There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for the right self-storage facility to suit your needs, including price, climate control, access time, specialty solutions and more.
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of various elements of security. In some cases, conventional storage units are located outside and accessible with only a key or simple padlock. For some consumers, this choice may seem cheaper and more convenient. In reality, you don’t have to sacrifice quality and convenience for cost.
When it comes to security, it’s important to think about layers of protection, and how they all fit together to protect both you and the contents of your storage unit. Many storage facilities are amping up their safety features in order to provide users anytime access with full-time security.
Many storage companies install a camera or basic alarm on the property, and advertise premiere, around-the-clock security. But, how do you know when the camera is actually on? Or, if anyone is alerted when the alarm system sounds?
It’s important to understand the features of the security equipment in detail from the facility manager. Ask questions, such as:
- How many cameras are there?
- Are the cameras recording 24 hours a day, and include DVR?
- Who is monitoring the cameras?
- Are the cameras tied to any other security technology?
- Who is alerted when the facility alarm is activated?
In addition to cameras and alarms, keycode access gates help to deter unauthorized individuals from stepping onto the property. Also, the facility should have a representative and/or police available at all times in case of an emergency or security breach.
Storage Unit Protection
In the rare event that an unauthorized person makes it through facility-level security, it is important that the proper deterrents are in place at your unit.
If your storage unit accommodates only a standard lock, consider the security risks. Standard padlocks are easy targets for thieves, as they can be cut with a regular pair of bolt clippers. Units that are already equipped with recessed disc or cylinder-style locks made of thick metals are a storage user’s best bet. These types of locks are essential for preventing theft directly at your unit, as it is both time- and labor-intensive to grind off this type of lock.
Also ask about storage units that offer individual unit alarms, particularly if you’re storing expensive items. Unit alarms will sound if your individual unit is tampered with, and will often notify police.
Select Your Storage Wisely
It can be misleading for some consumers when they see that a unit has a lock or a simple video camera is installed. Facilities that implement a layered approach to security at both the facility and unit level provide the satisfaction of knowing that you’re keeping your possessions—and yourself—protected.
See what’s out there, shop around and sit down with a facility manager to ask the hard questions about security before choosing a provider. It will be worth the extra time, and will help you select a storage facility that fits your needs, with the added benefits of a layered security system.
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Do you think layered security features create a safer storage facility? What do you look for in self storage security?