Yaletown is a neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver and is one of the safest areas in all of the city. With all of the tourists and the hustle bustle Yaletown is very busy at almost all times of the day and night. Its streets are well lit and the businesses and restaurants are all open late, so it is quite safe to walk after dark. With that being said, it is also one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in all of Vancouver so home break-ins do occur. Here is a list of 7 safety tips I would like to share with you to help make your Yaletown home safe and secure.
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings at all times is the first way to ensure a safer home. Make sure to get acquainted with your neighbours and pay attention to their departure and arrival times as well as who regularly comes and goes from their home. If you see anything out of the ordinary, make sure to be proactive and not reactive. Alert the proper authorities if you suspect or feel anything suspicious going on.
2. Know Your Building
Make sure to get to know your building. Pay particular attention to all fire escape routes, stairwells and exit points. All of this information is so important in case of any type of emergency and is just good practice in general. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the storage area as well as the underground parking area. If your building has panic buttons, make sure you know where they are in case an emergency may arise.
3. Access Control is not Security
This simple mistake is one of the main ways intruders gain access to any secure apartment complex. Your access control is not security. It is your responsibility to make sure that the door is securely shut once you have gained access to your complex. If the door does not latch properly or close in a timely manner, contact security or the building manager immediately. Ideally, your building will have a security system built into the access control which adds another dimension to the safety of your condo.
4. Monitoring Other Points of Entry
Be vigilant about paying attention to other points of entry besides the front access door. Unfortunately, side access points are the main way that unwelcome guests gain access to secure complexes. Make sure that the garage is fully closed before driving away or parking your car. Also pay attention to propped open doors and notify your building manager if you see or suspect anything suspicious.
This safety tip is a very easy one to enforce. Make sure that all lights in and around your condo are working. Report any burnt out lights in the hallway, entrance way, stairwells and parking garages to your building manager and insist that they are changed in a timely manner. Lighting is one of the most effective deterrents of crime.
6. The Name Game
As a tenant it is up to you to be proactive to ensure you and your family’s safety. This includes never using your full name (first and last) on your mailbox, call up directory or anywhere else where strangers may use this information to try to gain access to your complex. Instead use your initials or just your last name. This trick should keep unwanted guests and strangers out of your building where they belong.
7. Lock Em’ Up
Even with all of the built in security systems in any building, the most important safety feature you have is your front door. Make sure to keep your door locked at all times, this includes when you are home. If you have unexpected guests at the door, use your peep hole to see who they are and communicate with them behind a locked door. If you do not have a peep hole in your front door, I highly recommend getting one or talking to your building manager.
If you have recently moved in or purchased a home from another tenant, you may want to think about getting the locks changed. This will ensure that you are the sole owner of all keys to your home and there are no other keys floating around Yaletown. When cutting keys for your new locks, be aware of how many you have cut, who you have given them to and where you hide or place them. It is highly advised that you do not store a spare key under your welcome mat in front of your door.
Although Yaletown is one of the safest neighbourhoods in the city, I still advise homeowners to follow these extra safety tips. As your Yaletown real estate agent, I want to ensure a safe, positive Yaletown experience. I would love to show you the area and help you find that perfect, safe home that provides you access to all of the great things that make Yaletown such a special place to live. I look forward to working with you soon.