7 Condo Safety Tips for Novice Property Owners
There are about 17 million privately-owned condos in the U.S. With condo living, you don’t have to worry about outdoor repairs, maintenance, or lack of freedom to change the interior as you have with an apartment. You live in a community, may have amenities, and gain equity if you own your condo.
However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about condo safety. Keep reading to learn condo safety tips so you can live freely and safely.
1. Update Locks and Lights
As simple as it sounds, the proper use of locks and lights can improve safety and also deter break-ins. It’s important that any public areas with reserved or unsafe equipment have the proper locks when they are unsupervised.
Pools, saunas, and gyms should always be locked outside of hours. This is for the safety of all condo residents. If accidents occur outside supervised hours in one of these areas, it could be dangerous for all.
Lighting is also important for security or condo safety. You can use motion-activated or automated lighting for dark areas. Stairways and paths can present tripping or fall hazards if not properly lit. Good lighting can also assist with crime prevention.
People just feel safer and it is easier for surveillance when lights are working. Be sure to report any light issues to management or keep your lightbulbs updated on your property.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times
You should also be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be sure to acquaint yourself with your neighbors so you can get used to their arrival and departure times to be prepared for any irregularities.
Be sure you know the location of all the fire exits and stairwells for condo fire safety. You should also know where to go with storage areas and indoor parking and ask about your condo fire safety plan.
Check your building’s parking garage and look for any panic buttons. You should know where they are ahead of time in case you need them for emergency situations.
3. Install Security Cameras
Security cameras can be costly, but they are helpful deterrents for crime. Thieves avoid properties with security cameras if there is a chance they can be recognized from surveillance footage.
Be sure your condo complex (and your unit) has cameras in high traffic areas like parking lots, exits, entrances, and stairwells. You can even install one on the front of your door and the back of your unit.
You can also see if your management company has any security software to help them monitor the area. Programs can help them send messages out immediately to residents and also create a system to protect residents from crime. If you are interested in condo security systems, check it out here!
4. Lock Up Your Unit
In addition to locking up common areas of your condo community, it’s imperative that you lock your own doors at all times. The majority of burglars actually enter a home through an unlocked door.
Even if you are not planning to be gone long, there is no reason you should not lock your doors. Be careful about hiding keys outside your door. Burglars know where to look, and there are not as many safe hiding spots as you may think.
5. Install Fire, Carbon Monoxide, and Freezing Monitor Systems
There is always a risk for fire damage, carbon monoxide exposure, and freezing pipes in any residential building. You should always make sure your unit has up-to-date fire and smoke alarms (include fire escape signs too for guests), carbon monoxide detectors, and temperature monitoring.
When these alarms are triggered, you and your condo management should be aware. This gives you peace of mind if you are traveling as well. Talk to your condo association about any condo fire safety plans for the unit and see if there are any regular fire inspections to make sure the community systems are working adequately.
Change the batteries at least twice a year for all your alarms inside your unit.
6. Think About Access Control
It’s also important that you are aware of access control for your condo community. This is more than just security. Access control restricts entry into a building.
Security works with access control to alert any perimeter breach or to check a door that is open for longer than normal. Security will double-check the situation to ensure it’s safe.
You should talk to your condo management about access control and security. This means you may have to alert them when you have guests or when you expect a service like a cable repair or a plumber.
7. Start a Neighborhood Watch
You may think that neighborhood watch programs are only for large single-family residential neighborhoods—but they can also be extremely useful for condo properties as well!
Residents can take turns to keep an eye on things and split up jobs to ensure everyone’s safety. This could also be a great selling point for future residents considering your community.
Security is always a concern for any community, and people want to be safe. Your condo association can help address your questions and you can talk about starting a neighborhood watch.
Keep Condo Safety on Your Mind
Just because you don’t have to worry about all the maintenance when you own a condo, doesn’t mean you should take condo safety for granted. Follow these tips to help stay safe when living in a community with others.
Looking for more advice to keep your condo safe and comfortable? Check out more articles in our Real Estate and Home section today!