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Security Webinar to Keep your home safe Magnum York

Magnum York hosted a webinar on how to keep your home and building safe. We were joined by three MYVendor Preferred security Vendors, Erick Holt from Mircom, Wade Brunette from The Surveillance Shop, and Dan Martin from PWM Loss Prevention to answer questions and provide tips, technology, and techniques they are using to keep residents and their possessions safer.

Identified as the single biggest complaint of multi-family residential owners about their property, this webinar provided tips to kickstart your safe journey.

“An ounce of security is worth a pound of safety.”

1. What is the perfect security scenario for a surface, non-gated parking lot for a condo or apartment building?

A surface, non-gated parking lot can be a difficult challenge to keep secure. The aim would be to deter perpetrators so camera coverage would be recommended as well as really good lighting, including motion-activated lighting. Lighting can be a huge deterrent when it comes to security, a brightly lit area is less inviting.

2. What recommendations do you make to customers with underground parkades?

Typically it’s recommended that cameras are installed underground. If there are storage units located in the underground parkade, it is also recommended that there is a 24-hour security guard to patrol the area, especially if prone to break-ins. The presence of security does deter unwanted theft. Access points can be controlled in an underground parkade, unlike surface parking. You can have a door access system by using fobs that only the residents have access to.

Unfortunately, perpetrators can access underground parkades by following a car that does have access. A recommendation would be to have a fob reader or turnkey system to the doors/ elevator leading into the building so they can’t have access to the property.

The most common underground parkade security breaches are with underground storage lockers getting broken into, where perpetrators follow a car into the parkade. As well as property damage to vehicles, where residents leave expensive items in their cars.

3. In terms of security, what changes have you seen in your industry, as it pertains to technology, crime patters and typical customer needs?

Advanced analytics and smart cameras have become more proactive. Instead of sifting through hours of camera footage, you can set up alerts to specific locations, so if the camera detects someone at a certain time and location, it can alert someone. Technology has come so far, in terms of the technology you get with security systems. Night vision and HD quality on cameras have become more standardized are more affordable.

Unfortunately with crime patterns, criminals seem to be getting smarter. A few instances have occurred of them hot wiring doors for access. To prevent this, security experts are having to put metal bars in the intercoms with a padlock to prevent the perpetrators from opening the intercom system, displacing the wires, and opening the doors.

4. What about software that can detect people around parkade doors and alert the Board or security company?

There are a lot of smart recorders that have artificial intelligence to detect faces of who is coming in and out. It is an effective way to have proactive notifications. There are cameras now that can detect objects, to tell the difference between cars and people, which allows for fewer false alarms. These highly advanced cameras are costly so are less common for condo properties to have in place.

5. Can security of a building impact insurance premiums?

Having security can impact your insurance premiums, depending on the insurance company. The more layered security (cameras, security guards, fob systems) you have, the less your risk profile will be.

6. Where or how do you store video recordings from surveillance cameras?

There are various different systems where you can store, or back up videos into cloud storage. Some security companies offer 24/7 monitoring, so they will have a dispatch centre watching the footage and if they see any suspicious activity, they can dispatch security and save the video on their end, which can be stored.

7. Can you give us an example of the worst horror story in terms of something that happened as a result of little or no security?

There are a number of issues that can arise from a property with no security. It becomes a prime target for undesirables to enter. One unfortunate instance occurred on a building downtown upgraded to a roll-up parkade door, which was broken into on the 3rd or 4th day after installation. The break-in resulted in over $10,000 in damage.

Unfortunately, security companies cannot guarantee no theft with security measures. A lot of it comes down to deterring these people from coming near your building. Crime will happen, but you want to ensure your property is as safely protected as possible so that the criminals see it as more trouble than its worth and avoid it.

8. Can you give us an example of a success story where your security measures proactively stopped a major security breach?

A lot of the time, you wouldn’t know how many failed break-in attempts there have been. There have been instances of a break-in occurring, but due to the camera and security footage, the perpetrator was able to be tracked down by Police. After the fact, the security experts were able to understand where the breach happened and to solve the issue to avoid it happening again.

9. Can a video be submitted as evidence of a crime and used against someone?

Yes, absolutely. The security experts have plenty of clients who have used video footage in court cases after it was provided to the Police.

10. What are the liabilities if you say you have a video surveillance system but you don’t?

You can run into serious allegations and would run into a lot of liabilities. Especially for instances such as slip and fall, or arson.

11. How is access to video footage controlled and managed?

Typically cameras would be hard-wired to a network video recorder, which would be connected to the internet and can be accessed remotely if needed through a phone or tablet. Depending on the system in place, typically the security company or Board would control the access.

12. Can you talk about core building access? Access to the building, fobs, disabled doors and how it’s all attached to the emergency system?

Fob or card access readers allow residents to enter the building by scanning a fob or card on a reader that is located outside the building door. The benefit to this system is if one is lost or stolen, there will be no need to re-key the door. The fob would simply need to be deactivated so cannot be used. Another benefit is the ability to track which fob/unit has entered and exited the building.

An intercom, fob system, or disabled door can all be hard-wired together. Card access systems will typically have a battery backup, so if the property was to lose power, the system will still be able to run for 3 – 6 hours. Quite often, you’re not allowed to fob or lock access doors that can get people out of the building, or there is certain door hardware that has to be installed to allow residents to exit the building in emergency situations.

13. How do you avoid people breaking into realtor and contractor lock boxes and getting the key to access the property?

If the property has some sort of intercom, you could program a keyless code so that the lockboxes can be kept on the inside of the building. Another option is to set up a mobile patrol so that there is a security patrol to deter the break-ins.

14. What are your thoughts on metal panels on doors to prevent the use of a crowbar to break in?

Any level of extra security is a good idea. If it’s a little bit harder to break in due to the high-level hardware in the door, it would make a good deterrent. Having the door strikes covered can make it very difficult to gain access with a crowbar.

15. How do you control fob access when people move out of the building?

It depends on the system being used. Each card access system should have a program that can be accessed by a computer or laptop. Each owner should have their fob serial number assigned to them and their unit. Fobs can easily be deactivated if the owner is moving out or the fob is lost. If the fob is found again, the card can be reactivated if necessary.

We would like to thank our 100+ attendees for joining us in the webinar and submitting questions, as well as our panelists from Mircom, The Surveillance Shop, and PWM Loss Prevention for providing expert advice on security and how to keep your building safe.

If you have any security questions relating to your property, we encourage you to speak to your property manager who can seek advice from our Magnum York MYVendor Preferred Vendors.

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