All condominium corporations should have resident safety at the top of their list. Community management companies and board members alike have a responsibility to protect the common property and ensure the property is always safe and secure. Residents want to feel that their management company cares about them and their well-being, leading to a happier community. 
This isn't news to anyone - all properties have security measures in place. However, these measures should go beyond necessary steps since criminals can quickly enter through walkways and enter the building, so security must be alert and aware of any peculiar situation. It is recommended that the management company update these measures often so that they pass a specific evaluation. 
Here are some suggestions that should help in improving property security. 
  1. Secure the building.

    Look for contractors who can install heavy-duty locks around the building. Your property manager can provide you with the best and reliable contractors. Don't skimp out on spending money on this area - it's worth keeping your residents safe with high-quality security cameras.
  2. Review regularly.

    Regularly audit resident's key fobs and security cards, cancelling any that are no longer valid.
  3. Teamwork.

    Encourage residents to volunteer in groups and patrol around the property, looking for anything suspicious during the daytime. Regular patrols will deter crime.
  4. Dispose of storage signs.

    When residents move in, walk them through where they can leave storage items such as bicycles. Having a sign that says "bicycle storage" is only asking for trouble.
  5. Cover up.

    If a criminal can't see what's inside, they're less likely to try and break in if they are worried they're about to enter a public area. It's best to frost or block lower level windows.
  6. Disclose and communicate.

    Send a letter to residents every season communicating to them about any unusual criminal activity, even if it's not in your neighbourhood. This keeps them aware, and crime is reduced if people are informed.
  7. Don't hold or open the door for strangers.

    It's easy to feel empathetic when someone says, "Can you open the door open? I forgot my keys!". You don't want to seem rude, especially if the person looks "harmless." However, looks can be deceiving. Try to stand your ground and let them know that you're unable to do so for safety reasons and to call the resident they're there to see. Remember, you are also responsible for your neighbours' safety, and letting strangers in could turn out to be a big mistake. If a security guard or concierge is there, ask them for assistance since they will have more authority to deal with the situation. If the stranger becomes angry or threatens you, call the police.
  8. Become acquainted with your neighbours.

    Look for patterns in the routines and lifestyles of your neighbours in the community. Often, if you are leaving work and returning home at the same time every day, you'll notice other neighbours' routines. If something seems suspicious to you, you'll be able to recognize the situation more quickly.
  9. When should you call for help?

    Deciding to call the police if you see something suspicious is frightening, as you may not want to place yourself in the middle of any situation. It's better to be safe than sorry, though, so if something does not seem right, contact the authorities.
  10. Communicate the details.

    Be clear and concise when speaking to the police. Provide the dispatcher with the correct address, and the easiest way to access the building. If someone has been injured, ask for an ambulance to be sent as well. Be prepared to give details about what you saw, such as what the person looked like, was wearing, the direction they went in, etc. Convey any other useful and relevant information, such as suspicious odours, chemicals, or vehicles. The more information the authorities have, the better prepared they will be.
As mentioned in the beginning, a safe condominium is a happy condominium. Keep these tips in mind to minimize your residents' risk and maximize their safety. Now that you've read about condominium safety, learn how to protect you and your residents against cyberattacks

For more information on condominium security, contact FirstService Residential, Alberta's leading condominium management company.
Wednesday December 30, 2020