By Frank Fourchalk
Limiting risk to apartment complexes starts with communication. Apartment security hinges on the lines of communication being open between each and every owner.
I recently attended a break-in at an apartment building and while repairing the damage, was questioned by a number of residents as to what happened. Obviously, several occupants were not informed of the violation.
Council members or building managers must take on the responsibility of informing all owners or residents of such occurrences. Concealing knowledge of a break and enter puts the building at risk for a repeat intrusion. Apartment dwellers have a right to be notified of all suspicious activity that takes place in their building. An aware resident is a safe guard against a burglar making an encore performance. Letters should be sent out to all owners from the strata council or building manager informing of each and every occurrence.
Second, a meeting should be arranged to discuss the situation with all people who live in the building. Somebody may have information about the break-in that has not been reported yet, or may offer suggestions to help prevent such an occurrence from happening again. Meetings may also divulge how other buildings in your area have dealt with similar
Building security, however, isn’t just the responsibly of the strata councils or building managers, residents must do their part as well: making sure to report any imperfections in the building’s security, reporting imperfections like doors that don’t latch properly, door closers that need replacing, or people letting strangers into the building.
A good strata council or property management company is pro-active when dealing with these kinds of problems.
If your building is continually being targeted, call a security professional to evaluate the building for security weaknesses.
Building security doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg all at once. Your security professional could set you up on a three stage program. Stage one might include target hardening the perimeter of the building to ensure the utmost protection against a physical attack. Stage two could involve upgrading the security to the parkade area by restricting access to key holders. (provided it meets with fire code). Stage three might involve securing doors inside the building to assure better resident security.
Creating this three stage program would not only divide up the costs to residents making it more affordable but would also incorporate your apartment into a non target area.