Security Do's & Don'ts

Protect Yourself and Your Building

By Stacey Cooper

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Following is a list of security do's and don'ts for both doorman and non-doorman buildings. Of course the first

line of defense, according to many security companies, is to use your common sense.

Resident Guidelines

1. Never let strangers into the building when you are entering or leaving.

2. When the buzzer rings, check the identity of the person(s) seeking entry before allowing them in.

3. Unknown or suspicious persons seeking entrance to the building should be referred to the superintendent.

4. Be extremely cautious of any salespeople or workers (from the cable company or gas company) that show up unrequested. Ask all salespeople, solicitors and information seekers to produce valid credentials (drivers license and employee ID), and call the company to double-check their legitimacy. Any stranger who does not cooperate should be reported to the police as a potential threat.

5. Inform the superintendent when you are going on vacation. Cancel all deliveries and mail. Use clock timers that activate lights and radios to give the impression that someone is home. Small valuables should be stored in a safety deposit box.

6. Do not store valuable property in apartment lockers.

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7. Don't keep large amounts of cash in your apartment.

8. In addition to locks, install a peep hole on your outside doors.

9. Keep the phone number of the police by the telephone.

10. If you lose your keys along with identification, change your locks immediately.

11. Do not go into the laundry room when you are likely to be alone.

12. Do not enter an elevator if you are suspicious of the occupant(s). When in an elevator, stand near the floor button panel. In a difficult situation, push as many buttons as possible, particularly the alarm button. Do not touch the emergency stop button, as it will immobilize the elevator, perhaps between floors. If there is a phone, lifting the receiver automatically activates the alarm.

13. If, upon arrival, you find your door broken into, do not enter your apartment. If you find someone in your apartment, stay out of their way and get out as soon as possible. Then call the police.

Doorman Guidelines

1. Doormen must maintain a log in which all visitors are noted. The log should show the time of arrival, the visitor's name and who is being visited.

2. The telephone numbers of owners should never be given out.

3. Nobody should be permitted to enter any apartment without the owner being present unless specific written authority is provided. Check the identity of any person claiming to have such authority.

4. Stop any person you do not recognize. If it is a visitor going to an owner's apartment

a) call the owner and check on the validity of the visitor

b) ask the owner if he or she wishes to see the visitors

c) if the visitor is approved, allow entry.

5. Never give out an apartment key except to an owner or resident whom you recognize and who has been accidentally locked out. Keys are to be released to others only with written authorization from the owner. If a key is given out, record it in the log book.

6. If a person arrives with legal papers or other official matters, check credentials carefully to see if the person is duly authorized.

7. The entry of any tradespeople, housekeepers, etc., must be recorded in the log. Regular hou 932 sekeepers may be allowed to go up, but if in doubt, call the owner.

8. Notify management immediately in the case of any emergency and make sure the list of emergency phone numbers is up to date.

Ms. Cooper is Editorial/Internet Coordinator of The Cooperator.

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