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Crime in condo towers tends to occur in common areas, including garages, elevators, hallways, and stairwells. These areas are visually isolated, making them more vulnerable. Here we look at seven ways your condo board can greatly improve condo safety.
1. Install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV is the best way to monitor visually isolated areas in your building. This includes elevators, lobbies, exterior sidewalks, garages, etc. Not only do you help reduce crime, but also create a visual record of crimes that do occur. You can also use CCTV to capture inappropriate behaviour of staff or residents.
2. Security Guards or Concierge
Having someone “on guard” in the lobby can help limit the number of unauthorized people entering the building. A friendly face is always ready to welcome residents, yet also serves as a warning to criminals. Their presence makes a big difference whether you choose a concierge or security guard.
3. Common Area Redesigns
If your building is due for a lobby or common area upgrade, incorporate design improvements that support a more secure building, such as:
- Improved lighting to make it easier to view CCTV activity and keep criminals on alert
- Designing a more open lobby to reduce “blocked off” areas
- Using glass walls to improve visibility in areas such as mail rooms, elevator waiting areas, etc.
4. Clarify Security Protocols
Reshare security protocols with residents, emphasizing the importance of compliance. For example, you should review access control best practices ensuring residents don’t let people into the building. Explain how failure to comply puts residents, the property, and employees at risk, so everyone shares accountability.
5. Improve Lighting
Poor lighting makes criminals feel less conspicuous. Perform a lighting assessment and install more lighting in vulnerable areas to keep intruders at bay. When you improve lighting, you improve surveillance capabilities, making it easier to identify criminals. It also improves the ability to spot unwanted activity.
6. Ensure You Have Community Support
Demonstrating your commitment to improving safety is more likely to get residents on board. Without resident buy-in for your security measures, your efforts can fall apart. Create a plan and provide constant resident updates on security measures and issues.
Share your security improvement plan with residents with tips on how they can keep their home safe. Improved communication brings the community closer, creating a safer, more supportive environment.
7. Improve Overall Physical Security
Perform a security assessment to look for physical vulnerabilities. For example, a simple change such as reducing the car park door timers to 30 seconds makes it harder for intruders to slip into the garage.
Find opportunities to improve overall physical security, such as:
- Adding full-length astragals or latch guards on all doors
- Installing solid reinforced door frames
- Monitoring areas of access from outside
- Installing mortise locks
- Using electromagnetic locks on the tenant side of the door
- Ensuring all locks are properly installed and working
- Using local door alarm buzzers
- Adopting smart security technology
Continue to share security improvements with residents and explain the benefits of the changes. This will help create an ongoing dialogue focused on safety and security.
The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, can help find security solutions to keep your condo property and residents safe. They have tremendous success in helping condo corporations implement cost-effective strategies for condo corporations. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.