When storing your belongings at a facility, it’s crucial that you feel at ease and don’t get any surprises about losing them through theft. We are all vulnerable to break-ins, even self-storage facilities with the best intentions to secure their units. The damage to these facilities’ reputations is hard to undo after a burglary.
How do you know if a storage facility is safe? Being proactive about preventing theft at your self-storage unit is key. It is best to visit the facility in person and not just do a quick drive-by. Facilities should take their maintenance and security seriously because the self-storage industry experiences an abnormally high number of break-ins annually compared to other industries.
These incidents don’t just happen in cities, suburban and rural thefts also occur throughout the year. Thieves employ simple methods like cutting padlocks and latch, removing metal paneling from lockers, or scaling unit walls and disconnecting wiring to gain access to neighboring units. Self-storage facilities should offer some form of security in an effort to protect your valuables long-term.
You can also add to the security of your unit by making it less vulnerable to theft. Buy the best lock you can get as criminals will target units with weak locks that are easy to cut. Choose a bolt-cutter-proof lock like a disc or cylinder lock. Avoid storing items that insurance won’t cover like cash, fine jewelry, some pieces of art, or antiques. Some facilities may offer insurance but others might leave it up to their tenants to get their own homeowners or renters policy that covers the contents in their storage unit. Make sure the insurance covers the entire value of your possessions and that you understand what is and is not covered. Keep an inventory list and take a picture of the inside of your unit while and after you’ve packed your stuff and never give your key or access code of your unit away.
Access Control technology helps self-storage management track users and deter robbers. A further degree of protection is offered by individual door alarms, which promptly notify facility staff if an unauthorized person enters a specific unit. Interior smart locks offer greater convenience because they’re so much harder to break than padlocks or cylinder locks with external hasps. Some facility managers use internal locks and leave external hasps on unit doors so renters may add a padlock for extra security. Electronic locks and thermal motion sensors are next-level to helping operators improve security by detecting a break-in and sending a signal to your security system.
When it comes to the security of your self-storage unit and keeping your belongings safe, do your research on locking solutions that offer more benefits. Whether it’s digital or mobile access, keep in mind that electronic door locks require electricity to function, and forgetting your password could lead to an uncomfortable situation. Going for wire-free, battery-operated security is easy to install and relatively inexpensive but battery life could be limited. Consider a combination of all the options available and the more the better is the way to go.