Keep your strata safe during the holiday season
During the Christmas season, much joy and happiness is spread. But unfortunately, crime is also more prevalent as criminals take advantage of the cracks in security in strata communities.
Granted, strata schemes offer more security than stand-alone properties. But there is always more you can do to lockdown your property.
Santa has his naughty or nice list – and we have compiled our own list of dos and don’ts for your strata security during the holiday season.
As a strata owner, your occupant’s safety ranks highly on your priorities.
It is important to clearly express to your tenants the level and measures of security that you have already put in place. You don’t want occupants to accidentally bypass these measures.
For example, they may hand out their keys/keycodes to unauthorised individuals. It is vital that your occupants value and respect imposed safety practices as much as you do.
With everyone on board and aware, your property gains a whole new level of reassurance.
Consider and review how people enter the building. Access control systems restrict access via mechanical or electronic methods.
Most use physical keys, but more increasingly, people are switching to electronic control systems such as key cards or pin pads. These allow specific monitoring on who is entering as well as when.
This technology has become a popular choice for building owners as it dramatically improves security and increases privacy for occupants.
Video intercoms allow people to see and communicate with outsiders before being permitted to enter. Plus, certain systems can record entry points.
CCTV security cameras
Having a security camera system set up around and inside your property can deter potential criminals by up to 50%. This is a huge asset to have for your building.
CCTV cameras also allow multiple pairs of eyes to be guarding entry ways, backdoor areas, or communal access points which will make everyone feel safer.
This option also helps with liability issues that may come up because you can easily access the recordings of accidents or claims.
Safes and locks
This applies to the building owner as well as the residents.
Not only should you keep files, sensitive details or private information locked and secure, but it is also important to encourage residents to obtain a personal safe for their own use.
Personal data, as well as expensive items, can be placed in a safe which add an extra layer of protection, especially if it is bolted or very heavy.
It is also important to get a fire-proof safe as during Christmas, the use of lights around trees can inadvertently cause fire damage.
Having a safe makes it even harder for criminals to compromise your belongings.
Lights and surroundings
Criminals prefer to do their dirty work in the dark, which is why strategically placing lighting around the building, especially near access points, can effectively deter thieves.
If your building is dark or hidden, then it encourages more shady behaviour.
Is your building close to pathways or other communal areas? Ample lighting can encourage more pedestrian traffic, which also wards off criminal behaviour.
Having well maintained greenery is also important as overgrown grass, shrubs or trees can act as cover for burglars.
If surrounding areas are clean and orderly, it makes it harder for criminals to scope, hide or retreat.
Not to mention, a well-kept strata indicates that the building operations are active and under watch. This is a deterrent as criminals love unattended or messy buildings.
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Never broadcast or expose your security flaws via conversation, writing or online. This may seem obvious, but it is important that even if there is a loophole, it shouldn’t be discussed or spread before it can be dealt with.
Clever criminals are everywhere and they keep an eye out for ways to exploit your property.
Don’t allow open access
It is essential that only those people who should be there are entering your building. Whether they are tenants, employees or delivery men, there are ways to screen or monitor entry rather than choosing open access for all.
Most people are fine with a little bit of security and safeguards than having none at all. Perhaps this is a discussion to have at a meeting in order to gain varied perspectives and arrive at a joint conclusion.
Never compromise safety
Safety is highly important and should never be compromised for the sake of convenience or saving money.
If there are measures in place, ensure they are being carried out. It only takes one person shortcutting the system to allow a crack that can affect everyone.
Having frank conversations with occupants and employees is essential. And perhaps putting in repercussions for those involved if security is breached is a wise idea.
In strata schemes, one person may compromise but someone else may ultimately be impacted.
These are just some measures to establish this holiday season. Be aware that crime tends to increase due to higher alcohol and drug consumption as well as more free time available to people.
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