Residential Security Assessments


Jonathan D. Greenstein

Conducting Residential Security Assessments
• Of all places, most view their home as their castle. A place of safety and where we can let our guard down. • The unfortunate consequence of life is that while we may be ultra vigilant at work and in our travels, we often overlook the obvious where it matters the most.

Security Assessment Process
• As with any other type of assessment, the conduct of a residential security assessment is a systematic process used to identify potential security issues. It is from the results of these assessments that we mitigate observations. • Depending on the particular findings, minor changes can provide significant impact.

Systematic Process
• By using key points for the assessment, you will ensure that all critical areas are checked and any observations noted. • From the observations, mitigation can be applied.

Apply a Checklist

Start to Finish
• Begin from the approach to the residence: what is the overall security posture. As compared to neighboring residences, does it blend, stand out or present a target of opportunity. • What is the overall condition of the surrounding residences.

• Is the residence well maintained, easily identified (house numbers), in good repair. • Does it stand out or blend with neighboring residences. • What, if anything is notable.

• Looking for a target of opportunity, does this residence appear hardened, weak or blend. • Are there any exploitable weaknesses readily identified. • What is the overall impression.

Process the Residence
• Is there exterior lighting, a closed and locked fence, secured garage and windows. • Are there any places of concealment available. • Why would you choose this residence or bypass it.

Conduct the Assessment
• Using a pre-defined checklist, conduct a complete security assessment. • Indicate on the assessment form any observations for later mitigation. • Apply critical thinking as you assess the residence.

Trends and Threats
• As part of the comprehensive assessment, consult local trend and threat reporting to identify any unique threats. • Modalities of entry, attack or other threats may provide location specific challenges. • Coordinate assessment research with local authorities.

Day versus Night
• A thorough assessment should be conducted both during daylight hours and at night. • The daylight portion should assess physical security aspects and the nighttime assessment will identify lighting concerns, in-residence behavior and related.

Identify Corrective Action
• Once completed, indicate recommendations for corrective action. • Recommendations may be as simple as locking access points or as in-depth as replacing locks, installing exterior lighting or contracting for guard services. • Each assessment will reveal individual observations and recommendations.

• Depending on the initial observations and required corrective actions, a reassessment may be required. • If a reassessment is conducted, ensure results of the previous assessment are available.

Questions / Comments
This information is provided as a general overview of residential security assessments; it is not an exhaustive review of the process. This material is provided for training and developmental enhancement. Commercial use or distribution is not authorized without the express permission of the creator.

Jonathan Greenstein