There are many factors in choosing a home security system no matter where you live, but there are unique security challenges facing city dwellers. To be clear, it’s always a great idea to have a home security system no matter where you reside, but living in a city provides unique challenges such as:
Higher Population, Increased Isolation
When living in a rural area, there tends to be a greater sense of community and comradery. Even if you live in a scarcely populated area, you are likely to know and interact with your nearest neighbour. The opposite tends to be true in densely populated areas, where people tend to stick to themselves at home, and pair off with people they already know. What about when a crime is committed? Surely having more eyes on a crime is a benefit of living in a large city? Psychologically speaking, the opposite is true.
When a crime is committed, the more people that are there to witness it, the less likely it is to be reported. This is known as the Bystander Effect, or Bystander Apathy. This phenomenon happens because people are certain that in such a large crowd that surely someone will help. If everyone has that thought, nobody ends up helping. That is why a home security system is so essential. If you live in a busy neighbourhood, people are less likely to recognize if something is amiss since they want to keep to themselves. Even if they witness the crime, they are unlikely to report it due to the Bystander Effect. Having a home alarm system is a consistent link to authorities where one does not have to rely on strangers to help. Having a monitored alarm means that trained professionals will take on that responsibility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While the Bystander Effect applies to condo living as well, condo dwellers have unique issues that they need to address. Most condos in Canada come with some form of security, the most common of which is a buzzer system which allows somebody into the front door. This system often gives a false sense of security to the condo owner, as the reality is that it very rarely stops a criminal from entering the premises. It’s known that front and back doors are big problems, and the reality is, there is very little any individual owner can do about it. If a thief waits by a door with a fake load of groceries, they can often have someone hold the door open for them just by smiling at them. Condo security may technically be the responsibility of the board of directors, but you need to always take condo security into your own hands.
Even if the board of directors claims they are serious about security, they are often part of the problem with security breaches. Landlords and repair people have been known to casually allow themselves into a condo unannounced, which is entirely illegal. The illegality does not stop them, however, as condo residents have little recourse if landlords claim they attempted to give notice. Having a monitored alarm system with an indoor camera is the best protection for a condo dweller. This ensure there is both a connection to the authorities, and evidence of who arrived in your condo and at what time. If something ever goes missing, you have hard evidence to provide the police. It also allows for more peace of mind and privacy, as even if a landlord has a key, the will know to provide proper notice prior to entering your condo again.
Every City, Every Home
Statistically speaking, serious crimes are down almost across the board in Canada. That’s great news for everyone’s personal safety, but it doesn’t mean that you can avoid crime altogether. In Toronto alone, nearly 7000 break and enters were reported in 2016, and there is always a concern of a major crime spree from thieves looking to make frequent scores. No matter where you live, your home can become a target. Having many witnesses or living in a condo will not deter would be robbers from taking your possessions. Everybody needs a home security system to keep them safe!