Envera Systems Guards Gated Communities, Pools

A Sarasota-based integrated security company uses a combination of proprietary software and the Internet to provide high-tech security that "stops vandalism overnight" at gated communities and pools, according to Envera Systems LLC.

And it can do so at half the cost of hiring traditional manned guards to patrol pools and parks, and control access for gated communities.

Envera Systems provides surveillance, access control, keyless entry, and visitor verification at gates and common areas such as pools using video, IP, and real-time monitoring from a remote central station manned 24-hours a day by certified security and alarm specialists.

The company provides access control and surveillance services for approximately 20 gated communities in Florida, including 100 pools ─ an aggregate investment of about $6.5 million in capital costs and nearly $1 million in annual maintenance fees paid by residents.

"With us, everything is active," said Envera Systems' Senior Vice President of Business Development Tom Swain.

Central station monitors enable "e-guard tours" of amenities on a regular basis, even when not alerted to a presence by sensors.

"When anyone gets in there, we do a 'voice down' on the PA system and engage trespassers and vandals, Swain said.

Shortly after the system was installed in Coral Bay , a 997-home community in Margate , Fla., that had been plagued by vandalism, central station monitors were alerted to the presence of trespassers at a pool closed for the night. Suddenly, the interlopers were confronted with a voice telling them they had to leave.

"You can see all their heads come up and swivel to the kiosk," said Coral Bay Community Development District Supervisor Dan Dean, who watched the digital video of the encounter.

But they didn't seem convinced the "voice in the box" posed much of a challenge until the "virtual guard" identified several by what they were wearing and warned them to leave now or the police would be called.

"That left little doubt that they were being seen and documented in real time. 'I can see you and I know what you are doing,'" Dean said. "They didn't wait; they ran."

According to the Florida Swimming Pool Association, it costs about $65,000 to build a 25-foot by 45-foot in-ground pool and between $7,000 and $10,000 a year to maintain it, so it is critical for homeowner associations, community development districts, condominium boards, and property managers to protect these investments by preventing trespassers and vandals from damaging pools and other common amenities.

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