Home security is important, but if you want to protect yourself completely and you live in an apartment you are pretty dependent on your building manager for safety. Sure, some leases will allow you to put in your own locks. Yes, you can install a wireless security alarm or, better yet, have a good locksmith do it for you. But in a multi-family dwelling you also have to think about protecting your property if it is in a public area. If you are a building manager, safeguarding these parts of a residence has to be a priority.
One of the most prominent common areas in any multi-family dwelling is the mail area. Whether mail is delivered to a group of lock boxes in a lobby area or similar boxes at each unit, any problems with the mail box can lead to a security risk. Mail fraud can be a major problem, but the theft of an individual’s mail can also lead to identity theft, enable criminals to perform phishing scams with relative ease or otherwise threaten an individual or family.
Protecting mail effectively
On the surface, the idea of safeguarding mail boxes probably does not seem like a big deal. You stick a lock on them and they are safe. However, such a simple solution really is not the answer. First of all, the setup has to be convenient and easy to use for mail carriers. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most important is that there are official regulations from the U.S. Postal Service detailing how mailboxes should be designed and what kinds of solutions are viable for different types of settings. Regulatory guidelines can be annoying to deal with, but if the mail boxes in the property you manage are not up to code and somebody experiences mail theft, you could be held responsible for the problem. You probably don’t want to take on that kind of responsibility, so the first thing you want to do when choosing a mail box solution is make sure you work with a provider that can offer U.S. Postal Service-certified solutions.
Building managers also have to think about the quality of locks when choosing a mail box solution. Let’s face it, it probably wouldn’t be too hard for somebody who doesn’t belong in a building to get into a mail room or lobby air with postal boxes. All the individual has to do is walk in behind somebody else and look like they actually live there. If that person knows how to pick a lock and the mail boxes in the building you manage have cheap locks, its a quick and easy theft. Somebody who is good at picking locks can break a cheap lock as quickly as somebody with a key can open the door. If you have a good lock in place, however, you can stall the person picking the lock for long enough that a security camera would pick up suspicious activity or a person may walk by and make the criminal realize that he or she may get caught.
Speaking of cameras, having a good surveillance camera system around mailboxes can help you identify an individual who does break into a mailbox and steal somebody else’s belongings. It is important to place cameras strategically so they can view a suspect from multiple angles. Otherwise, somebody can walk in, break into a mail box and walk out without showing his or her face to the camera.
While installing new mailboxes in the building you manage may seem simple, there is enough complexity that it is often best to work with a locksmith or security solution provider that can give you the help you need.