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  • Posted By Scott
  • |
  • Aug 15, 2016

Condominium Security for Managers and Board Members Part 1: Education

August is Condominium Security month at 3D Security Services,. We would like to welcome everyone to our 3-part blog series to help both Condominium Managers and Board of Director Members with security awareness within their buildings. As we mentioned in the last blog, the three topics that we will be discussing are Education, Integration and Implementation.

Today we start with Education.

There are two separate issues that we must address under the Education heading. There is education of the governing body (i.e. Board of Directors and Condominium Manager – henceforth called management) and there is education of the residents of the building. We have already touched upon the subject of education of management in our blog entitled “If you don’t know where you are going…”. Just to briefly re-cap, the blog highlights the need for a Security Assessment Report/Plan, so that informed decisions in the matter of security, and the very valuable security dollars, can be made by management. Without this, the corporation is placed in a reactive, rather than proactive, position.

The second issue regarding education can be challenging because management must seek to educate the owners/residents in an informative yet non-threatening manner. There is a fine line here where residents must be made aware of security within the condominium without causing needless panic or alarm on the resident’s part. The goal is to make everyone security-conscious, not security-paranoid.

Two topics that are helpful to reinforce in newsletters, townhall meetings, or at the AGM is the awareness of tailgaters and piggy-backers. In our experience, both as condominium managers and as security experts, these 2 items are (by far) the most common cause of condominium penetration (access of the building by unauthorized individuals). They are essentially the same thing; the intruder follows a resident into the building.

Tailgating is done at the parking garage entrance – the intruder may be in another vehicle or more commonly, on foot. They wait until the resident drives in through the garage door and then follow them inside before the garage door has closed. Once they have access to the garage, they break into the vehicles and/or building.

A few ways to combat tailgating is through educating the owners to

1. Wait until the door closes before they drive on

1. Not to leave anything valuable in their vehicles

Additional management defenses are quick-close garage doors and CPTED

Piggy-backing is essential the same concept, but an intruder on foot tries to access the building by following a resident in before the entrance door has closed. Usually the intruder will wait in the vestibule until a resident walks into the building and will attempt to grab the door before it closes.

Various ways to combat piggybacking includes:

1. Installing signage at the entrances informing “we do not open our doors to strangers”

1. Educating owners on protocol where every person that enters the building must use a Fob

Additional Management defenses are cameras at the entrances and intrusion detection systems (IDS)

Sometimes it is helpful to have someone other than the Board of Directors or Property Manager speak at owners meeting (either formal ones like the AGM or informal get-togethers) on the topic of Security. We recognize that, from long experience in the field, that familiarity breeds compliancy. What this translates into is the fact that, although they are experts in their fields, the Condominium Manager’s words and recommendations are sometimes not given their true weight.

This syndrome is sometimes referred to as “the expert from afar”. An outside source, reinforcing the ideas regarding security, is listened to and their advice taken. The smart and prudent management team (Board Members and Property Managers) will use this concept to ensure that their facility, and the people within, are as secure as possible.

Want us to be your expert from afar?

Feel free to send an e-mail to [email protected] for information on our Condominium Security presentations for your next meeting/ resident gathering.