Property Management, and Security Systems.

AAAD is primarily dedicated to the iOS-based renovations we're doing at our house in Chicago's suburbs. 

But it's not just about that topic, or even that house. We also rent out our former house in the city - a duplex down in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. And last week, we dealt with one of the downsides of property management - our condo was burglarized. 

Fortunately, no one was home, so no one was hurt - the break-in happened in the middle of the day. The burglars used a prybar to break through two deadbolted ground-level doors, one inside of the other. 

The tenants' stolen belongings were covered by their renters' insurance, and the damage to our doors was partially covered by our building insurance. 

But if it's possible to break down two deadbolted security doors with a big crowbar (and apparently, it's VERY possible), how do we prevent this from happening again? Three ways.

1. Replace the exterior doors with something stronger. 

Our doors were pretty typical - a prehung door, clad in metal, with a wood/insulated interior. The prybar made pretty short work of that. The metal bent, the wood splintered, and the deadbolts snapped. 

The replacement doors will have a steel exterior, and ideally a steel-frame interior. Hopefully it will put up a better fight against prybars.

2. Prevent people from accessing the exterior doors in the first place.  

We are immediately replacing the wooden back gate to the property with a wrought-iron security gate. 

The good news is that this repair isn't just on me - the other unit in the building will share the cost. 

This gate will have the added advantage of being see-through.... our current gate provided the burglars with an enclosed space to do their prybar work. 

3. Install and Activate Security System. 

This one's done. Last week we had a 2GIG touchscreen security system installed - free with a 2-year monitoring contract at $30/month with Monitronics. 

Each of the entry doors has a sensor, and the open spaces in the house have motion detection. In the event of a break-in, the system alerts the authorities via a built-in cell. 

It's a great system -- I wish we'd had installed when we lived at the condo. Color touchscreen, and even when the system is off, it chimes when a door is opened and says "Front (or "Back", or "Basement") Door Open". 

Bottom line - unfortunately, once again, trouble at the old house is taking up resources that could have been used to finish the projects at the new house. But it's a necessary fact of property management - you have to actually manage your property. Oh well. 


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