Whether a building or association is located in a bustling urban environment or in a quiet leafy suburb, safety and security are always toward the top of residents' list of concerns. For HOAs, townhome and condo communities, addressing this means not only providing residents a safe and secure place to live, but staffing it with workers who know what to do in case of an emergency.
Boards and property managers may be the ones to map out their building security and emergency plans, but most likely, building staff members such as superintendents, doormen, maintenance crews, security guards, and others will be the ones to actually carry out those plans, or be the first responders in case of an emergency.
Many people specifically seek out buildings and associations with doormen or guard staff because they feel safer and more secure knowing there’s somebody on watch at all times. A doorman is frequently considered to be the first line of defense in a community. They know the residents and their habits, and over time get to know the regular visitors to the building.
There are some co-ops and condos that employ an on-site security guard or someone with similar responsibilities. While in year’s past, almost anyone could have been hired for these positions, recent legislation has stipulated that only trained professionals are doing the guarding. If another employee in the building takes on the responsibilities of the security guard and an incident happens, it could put the building community at risk.
There are a number of security issues and emergency situations that building staff members should be prepared to encounter. It could be a fire in an individual unit, an attempted robbery, or a city-wide blackout. Staff members must be properly trained to recognize threats, keep themselves and residents safe, and contain whatever potential damage an emergency might cause.