Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Your HOA And Proper Lighting In Your Community

Proper lighting in community common areas and on streets  need to have adequate lighting for the safety and well being of the residents who live in the community.  When daylight savings time arrives it is even more important. Neighborhoods need to be adequately illuminated.

 In some cases the HOA or property manager is responsible for lighting installed by them, and in other instances the municipality or power company may have responsibility for maintaining the lighting. Either way the HOA or property manager should report lighting problems to the proper person. 

Below are three important reasons adequate lighting needs to be maintained. 

Halloween - Holiday Safety

Halloween can be a fun time for children.  However, there are dangers that every HOA must be aware of.  Proper lighting will protect the children from being injured from a fall on the property.  Also, this lighting will discourage criminals from taking advantage of this holiday to prey on children. During this holiday there are added risks due to decorations on the lawns or buried that can be stepped on or fallen over. This risk is not just for children, but for adults accompanying trick-or-treaters.  

Residents that like to decorate for the holidays may have holiday lights, black lights, fog machines, smoke machines, mechanical moving objects and other props that can diminish visibility if it is dark. It is a good idea to have your Neighborhood Watch volunteers on call for Halloween to help with safety issues.

Proper Street Lighting Reduces HOA Liabilities

Inadequate outdoor lighting can lead to a pedestrian being injured on the property even if it is not Halloween. All types of scenarios come into play when it is dark. Residents drive through the neighborhood at night may not see people walking and someone may get hit.  Bicycles, toys or other objects may be left near the community street and not seen by drivers. Sprinkler heads, hoses, sprinklers, yard signs and other objects may not be visible in the dark.

In your rules and regulations HOAs require residents to keep the common areas free from personal obstacles and belongings that may be a risk to others. Community common areas should be well lit, and such lighting installation, and maintenance is part of what HOA fees pay for.

Your HOA regulations are in place so keep residents safe and common areas safe.  It is the HOA's responsibility to have proper visible signage around amenity areas such as pools, playgrounds etc... to help prevent  accidents.

It is the responsibility of the resident or homeowner to obey all signs, rules and regulations, and to help care for the equipment or amenities installed by the HOA.

Proper Street Lighting Reduces Crime

Proper street lighting will discourage criminals from entering HOA property.  Criminal activity rarely happens in the daylight. Good lighting is one of the most effective and cost responsible enhancements to natural surveillance that one can take. It makes it harder for intruders to hide from law enforcement, building residents, passers-by and cameras.

Finally, as a caveat, keep in mind that there is a difference between lighting in general and good security illumination. Mood lighting may be nice for lovers but security illumination makes it uncomfortable for evildoers.

 If you see street lights that are out you should report them to your property manager or HOA so they can notify the proper municipalities for repairs. If you, as a resident, have any concerns or questions concerning safety issues in your community, you should call your  HOA board or send a concern in writing.

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