With an estimated 2.5 million burglaries every year in the United States and news of child trafficking and other crimes, condo security can be a huge concern. Whether you are just looking for ideas, or a comprehensive condo security strategy to eliminate an issue, these five condo security tips will solve it.

1) Install security cameras

While purchasing security cameras can be a bit costly, cameras are one of the most helpful deterrents. Thieves are a lot less likely to break in or damage property if there is even a small chance they could be recognized from surveillance footage. Install cameras in high traffic areas like entrances, exits, stairwells, and parking lots. Although high tech cameras can be expensive, it could the thing that saves your condo from a break in.

2) Hire a security guard

If you’re looking for a way to beef up the security in your building, your best bet may be to hire a security guard company. Security guards companies can be on staff for certain hours or 24/7. Many complexes staff security guards during the evening hours and weekends when burglars are on the prowl. This Chicago neighborhood hired security to patrol their entire neighborhood during certain hours. Additionally, having security guards around is also an excellent advertising point when selling to potential buyers. When considering hiring a security company, analyze the crime rate in your neighborhood and see if the investment is worth the cost.

If you’ve noticed anything suspicious in your neighborhood, ask the police to patrol your neighborhood a few times per day.

3) Access control

Another way of keeping unwanted people out of your building is to invest in an access control system. With these systems, residents are issued a key card or fob to gain access to the building or general common areas. The systems can electronically track the swipes and allow you to see when and what time people are accessing the building. Additionally, if you lose the card/key, it can be quickly deactivated so no unwanted persons can gain access to the building. Combined with security cameras and a log of who is swiping, condo security management can easily track down who committed the crime.

4) The power of neighbors

Becoming acquainted with the people around you can help you identify any out-of-the-ordinary people. The more people you know in your community, the easier it will be to point out a stranger who looks suspicious. Another handy thing about getting to know your neighbors is they can also keep watch over your place while you’re gone. Going to be out of town for a week? Ask your neighbor to leave lights on, grab the mail, water plants, and take the trash out. Having them keep up with small tasks can deter thieves from breaking in if a home looks inhabited.

You’ve seen communities with a Neighborhood Watch sign? Get together a committee to volunteer to keep an eye out on the property. Not only does this deter any criminal that might be scoping out neighborhoods to target, but we find it also reduces the number of fines residents incur for Rules & Regulation violations.

5) Simple awareness

Sometimes we get too comfortable and are shocked when something sinister happens. Prevention is sometimes simple. Be sure you’re double-checking your surroundings and locking your doors. Many burglars walk around jiggling car and patio door handles just to see who forgot to lock their door. It’s astounding how many people don’t! Doing small things can deter thieves from picking on your property. Keep lights on while you run errands, close your blinds, and leave a TV/radio on for background noise. A little vigilance goes a long way.