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Safety and Your Home (Originally Published in New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine)

In Home Decor, Living, Writing (all kinds) on April 22, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Now you have bought that new dream home or new condominium. You may not know your neighbours and the neighbourhood well yet. You need to make sure that for all the time you will live there – you will be safe.

This is where security comes in. Who does not want to feel safe in their home?

Robert Saxe works with Intelligent Building Concepts. He has been in the business of helping homeowners feel safe in their homes since 1993.

“I was initially installing security systems for condominiums,” Saxe says. “In about 1998 I saw a need for security reports and audits for how to improve the security systems found throughout the GTA.”

Saxe works with the board of directors and the managers throughout the condominiums to see how to improve security. He does a lot of work with a number of developers as well. Some of the more notable ones are Brookfield, Del, Monarch and Context.

“The most important thing is the resident’s awareness of not just the security features and how to be more secure in the building,” says Saxe. “Whatever we do to secure the building is only as good as their behaviour in the building.”

Saxe gives many tips on security. The first tip is do not hold the door open for a stranger.

“If someone wants to visit your daughter in the back bedroom and they came to your door and you didn’t know them – you wouldn’t let them in,” Saxe states. “So don’t hold the door open in a condominium to a stranger. We want the resident to be more security conscious. Often simply by going through the process of upgrading and looking and spending money on the security – this improves that.”

Saxe says that once he has worked out a plan for security with a property owner for a condominium, he jumps into action.

“We may end up improving the camera system or the card access system or the lighting and all these reflect on the aspect of the building. So that both residents and their guests realize they are in a building where security is a feature and they modify their inappropriate behaviour and a crook looking to break into a building may go elsewhere.”

At the request of the management and the board of directors Saxe provides them with a report that indicates the security features around the building. Even the signs saying that there is a camera are as important as the camera itself.

“The first thing we want to do is to deter the activity,” says Saxe. “The second thing is to record it. We deter it, we detect, record and act.”

Many of the buildings around town may have partial or 24-hour man security. Although many of the security control officers are highly qualified, this will improve over the next year because the Ontario government has introduced a new bill that will improve the quality of the security guards. This is Bill 159 that replaces the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act. This bill will help to improve the credentials of security guards. The bill has been passed and will be enforced next August.

Saxe also mentions there is an underlying principle of crime prevention through environmental design. This is also known as CPTED – crime prevention through environmental design.

“How you trim the trees so you can see what you’re doing, fix the broken window, clean up the garbage,” says Saxe. “If a space has a defined purpose it is less likely it will be used for a crime purpose. It is practiced strongly out in Brampton. It’s an underlying principle of what I do.”

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