Security

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State of Surveillance

By Greg Olear

The drop in crime in New York in the last 40 years has been nothing short of miraculous. In the 1970s, the city’s obvious danger was notorious. Muggings were commonplace. Subway cars rolled along the tracks tagged in graffiti and ugly fluorescent spray paint. The murder rate was staggering. Mayor John V. Lindsay, well-intentioned but in over his head, walked the city as if in a daze, and if some enterprising vandal ran up and tagged the back of his suit, no one would have been surprised. Read More

Safer Behind Bars

By Jonathan Barnes

Cristina Torre kept her eyes on the kid, as he dropped right into the old mitts. On June 19, 2013, the daughter of Yankees legend Joe Torre caught a 1-year-old baby boy when he fell from the awning of a Brooklyn storefront. Dillin Miller had climbed onto the fire escape and slipped through a hole down onto the awning; luckily, the child wasn’t injured. Read More

Hidden Dangers

By Danielle Braff

In New York, buying a co-op or a condo goes something like this: Your realtor takes you to see your dream home. You put in an offer—along with a bunch of other people. After a ferocious bidding war, your offer is finally accepted. You submit a bunch of very personal documents (in the case of a co-op at least) and settle in for the interminable wait while all that paperwork is reviewed by what seems like a small army of attorneys. Read More

A Private Matter

By W.B. King

 The issue of intellectual property and an individual’s right to privacy has become a greater concern since more and more people  conduct their lives online—whether for banking, social media or dating. While the aforementioned generally  have security features encrypted in programming platforms, there remain  justifiable concerns as to what is actually protected. This heightened sense of  scrutiny results in ancillary privacy concerns, especially for those living in  community associations. Read More

Staying Safe

By Liz Lent

 For most people, nothing is more important than knowing that they and their  families are safe and secure in the place they call home. Boards, management  and security firms all must work together seamlessly and cohesively to create  that safe environment without making a building or community feel like a  citadel. It can be a delicate balancing act, but with the right approach, it  can be done. Read More

Too Hot to Handle

By Anne Childers

 The discovery of fire is considered a major turning point in man's evolution  from cave dweller to outer space explorer. Control of fire allowed early man  warmth for his habitat, a way to cook his meals, and light for his  surroundings. Fire also provided a means to frighten away predators and  introduced a social element by bringing other humans together in a communal  setting. Read More

Security on the Go

By Joe Ingegno

 Not so long ago, having a security system required drilling through the walls of  your cooperative or condominium building and involved installing many spools of  wire attached directly to a bulky keypad. Read More

Wiring Your Co-op or Condo

By Lisa Iannucci

 It’s been a long time since cable modems were the gold standard in Internet  connectivity—or at least it seems like it’s been a long time. Telecommunications as a field has been developing at a  dizzying pace, and multifamily buildings—both new developments and existing properties—face the challenge of providing residents with fast, reliable, Wi-Fi and other  telecom-related services.   Read More

Brighter Days Ahead in 2012?

By W.B. King

 While the economy sputters along and unemployment rates remain steady at more  than nine percent, there doesn't seem to be much call for celebration—but all is not gloom and doom. The real estate market has been one of the most  notable casualties of the recession but in certain regions sales of homes and  condominiums are showing positive signs, giving hope to an industry that has  been treading water for over three years.   Read More

Conducting Employee Background Checks

By Rebecca Fons

 Typically the sources of terror in horror movies come from ghouls and zombies.  Victims in these films find themselves trapped in an abandoned warehouse or  haunted mansion with no chance of escape or survival. These films leave the  audience feeling appropriately freaked out as they leave the theater and head  back to the safety and security of their co-op or condo apartment.   Read More

Your Security Web

By Jonathan Barnes

 The days when an apartment building's 'security system' consisted of a tricky  front door lock and the landlord's ill-tempered dog are long past. Today,  security measures range from old-style deadbolts to high-tech biometric  screening equipment, with a lot of technology in between that includes both  electronic and human components. For association board members and others  living in co-op or condo buildings, understanding the functions and necessities  of these security components is essential to having a safe community. Any  resident should know how these various measures interlock to form a web of  protection for them and their property.   Read More

Information is Everything

By Danielle Braff

Your co-op or condo unit houses more than your material possessions. The  management office also typically contains detailed information about you—including your social security number, credit card number, emergency  information, phone number and many other important documents relevant to your  security.   Read More

Staying Secure

By Keith Loria

 Recent nationwide crime statistics show that New York City and its outlying  suburbs has become one of the safest cities of its size in the past 15 years.  Nevertheless, in a sprawling metropolitan area encompassing New York and New  Jersey, security is always a concern. Read More

True Crime

By Greg Olear

 A few years ago, when I lived in the East Village—in a one-bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up—I had a creepy experience when the cable guy came to hook up our service. He arrived in a beat-up windowless van that looked like it had been boosted from an impound yard, and nothing about him betrayed the fact that he worked for the  cable company. He might have been a subcontractor to a subcontractor, for all I know. But something about him seemed shady.   Read More

Crime Happens

By Joe Ingegno

 Security systems are not just for homeowners in a suburban setting. With  advances in wireless technology, security and life safety systems, the features  found in the newest systems are a great appliance add-on to condo or co-op  apartments. Sometimes residents of multiple unit complexes can be lulled into a  false sense of security because the thinking of being in a densely populated  area provides enough security. Unfortunately, crime happens at any hour of the  day and some of the worst crimes can happen when residents are followed into  their residences during the daylight hours. A high-profile example of this was  the actress and movie producer who was killed in her New York City apartment by  a worker performing renovations in the building. While she knew him and let him  in, having a security system, with the latest crime-in-progress alert  technology built into the portable keypad combined with panic buttons, perhaps  could have changed the outcome. Read More

Fees Under Fire

By Jim Douglass

 A proposal to ban federal lenders from purchasing loans in co-ops that use flip  tax fees or condos with deed-based transfer fees has housing community leaders  worried the ruling would lead to diminished operating budgets and severely  disrupt the cooperative and condominium market. Read More

Where There's Smoke

By David Chiu

 These days SoHo is populated by fancy eateries, high-end boutiques, the Apple  store, and of course, the art galleries. On the weekends, the streets are  packed with shoppers and tourists. This neighborhood is characteristic of  several aspects of today’s New York: stylish, modern, hipster, wealthy, trendy. Read More

Keeping it All Inside

By Lisa Iannucci

 New legislation and a push by the city fathers to make New York City buildings  more energy-efficient has thrown the gauntlet down for New Yorkers to also  become more energy-conscious. Wouldn’t it be great if residents decided to take the lead and make energy-saving  changes in their apartments as well? Of course it would. Read More

Be Prepared

By Keith Loria

 Security is a big issue no matter where you live, but in a sprawling urban  environment like New York City, it's toward the top of residents' list of  concerns. For co-ops and condos, 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 the case of an emergency. Read More

Get Out and Be Safe

By Raanan Geberer

 Just this past September, a tornado hit Park Slope, Central Brooklyn and parts  of Queens, doing substantial damage in a few short minutes. It left people in  other parts of the city wondering, “Could it happen here?” But the tornado—and one like it in Bay Ridge back in 2007—are just the most recent examples of why board members, managers and unit owners  have to think seriously about emergency planning. Read More

A Word to the Wise

By Greg Olear

 There are some eight million people living in the five boroughs of New York. A  sample size that big is bound to yield some bad apples. Most every New Yorker  knows how to avoid the garden-variety, shady-looking miscreant on the street—the trick is to keep them out of your building. How to achieve this? Here are what the experts have to say. Read More

Data Security

By Steven Cutler

 If they have a mind to, an unscrupulous person in possession of someone's  personal information can cause a lot of damage. Their mischief can range from  opening charge cards and other lines of credit, running up huge charges in the  victim's name that go unpaid and wreak havoc on his or her credit rating, to  emptying bank accounts. All a criminal needs is an individual’s name, address, social security number and bank account numbers. Read More

Thoughts & Predicitions from Industry Pros

By Lisa Iannucci

 For pretty much every business sector you can think of, 2009 was a roller  coaster of a year—and real estate was particularly hard-hit. Some industry professionals have  weathered the storm, while others have packed up and moved on from the  uncertainty of this tumultuous industry to seek better fortunes elsewhere. Now,  as the year draws to a welcome close, it may be a good time for not just  evaluating 2009, but postulating what 2010 might have in store. So we asked a  handful of New York real estate professionals to reflect back on this past year  and see if they can look into their crystal ball to forecast next year’s trends and challenges. Read More

Bed Bugs, Lead Paint and Graffiti

By Debra A. Estock

 The Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums recently held a roundtable seminar for board presidents and board  members at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The October 24th event  attracted around 50 people and panelists discussed a number of timely issues,  including pest control, new rules for lead paint, graffiti, laundry and storage  systems, chemical water treatment options, and mandated energy audits.   Read More

Handling Issues of Environmental Safety

By Liz Lent

 Our homes are our sanctuaries—the places we go to feel safe. Sometimes, though, problems arise that can  threaten that sense of security. We worry about fire, or intruders or other  common fears, but rarely do we consider environmental contaminants, the things  that may be in our walls or basements or even the air. Thankfully though, there  are ways to deal with those issues and restore that sense of security to the  places we call home. Of all the semi-invisible problems that can plague a multi-family residential  building, the three most common are lead paint, asbestos and mold. Whether  those problems may be present within a building depends on the building itself,  however.   Read More

A Look at Low-Tech Security

By Greg Olear

 Microchip technology and innovations like biometrics and voice recognition  devices have revolutionized the residential security industry. Once purely in  the realm of science fiction, computers can now perform retinal scans and hand  print analysis to verify individuals' identities and grant entry into  residential buildings. The future of security technology is definitely now. Read More

Budgets, Buildings & Biometrics

By Jonathan Barnes

 Not so long ago, if you wanted to know who was on your stoop, you stuck your  head out the window and asked who was there. But these days, the demand for  greater security and the evolution of technology has led to the availability of  systems that not too many years ago were purely in the realm of science  fiction. Things like biometric scanners and time-sensitive key cards are in use  every day in residential buildings around New York City and are becoming more  widespread.   Read More

Watching Out for One Another

By Liz Lent

 For New York residents, every neighborhood and every borough and every county  could well be another state entirely. Whether it’s a few blocks or a few miles, every area has its own personality, its own perks  and its own downside. When it comes to question of security, it’s no different. The Manhattanite living in the 20-story co-op complex is going  to have a different set of needs than someone living in a detached townhouse on  Staten Island or a gated community in Queens. For managing agents as well as  residents, these differences all come into play when trying to determine the  best, most effective way to keep house and home safe and sound.   Read More

Keep Criminals Out and Budget Dollars In

By Brendan Flaherty

 In terms of building security, boards today are in a tricky position. They are  obliged to protect the residents, their property and offer the same quality of  life just as they did prior to the great economic belly flop of the 21st  Century. The problem is, however, they have less cash to do so. Read More

Exhibitors Learn What Attendees Want

By Debra A. Estock

 Exhibitors for The Cooperator's 23rd Annual Co-op & Condo Expo recently gathered for Exhibitor University, a day-long workshop to  teach the benefits of exhibiting in trade shows and making their appearances a  success. Read More

Security Service Integration and Training is Key

By J. Michael Coleman

Push aside old notions of ineffective security officers. The security officer of the future has arrived. Today’s security officer may be navigating tours on a Segway to patrol airports, transit stations, manufacturing facilities, apartment or condominium complexes, shopping malls and campuses. With the advent of the broadband revolution, you may find today’s highly skilled and trained security officer piloting, what looks like, the Starship Enterprise of technology, with a host of IP-connected digital applications that include closed circuit television (CCTV), life and fire safety systems, and remote online access control systems. Read More

Be Safe and Secure In Your Home

By Lenore Barton

The expression “Better safe than sorry” is known by everyone. As apartment dwellers, it is important not to take advantage of the sense of security felt by having a doorman posted at the door or hallways lined with sprinklers and let our guards down. There are several areas where being proactive can make all the difference. Read More

Making New York City Safer, Cleaner and More Livable

By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Digital cameras…camera phones… smartphones. These terms weren’t even in our vocabulary ten years ago, yet today, many New Yorkers carry this pocket-sized technology with them everywhere they go. One of the goals of the administration is to tap the potential of new technology and put it to work for city government. Recently, we took a big leap into the digital age by equipping the 911 and the 311 systems to accept photos and videos sent through mobile phones or uploaded through the city’s website at nyc.gov. Read More

Turn Bad Times Into Good Times

By Marilyn Sygrove

To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” but in this case, the reverse is true. Read More

Hiring the Best for Your Building

By Raanan Geberer

So your condo or co-op’s management company is getting ready to hire a new service employee. It could be a doorman, it could be a maintenance man, it could be a swimming-pool supervisor. Is this a simple process, or a complicated one? And, above all, how much security is needed in a given position within your building or HOA? Is checking a few references enough? Or, in this day and age, is a rigorous screening process necessary—especially because residents’ security and privacy may be at stake? Or does it depend on the job—and the size of the development? Read More

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