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According to a recent Magnum York survey, Safety and Security is the #1 issue identified in condominium buildings. In 2021, there is no excuse not to use technology to help inexpensively secure your building and surrounding area. Here are eight ways to make sure your Condo complex is safe for all owners and residents.
While it may not need to be expressly stated that condo safety is important, it is something that many people take for granted. It’s easy not to think about what could be going wrong with systems and pieces of equipment that aren’t in plain sight. “Out of sight out of mind” is an apt description for many owners, but not taking an active role in safety can lead to disastrous results. It’s easy to blindly roll along without giving a thought to what’s happening with your condo and your building, we suggest, however, taking a more active role in your condo safety and potentially saving yourself a lot of time and money.
Condo Property Safety
By creating a safety checklist, for your own safety and to stay up to current building codes, is a great way to actively stay on top of any potential hazards without having to run yourself down in doing everything at once. We thought it best to discuss eight of the most commonly overlooked potential safety issues and discuss a few of the important aspects that should fall onto your personal checklist. Many of these tasks are simple upkeep and merely paying attention to what’s happening in your condo and building. At the end of the day, keeping your eyes open can potentially save you and everyone around you plenty of headaches and money. With that in mind, here are eight superb ways to make sure your condo property is safe.
1. Condo Fire Safety
When it comes to fire safety, there are codes in place to help ensure safety for you. There are a few things you can do in addition to the regulations set up to further ensure your safety and the safety of your condo:
- Primarily, ensure all fire extinguishers and alarms are in working order. It certainly sounds simple, but with extended periods of not being used these can lose their function. Staying on top of these small matters is extremely important;
- It’s great to have your fire extinguishers in working order, but if no one knows where they are or they’re not accessible and evenly spaced out then they’re not doing anyone any good. Be sure to space them properly throughout the building and ensure everyone knows where they are. Simple and effective advice;
- Keep exit doors free of obstructions. In the case of an emergency when exiting the building becomes a necessity, you don’t want anything blocking your path to safety. A pleasing aesthetic is fine until it gets in the way of safety. Make sure there’s a clear path to safety at all times.
2. Electrical Safety
Like fire safety, electrical safety has to be up to current code so there are mechanisms already in place to maintain safety. Again, there are a few other things to think about to ensure the long-term safety of tenants and property:
- Was a licensed electrician used to install the system? Having someone work for cash to save a few bucks may seem like a good idea until something goes awry and things aren’t covered. Spend the extra money to get the electrical properly installed;
- Make sure all electrical outlets are properly covered. This is something you can do on your own and take care of if anything looks off.
3. Storage Areas
Keeping a clean storage area free of items that may invite pests is important for the overall health and cleanliness of the building. People often throw any junk they have laying around in their storage area and these sorts of older, generally useless items, can have a negative effect on the building. Keeping the area tidy and free of anything that will invite in rodents and anything of the sort is a win for everyone.
4. Condo Parking & Parkades
A properly lit parking lot with the requisite signage will ensure safety for everyone. Certain parking garages, when not properly lit, can be a real hazard especially if there are kids running around. Proper signage, in terms of speed and assigned spaces, is also important to keep the area safe and orderly.
To deter vandalism and theft from parkade vehicles, control access to the parkade with a fob-operated overhead or sliding gate. Owners should be urged to ensure the garage door is completely shut after driving in and out of the parkade; to avoid people that slip in under the door, and should be aware of vehicles following behind that may want to gain unauthorized access to the parkade by scurrying behind you.
Pay special attention if your parkade has storage lockers … sometimes these are the targets of thieves.
5. Condominium HVAC Systems
A HVAC system that is not regularly monitored can lead to myriad issues. On top of being a safety hazard if it isn’t running properly, poor ventilation and filtration present danger for all tenants due to poor air quality. There are a few ways to combat HVAC issues and things to keep on your safety checklist:
- Again, is the system maintained and checked regularly? If not, it should be. These professionals are easy to find and have to manage any issues that may arise;
- Ensure ducts are cleaned regularly. This will improve and prevent the overall health of the building and all those that inhabit it.
6. Condo Property Common Areas
The most important way to ensure your common areas are safe is to be sure that the doors are all functioning as they should. Burglaries do happen, and when they do they are often the result of a malfunctioning door or lock system. It’s something that’s easy enough to check and should be done regularly. Lobby’s are also an attractive spot for unwanted guests to spend the night so ensuring the door locks are working and the lobby is significantly lit up is important.
7. Doors, Locks & Fobs
Main building doors can be protected with full-length security plates and knob/lever guards which help prevent anyone from picking, prying or damaging the handles to try and gain entry.
Many condo properties have converted all locks to a keyless fob system, since they aren’t physical keys and cannot be copied. However, fobs can still get lost so it’s important that if a resident loses one, whoever is responsible for tracking the fobs needs to be notified right away to disable it. All fob numbers should be tracked to each unit to ensure they are all accounted for.
If the property does use keys and a resident loses one, the doors to the entrance of the building would need to be rekeyed and all owners would have to receive replacement copies.
8. Condo Security and Surveillance
In order to maximize security, it is common for Corporations to install security cameras and surveillance in the common areas of the property. Some Corporations may even hire regular security guards to walk the perimeter of the property to deter any potential thieves. Security cameras are also a great tool to ensure that owners are abiding by the by-laws when in the common areas of the property (ie. proper disposal of items in the garbage room) so that the property can be well maintained.
Following safe condo property guidelines are important for both condominium residents and the surrounding community. Our property managers make sure safety is a top priority.
Read Magnum York’s Property Management Coronavirus Pandemic Response to be kept up to date with our response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Resident safety continues to be our #1 property management priority.
More blogs to consider: https://magnumyork.com/blog/resident-safety-is-property-management-priority/