Fire safety, security solutions, emergency preparedness, etc.

This topic contains 7 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Michelle Riopel 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #2409

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    Posted by Serena N on November 22 2017 at 02:47 PM | 7 comments
    Nine years ago, when the first two buildings were assessed, the security recommendation was 16 cameras. The board put in only 6. Four years ago third building was completed and the builder installed two cameras for 98 units. We now have only 8 cameras for 240 units in three buildings

    How do older buildings who have no RFS for adding in new security cameras pay for necessary surveillance? Some board members maintain that to add cameras is a capital improvement and needs 75% vote to approve.

    Can the costs just be budgeted in to our new budget for 2018?

    Thoughts?

    S. Nelson

  • #2410

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    We made the decision as the board – did not need 75% approval. That said, “cameras” were a line item in the reserve fund so we felt this was an “approved” expense. Not sure if this helps! Fay.

    Fay P on November 22 2017 at 02:59 PM

  • #2411

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    I would question (doubt?) that purchasing additional cameras to bring the existing security system to a level of function initially promised/expected to address a specific lack of coverage, would be considered a capital improvement by your fellow owners to the point where they’d risk thousands of dollars in legal fees to sue the Corporation. I’m no lawyer, but I will guess a judge would award costs against a plaintiff believing the case to be a nuisance.

    I would ask your doubting Board members to bring a legal opinion to the discussion and, if they won’t, point out that capital improvement by special resolution was targeted at real property and substantial changes to the use of the condo, not at going from 8 chairs to 12 chairs in the common areas (nor 8 cameras to 24 for security).

    Please do NOT budget the initial purchase and installation from the Reserve Fund (it’s pretty clear that is prohibited); simply increase condo fees for one year and add a specific line item in that year’s budget for security system upgrades. And have a full discussion of whether 8 cameras, 12 cameras, or 24 cameras is appropriate for your complex.

    Arylnn P on November 22 2017 at 03:13 PM

  • #2412

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    Adding cameras, or anything else not covered in the reserve fund study, would be considered a capital expense and should ideally be budgeted for. The decision to add cameras does not require a special resolution, where 75% of the owners need to be in agreement. It is a decision the board can make.

    Mark R on November 22 2017 at 03:30 PM

  • #2413

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    You have a surveillance system and are simply adding to it or improving it. You do not need 75% approval but you should budget for it in the 2018 operations budget.

    That being said, with all the cameras, are you spending all your money on being reactive? What is being spent on proactive? Ask yourself a question, with the cameras you have how many times were they used to solve or identify a person of interest? How many convictions did you cameras assist with?

    Paul M on November 22 2017 at 10:42 PM

  • #2414

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    Very good question. We have been able to identify certain individuals, but with having only one camera facing outwards at the parkade door and one camera in the entrance foyer, we cannot tell if someone from Bldg 1 & 2 is coming in to use the gym on the first floor or going elsewhere in the building.

    People move freely in the building without ever walking past a camera. We have fobs to identify who enters, but no further.
    There have been break ins in our parkades as well as parking lots. We have no outside coverage.

    We post notices all the time, asking residents to refuse entry to people they do not know. to wait for garage door to close before parking, etc.

    I could be wrong, but we are now 35% renters, and I do not believe they care as much as others.

    We also have no onsite manager to monitor comings and goings. Does any one have opinions on when the complex is big enough to warrant an onsite person?

    Serena N on November 22 2017 at 11:54 PM

  • #2415

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    The most important camera(s) are the infrared units that capture the license plate of every vehicle leaving the complex, night and day, with one camera at each street access point. I’m confident you will resolve more problems with 1 or 2 infrared units than with all your other cameras combined. Just ask your local Mountie what is the first thing she wants to see…

    The second priority is camera coverage that accounts for every vehicle in your well-lit surface parking lot. The cops love it when they can match make, model, colour, and a description of the driver etc. to the license number.

    Infrared cameras have to be expertly installed and configured. It’s not a job for your uncle Fred, so don’t buy the handyman specials at CT.

    Most of the malfeasance in condo buildings is committed by residents breaking the rules about garbage, cigarettes, or harbouring verboten animals, etc. The video system will pull a lot of these miscreants out of the shadows, but it’s mostly social problems you’re dealing with, not crime, so there’s a limit to what should be invested in a system that has no money payback. Also remember someone has to spend many tedious hours looking at footage that can span a week, or worse in order to catch an event that lasts10 seconds.

    Sorry to ramble. My point in short is that the added usefulness of each additional camera goes down rapidly, so it’s vital to identify and cover your most trouble prone locations first, starting with infrared at the street exits.

    Gus V on November 27 2017 at 04:13 PM

  • #2416

    Michelle Riopel
    Keymaster

    Thank you all for your comments. Appreciate them all. Good advice!
    Serena

    Serena N on November 27 2017 at 09:02 PM

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