Living in a condo is different than living in a detached house, and although some safety tips are the same there are some differences that should be addressed to keep yourself, and the entire building, safe. In this post I’ll go over 10 simple safety tips pertaining specifically to condo living.
1) One action you can take towards safe condo living is to be aware of your surroundings. Acquainting yourself with your neighbors will give you a better idea of their regular arrival and departure times so you will be better prepared to spot irregularities in the building and respond in kind.
2) Know the location of all fire exits and stairwells in your building; this includes indoor parking and storage areas. If your buildings garage is equipped with panic buttons knowing the locations of those buttons can help you respond quickly in an emergency.
3) Part of being aware is keeping an eye on access control. Most condo owner’s mistake access control for security, but they are not the same. Access control is selectively restricting entry to the building; security, however, would work with access control to alert personnel of a perimeter breach, or if a door remained open longer than the allotted time. While access control working with security is more desirable there are still preventative measures that tenants can implement to increase building safety.
4) Unwanted visitors can gain entry to the building through the parking garage. When entering, or exiting, the garage, stop and make sure that the garage door is completely closed before driving away, or parking, to thwart unwanted visitors from slipping into the building. If you notice an exterior door being propped open notify the building manager about a potential breach. While it may seem nice and neighborly to hold the door for someone unless you know them you could be putting the rest of the building at risk.
5) It is important to note that you should never pursue someone trying to gain access to your building. Notify authorities, your buildings security force or your building manager of the situation and keep a safe distance away.
6) Keep your unit locked at all times, not only when you are gone, but also when you are home. Also, make use of your peephole; if you do not have a peephole talk to management about getting one installed. If you do not know the person on the other side of the door take precautions before opening the door.
7) Personal safety is important in condos. When first moving into a condo make sure the locks have been changed since the previous tenant. If you make copies of your keys keep track of how many there are and who is in possession of them. You should never hide or leave a key outside of your unit.
8) As a new tenant you should take the precaution of not putting your full name on your mailbox. Instead you should only use your initials, or your last name. This will prevent unwanted people from trying to trick your neighbors into believing they know you and thus letting strangers into the building.
9) Use caution if you live on the lower floors of your condo building. Make sure you do not leave your valuables on display, particularly when you are not home. Also, make sure to keep the balcony doors locked when not in use, even if you are home.
10) The final tip I have is probably the easiest to enforce. Report any burnt out lights in entry ways, hallways, stairwells and parking garages. Lighting is one of the cheapest deterrents to crime. By notifying the building manager about dimmed or burnt out lights you are increasing the condos safety.
These tips are all transferrable safety measures that can be used outside of condos to help keep yourself and those around you safe. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments area below. Don’t forget to share this post to help keep family, friends and neighbors safe!