Three Common Threats to Condo Security (and How to Avert them)

woman looking out from condo balcony

They dot the skylines of towns and cities across the GTA, popping up seemingly overnight. Construction cranes reshaping urban landscapes with condos.

In 2014, a record year, builders completed more than 25,000 units in the GTA. Even with a bit of a lull in construction, Toronto alone is expected to see around 15,000 new condo and apartment units completed every year for the foreseeable future, adding to an already vast inventory of high-rise residential properties

That’s a lot of units. And for the people in charge of condo security, a lot to manage.

Whether the property is brand new or a long-time fixture of the neighbourhood, an integrated and up-to-date approach to security will help keep the building’s value up and its residents happy.

Here are a few of our favourite tips to do just that.

1. Stay Up-to-Date with In-suite Alarm Security Systems

Why It’s Important

During our many years of assessing and upgrading condo security, we’ve encountered plenty of older properties using outdated in-suite alarm security systems. The obsolete technology in these systems not only inhibits integration with other technologies, it compromises the safety of residents.

Stronger security at the suite-level provides peace of mind for residents while acting as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

What We Recommend

In these cases we often recommend an integrated approach to condo security. An onsite assessment gives us a chance to put together a detailed plan of action, including the components and steps needed to make integration as seamless as possible.

During a recent project, we retrofitted a condominium complex with a fully integrated security platform. This enabled communication between the system’s many different components for a more comprehensive and intelligent form of security. As part of the project we also replaced all card readers, controllers, communication devices and in-suite alarm keypads.

Now the condo’s security team can also monitor the alarm status of the entire complex—including more than 300 units—in real-time using an enterprise-level server software.

Criminals are continually updating their tactics and technologies to gain access to units. It’s up to those in charge of condo security to stay ahead of those threats.

Axiom SafeSuite PoE Keypad by RBH Access


2. Don’t Skimp on Suite and Commercial Door Hardware

Why It’s Important

Considering the pressure to keep condo fees down, it’s easy to understand the appeal of discount door hardware. But in our experience this is a short-sighted approach.

Not only does it compromise the security of condo residents and their property, it doesn’t take into account the entire lifecycle of the product and the long-term savings that come with choosing quality. Reducing the rate of hardware replacement will also allow for budget realigning towards other building improvements or upgrades that may have not been possible otherwise.

What We Recommend

To give our clients the most value, we recommend products that combine superior protection and durability with unique security features such as drill- and pick-resistant deadbolt locks, or freewheeling cylindrical levers that are abuse resistant. It doesn’t hurt that these products are manufactured and backed by the most trusted names in physical security.

When selecting door hardware to secure your condo, look for objective criteria such as certification by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA). Products certified ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 provide the highest level of security and durability.

You can learn more about ANSI/BHMA standards here.

We’ve included some of our favourite door hardware below, including locks from Medeco, Sargent and Arrow.

SARGENT 8200 Lever Mortise Lock

Arrow QL Series Cylindrical Levers

Arrow DC300 Aluminum Door Closers

Medeco High Security Commercial Deadbolt Locks


3. Remember that Security Starts at the Front Door

Why It’s Important

By equipping your condo’s entry lobby with a modern intercom system, you’re adding an attractive focal point that enhances appearance, value and security. As an added benefit, having an up-to-date system can serve as a deterrent to criminals just by sending the message that you don’t take access control lightly.

What We Recommend

Modernizing a condominium lobby doesn’t have to be a major or expensive undertaking. In fact, sometimes it’s as simple as giving the intercom system a facelift. While retrofitting a condo lobby recently we installed three telephone entry intercom panels, which are connected via a secure network and managed in the site management office.

For condo residents, the intercom system’s 22” flush mounted touchscreen is intuitive and attractive. Most important of all, it improves security and increases peace of mind.

old condo intercom



mircom telephone access system installed in condo


Among our favourite products for securing condo lobbies are the Mircom TX3-Touch-F22 and TX3-Touch-S22—two intercom systems that balance impressive design with an even more impressive array of security and convenience features.

Mircom TX3-TOUCH-F22 Telephone Access System

Mircom TX3-TOUCH-S22 Telephone Access System

ABC is proud to be an associate member of the ACMO. We take our commitment to condo security seriously, working closely with property managers throughout Toronto and wherever our expertise can make a difference.

Talk to us today find out how we can help—whether it’s a simple hardware retrofit or a major overhaul to integrate your condo’s security system.

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