Communicating safety tips as important as security devices.
Violent acts committed in the elevators and garages of condominiums are a reality, and prove the need for diligent security and resident safety education. A couple of cases come to mind: the first was caught on video and showed a young man allegedly steal a woman’s phone and violently knock her down as he made his getaway. The second incident was also an alleged theft but ended up even worse as the victim was also sexually assaulted. Add to that the case of the young man abducted from his garage and you can see that condo safety is an ongoing issue. But what might have happened if every resident in the building was trained to “make it your job to show your fob”? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and yet still most condo boards/management teams do not have a communication strategy in place to deal with the myriad of issues unique to vertical living. The first part of the strategy is to get the right tools. E-blasts are a great way to get the message out about water shut-offs or pool closures but the entire “selfie/healthy” concept can make them rather useless when it comes to safety and security. People just don’t bother to read stuff that doesn’t personally inconvenience them. So when it comes to security issues let’s face it, most of us think “it will never happen to me.” So how do you reach residents and get them to notice important things without expecting them to read too much? A digital notice board in your elevator, that’s how. If you take a look at the elevator from the purse-snatching incident, it’s not even equipped with a notice board, it’s got paper stuck to it. This is hardly an effective way to educate residents about important aspects of condo life like safety and security awareness. When you use a digital screen, the notices move which automatically make them much more noticeable than a static notice. Imagine residents boarding an elevator and every day for a week or two they see different notices about safety and security in their home. They learn that incidents of theft go up in the summer. They learn the reasons why. They learn that they shouldn’t feel like it’s rude to ask to see a fob. Here’s a one minute video
that shows how that works. They learn that as a legitimate resident, they should expect to have their fob asked for and be only too glad to have it at the ready. They learn to notice a person boarding an elevator without pressing a button (like the purse-snatcher did) and pay attention to their “gut” when it says he/she is an intruder. They learn what to do, and what not to do.
And learn they will. When the display is properly set up, running a well-planned and thought out communication strategy, every resident that uses the elevator will notice the campaign and over time absorb it. What they learn covers a lot of topics that will save not only money and time, but more importantly a lot of heartache and maybe even a life.