Whether you’ve recently downsized from the ‘burbs and moved into a condo, or you’re already a pro at condo living, it never hurts to review tips to ensure you can enjoy safe, secure condo living. There’s safety in numbers, but urban density means you’re also living near people you don’t know. More people in each square foot and you have an increased chance of being exposed to human error.
But when it comes to crime, there’s no safer place to live than the middle of a city. Crime statistics for Canada show an ever-decreasing rate of crime, and an ever-decreasing rate of violent crime. News headlines inflate the reality and make us feel more vulnerable. And in 2013, Time reported that in fact big cities are safer places to live than the quiet countryside.
Nevertheless, it’s prudent to take steps to ensure you are doing your part. Here are our 5 tips for safe secure condo living.
No sense going half-way with an alarm system. Install one with the loudest, most obscene siren you can find, and be sure it is equipped with motion detectors, glass-break sensors, external strobe lights, and wireless panic buttons. These flashing lights and horrible sirens won’t prevent a break-in, per se, but they will deter even the most determined would-be thief.
Install and regularly test your smoke, fire and CO2 detectors. Many are battery operated, and even without tripping them, the batteries will wear down. Set a schedule, running the tests and putting in fresh batteries, once every six months.
The entryway doors leading into your suite may very well be included in the common elements, and you will not have control over their safety properties. But when scouting for a new condo to buy, look for peepholes you can actually reach to look through and that have a wide angle lense. The door should be constructed of solid wood or metal, and the hinges attached with reinforced 3-inch steel screws. If you have a fob system to get into the main building, never share your fob and resist letting strangers in behind you on your fob swipe.
3.Glass Windows and Doors
Ground floor access suites are most at risk of burglary attempts, followed by suites in close proximity to stairwells, exterior hallways, trees, fences, or even other balconies. Sliding glass entry doors should have a wooden or steel rod, like those used in a closet, set into the floor-level running track. This will prevent the door from being slid open from the outside. And consider covering all exterior-facing glass with glass protection film. This will make it much more difficult to smash, and the extra effort and noise will make your condo a much less attractive target.
4.Lights & Timers
Installing timers on one or two of your lights or lamps in the condo and turning those timers on whenever you leave will give the impression someone is at home. Try this with a radio, TV or stereo as well – nothing says “I’m home” like jazz piano or reality TV. Keep the areas around your main doorways, and your exterior condo balcony well lit.
5.Review and Rehearse
You’ll have an easier time keeping a level head, in the event something happens, when you’ve done your homework and rehearsed your response. Check and practice using all fire exits, check and test all your doors, security locks, and be sure you have emergency phone numbers on speed dial.
Do you have a favourite practise to ensure you can enjoy safe, secure condo living? We’d love to hear it.