In today’s fast paced lifestyle more and more people are investing in condominium and apartment units. This is due to the convenience and accessibility that these homes offer for those who work in the city and have school aged children. However, aside from convenience and accessibility, home buyers must also consider safety and security, most especially when their children are left alone in the unit. If you are looking into investing in a condominium or apartment unit, you must ask your realtor about the security, safety and emergency features being offered. A home will never be a home unless you are able to live and sleep in it with a peaceful mind.
Always check if there is more than one exit from the unit level located near a stairway that is secured during emergencies such as a fire. If you feel that the first exit is obstructed or unattainable, look for an alternative exit. The stairways must have emergency lighting while the exit signs must be illuminated. This is necessary because you will not be able to use the elevator during a fire and when the electricity has been shut off and attempting to use it before the electricity is shut off can become a death trap.
It is essential that you educate your children and other family members about what they should do when there is a fire. Make it a point to have an exit plan and meet outside in an agreed location. Once outside all family members must be counted including pets. Emergency procedures are often practiced by a homeowner’s association several times a year.
Newer condominiums and apartment buildings have alarm systems installed on the door and windows for each unit. Unless, these alarms have been deactivated with an assigned security code they will alarm when the door and windows are opened. If the electricity goes off, they have back up batteries to ensure security.
Inspect the property for smoke detectors which are usually installed outside each bedroom and along the hallway. These smoke detectors which are connected to alarm system companies must be tested at least twice a year. If the unit does not feature smoke detectors, you might want to reconsider investing in it.
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When a property has an emergency exit, it will most likely have fire extinguishers as well. Aside from the property fire extinguishers, you can also invest on your own including a first aid kit. Teach everyone in your family how to use a fire extinguisher too. If the property does not have one, look for another one.
The doors and windows of the unit must have security locks and peepholes installed. The main door must have a dead bolt lock along with a peep hole that can observe people properly. If there is a balcony, the sliding door to the balcony must have a lock as well. The homeowner’s association might also allow you to install more security locks if needed.
Like many city condominiums and apartments, there are designated laundry rooms, fitness room and swimming pool available to homeowners. Make it a point to inspect the location of these facilities if they are accessible, safe and equipped with security systems.
Valerie Summers is a freelance writer specializing in real estate. She writes about condominium and apartment safety and other real estate related articles for Laurie Ann Realty where realtors can be consulted about properties that suit your needs and budget.