have a claim. Learn more about our unsafe premises and negligent security cases here.