J.Z. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We are looking for a new security company for our condo. What are some important questions to ask before making a decision?
Mister Condo replies:
J.Z., I am happy to hear that your condo association is serious about security. There are lots of things to consider and your building may offer some unique challenges that only you and your security expert can address. I would start off with as much automation as possible. While some measures may be expensive to begin, automation will cut down on manpower costs over time which can really add up. Automated locks, secured entrances, surveillance systems, software, and more will all play a part. If you require manned services as well, you would be wise to ask for references, particularly for buildings in your area. Experienced security personnel will know the likely risk factors for your area. Of course, the condo association needs to have security policies in place for personnel to enforce. You might need training from the company for other building personnel and residents. And, let’s not forget that the condo residents need to do their part. Loaning out keys, holding doors open for strangers, and other seemingly innocent acts are usually the weakest link in the security system. The best security system is only as strong as its weakest component. That is usually the residents. If you get your security policies in place and do your diligence interviewing and checking references with several building security firms, I am sure you can find a great match. All the best!