High-Rise Safety (Security)

October 2022

Statistics Canada tracks burglary rates by type of accommodation; condominiums, town homes, duplexes and single-family homes.  Condominiums are the least burglarized form of housing over the 20+ years this information has been tracked.

Statistics Canada 2016 research found that condominium buildings with six or more floors are 60 percent safer from burglaries than single-family dwellings.  Condominium buildings of five floors or less, while riskier than higher buildings, are 35 percent less likely to be burglarized than a conventional single-family home.

Areas of greatest risk in a high-rise building

  • First, second and top floors; particularly those suites with a sliding glass door.
  • Suites closest to a stairwell where the street level door is not always locked.

Increased safety of high-rise living is the likely result of four levels of security, rarely used in a single-family home, making it harder for someone to burglarize a building and individual suite then escape undetected.

Electronic Security Systems

Many high-rise communities rely on electronic security devices such as fobs or cards for building access.  These work best when distribution is controlled and recorded, and deactivated when not in physical possession by a building resident.  Newer technology offers a use-it or lose-it feature whereby fobs or cards are automatically deactivated when not used for a period, such as 30 days, determined by management.

Security Guards

Many communities have a security guard that monitors the main entrance and patrols sensitive areas that include parking, common areas, access doors and grounds.

Video Surveillance

Video surveillance, monitored by security guards and retained for a period of time, make it exceptionally difficult for building intruders to be undetected.  Recordings can be utilized by police after a theft has occurred.  The value of video surveillance increases with improved image quality and more cameras monitoring building areas.  Motion activated cameras that automatically expand image size on a monitored screen when movement is detected make it easier to monitor building activities in real-time.

Suite Alarms

Many condominiums include in-suite alarm systems.  Studies show these buildings are less likely to be burglarized.  When a burglary occurs, losses are likely to be lower.

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