Condominium Security - Dealing with Tailgating - By Scott Hill
In our experience, the vast majority of security breaches in condominiums are done in a few simple ways. We have already written on the subject of fob duplication, but would like to address the subject of tail-gating.
"I thought this was a well written article bringing up a valid point on condominium security." - Rob Paddon
Tailgating is when an intruder on foot tries to access the building by following a resident in before the entrance door has closed. Usually the intruder will wait in the vestibule until a resident walks into the building and will attempt to grab the door before it closes. In the high pace of society, this is even easier as most people are engaged with their smart phones as they exit the building, which reduces their attention to their immediate surroundings.
The picture attached to this article is taken from a condominium for which we completed a Security and Risk Assessment report.
How do Condominiums deal with Tailgaters?
As we all may be aware, there are three ways that security incidents/concerns can be addressed. They are:
1. Human Resources (i.e. guards)
2. Equipment (i.e. cameras, turnstiles)
3. Education and procedures (rules, notice to owners)
The challenge with condominium security is that the security solutions must be transparent to the owners and cannot be over-bearing. This is the condominium resident’s home and, as such, we do not want them to feel like they are living in a prison or unsafe building.
For condominiums that do not have around-the-clock security presence, the issue with assigning guards is the cost. Assigning a security presence to the issue is usually the most effective, but it is also usually the most expensive.
When we explore the second option, we must examine equipment that would allow the condominium to react in a timely manner. While there are devices like turnstiles that will restrict access, this equipment is not usually conducive to a residential setting. Once again, the installation of such technologies has a factory/commercial facility feel and does not work well with residents.
What we have discovered throughout Security Audits and Risk reports is that the most effective solution is to bring the owners into the solution. By education, reminders and procedures, we can make the owners and residents a key part of the resolution.
The first step is awareness – making the owners aware of the problem. Following a security presentation we completed for an Ontario CCI chapter, we were contacted to write a section for a condominium’s newsletter. Also, following that same presentation, we were asked to assist with the wording for lobby signage.
Caution must be taken, as the Condominium should not be seen to advocate that residents confront strangers – such an action may put them in danger. Rather, signage and education should be used to make residents aware of the situation and encourage them to report anything out of the ordinary.