Storage Security: What to Look For
So, you’re looking for a self-storage place to keep some of your things. There are a variety of factors that come into play as you search the internet. Location and price quickly come to mind. But not far behind should be security. After all, you’ve decided that whatever you want to store is valuable enough to keep, so keeping those items safe and secure is probably something you desire.
Many self-storage facilities talk about security. But what does this really mean? For many storage places, security just means that they have locks on the storage unit doors and maybe, if you’re lucky, the facility has a perimeter fence around it.
When researching storage facilities, look for ones that go to the extra lengths to ensure your property is secure. The following list of security measures are things you should look for.
You’d think that every storage facility would have an alarm system, but believe it or not, some don’t. Ask the storage business you visit whether they have an alarm system, and if it’s connected to notify a security company and the police in the event of break-in.
As mentioned above, one of the basic security measures is a lock on each storage unit door. But not all locks are created equal. Better facilities use disc locks or cylinder locks. Disc locks are circular locks with a short shackle that can’t be cut with a bolt cutter like a padlock’s shackle can. Then there are cylinder locks, which actually fit into the storage unit door itself. Since there is no shackle, cylinder locks cannot be cut, making them the best choice.
A poorly-lit storage facility is an invitation for criminals to enter. Look for storage operations that have a comprehensive lighting plan. This includes bright LED lights positioned equally around the grounds to ensure there are no dark spots where crooks can take cover. Inside the storage facility, the hallways should also be well-lit with bright lights that make you feel comfortable.
This one is really important. Facilities that incorporate a digital video surveillance system into their security have much fewer break-ins. Look for places that have a multitude of digital cameras around the property and a 24-hour recording system that allows them to play back videos. These facilities should also have monitors in the storage office that allow store personnel to monitor the comings and goings of customers and to be able spot any wrongdoing.
Personalized Pin Code Access
Better storage facilities will have keypads at all entrances that are only accessible via a personalized pin number. Some storage operations also offer key fobs that give the owner access.
Diligent, Experienced Managers
Last, but not least, having an on-site manager that is keeping a lookout for unusual activity helps to ensure that your belongings will be safe. Ask the store you visit what their office hours are and whether they routinely walk the property to look for signs of problems.
Advanced Security Measures
While the above security measures are the ones to look for, some facilities offer even more advanced technologies. Here are a few:
Alarmed Storage Units
Some facilities have alarms on each of their storage units so that any unauthorized access triggers an alarm, thereby providing an additional layer of security for your belongings.
To give customers peace of mind, some facilities even have intercom systems scattered throughout their buildings and property. This allows you to communicate with the front desk manager should you feel uncomfortable with something, whether that’s another person behaving strangely, or an issue with your unit.
While you are doing your research, it doesn’t hurt to ask the manager what their security record is. You can also look at the store’s reviews on Google and Yelp to see if there is any mention of break-ins in the past.
Also inquire about whether the company offers insurance. For a very low monthly fee you can get storage-specific coverage that your homeowner’s insurance may not provide.
When you decide to keep your things in a storage unit, you have the right to believe they will be there when you come back to retrieve them. By doing a little homework on security features, you can ensure that this is the case.
About the Author: Derek Hines
Internet Marketing Specialist
Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Internet Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.