Condo Media - May 2018 - 45

Safety and security do not stop at the front
door. All sorts of safety issues lurk outside.
Just ask any lawyer who has experience
with trip-and-fall cases.
Many communities would benefit from
a training program for the unit owners
to remind them where the fire alarms
are located and how to use them. Fire
emergency egress pathways should be
well understood and posted. It may
even be useful to arrange an outside
location where everyone gathers following an emergency clearing of the
building to ensure all are accounted.
WATER SAFETY
Many rural condos source their
domestic water from drilled wells. It
might be surprising to some that well
water conditions can change with
time. Nearby agricultural, industrial,
or construction activities can adversely affect water sources outside
their boundaries. Do not rely on water
tests in the distant past. Drinking
water should be tested every two years
or more in some locations. These tests
are inexpensive and report on biological, chemical, and poison contamination. New tests have been added to the
typical menu, including uranium and
radon. You should check with your local municipal department monitoring
local aquifers and water sources for
advice for your locale.
MORE HAZARDS
Safety and security do not stop at the
front door. All sorts of safety issues
lurk outside. Just ask any lawyer who
has experience with trip-and-fall cases.
The parking lot's low spots may be just
an annoyance in the dry seasons, but
potholes and depressions in either the
sidewalks or driveways can create frozen ponds waiting for the unwary.
In addition to ponding water causing
slipping hazards, they can also reflect
light from poorly placed outdoor fixtures resulting in driving blind spots.

Many may be surprised to learn that
increasing the brightness of parking or
pathway light fixtures does not create a
sense of security, but just the opposite.
Extremely bright fixtures can cast shadows, reflections, and light boundaries
creating both a sense of unease, as well
as poor visibility. The mind is funny that
way. Experts say it is much better for
outside illumination to show pathways
of escape to provide a sense of security.
For this reason, I always recommend
condo committees tasked with improving exterior lighting to first talk with a
specialist to avoid mistakes.
Finally, these suggestions are from
your friendly engineer, not your law-

Paul Feldman

Amy Fracassini

Tamsin Kaplan

yer.  My lawyer friends advise me that
taking well-meaning safety measures
can have unintentional consequences
including increasing liability for an
association. Associations are not typically responsible for 24/7 security for
its unit owners. However, installing
security cameras or hiring garage attendants could produce the appearance
of the association taking on security
responsibilities not wanted.  If this is a
concern, you may want to discuss with
your condo attorney the modification
of your declaration documents to
provide a "no security" provision to
remind unit owners the association has
no duty to provide security. Yes, the
world is becoming more complicated,
but safety starts at home.
■ JACK CARR, P.E., RS, LEED-AP,
IS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT WITH
CRITERIUM-ENGINEERS SERVING
ALL OF NEW ENGLAND.

Sandy Moskowitz Shawn McCormack Alicia Selman

Jim Gallagher

At Davis Malm, your association business is our business.
Just ask our team of experts.
Davis Malm is a full-service Boston law firm with over 35 years' experience representing developers,
management companies, associations, and title companies in luxury, residential, commercial, and
mixed-use condominiums.
* Drafting and amending
condominium documents
* Advising condominium boards
* Enforcement of policies and
bylaws
* Collections

* Legal opinions
* Construction and development,
including zoning, permitting,
land use, and environmental
* Transition from developer to
unit owner control

* Drafting, review and
negotiation of lender, vendor
and supplier contracts
* Dispute resolution
* Employment

O N E B O S T O N P L A C E * B O S T O N * 617.367.2500 * w w w. d a v i s m a l m . c o m

May 2018

45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - May 2018

Contents
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - May 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - May 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - May 2018 - 2
Condo Media - May 2018 - 3
Condo Media - May 2018 - 4
Condo Media - May 2018 - 5
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