The cold weather setting in, paired with the hard economic year in Alberta, is causing crime to thrive. Since 2003 crime rates have been steadily trending down. In 2015 we saw the first upward swing in over a decade. The crime severity index states for Alberta that in 2015 there was an increase of 34% in breaking and entering and 21% in theft under $5000, compared to 2014. These numbers are forecasted to rise again after the 2016 study concludes.
Now more than ever it is important to understand your individual and community obligations in securing your buildings and homes.
The following is a list of best practices your condo should be enforcing on a regular basis, as well as habits that are beneficial to all owners and tenants in order to protect their safety and personal property.
Do not let people you don’t know into the building
It’s human nature to want to help others, and when you see a person who may seem like they genuinely belong there it is easy to relax on this rule. No matter their appearance or excuse if they are meant to be there then the appropriate actions will be taken to allow them entrance into the building without your assistance. For example, the locked-out person can contact the condo management company for help entering the building.
Do not leave valuables in your car
Many of us are guilty of using our cars as an extra storage locker from time to time. The prevalence of this habit leads to cars being targeted at a very high rate. Clear your car of all valuables each time you park. If you must leave something in your car, cover it with a towel or hide the item under the seats.
Storage lockers should be used with prejudice
Lockers are an often-targeted area of condo buildings, so use them sparingly. High value items such as exercise equipment should be stored in your unit, but if this is not possible, cover your items with blankets and use secondary chain locks inside the storage unit.
Report all building integrity weaknesses
Inform your condo managers immediately about any doors that do not latch properly, broken lockboxes, or suspicious activity. Never assume another resident has called in the issue. If you witness suspicious behaviour call the police first, then you must inform your condo manager. The manager’s ability to send condo wide notices through email can be used to inform all residents on building specific security concerns.
…And that’s not all!
Stay tuned for Part 2 (For Condo Boards)!