When it comes to self-storage, access control is extremely important. There are a wide variety of competitors on the market today, each with their own claims, and wading through them to find that which suits your needs best can be daunting.
Burglary is an ever-present problem and is on the rise when it comes to self-storage facilities. Aside from the loss of physical items and the inconvenience and cost of replacing them comes the feelings of violation and that no one and nothing is really safe. Below is an overview of some steps you can take to secure your self-storage facility.
Always check out prospective self-storage facilities thoroughly before booking one. You should review all of the listed security features, call the manager if you need any clarification, and if possible, arrange to visit the facility in person and take a tour. Check out the lighting, both indoors and out, and ask about proximity to law enforcement and whether the facility has established a relationship with the local police department.
Alarms and Access Control
Opt for a facility with an access control system and individual door alarms. These will go a long way towards making your property more secure. With an access control system, renters must use individual codes, remotes, or security cards in order to access the facility. This serves two purposes – it enables self-storage facility managers to have a record of those using the facility at all times, while at the same time making it harder for unauthorized persons to enter.
In the case of individual door alarms, they enhance security by sounding an immediate alert that an unauthorized person has entered a particular unit. They are especially effective when it comes to protecting against a common type of self-storage theft—an existing customer clearing out another customer’s unit.
Proper Keypads Are a Must
Make sure that your facility’s system uses high-quality, weather resilient keypads with properly sealed and grounded metal enclosures. Having these at all entry and exit points will allow for tracking how long tenants are on site and alert managers to any suspicious loitering.
The fact that this is extremely important should go without saying. Though video surveillance is mostly helpful after the fact, in practice, it does dramatically improve the odds of an intruder being identified and apprehended and the presence of cameras also make people feel safer. Internet protocol (IP) cameras are best because you can use them to monitor the facility from anywhere, even from your home computer or a mobile app.
On Site Security
Is there an employee on the grounds 24 hours a day? The facility does not need to be open all of the time but having a physical presence can help deter things like theft, vandalism, and other types of undesirable activity.
Store Your Possessions Wisely
Experts recommend placing your most valuable items in the back of your unit. Most thefts are of the “smash and grab” variety – breaking into several units simultaneously and grabbing the first things seen that look valuable. Most robberies aren’t the high-tech Swiss-watch timing escapades like those depicted in movies. Rather, they’re over and done within a matter of minutes and crooks will be less likely to snatch important items if you’ve made them more difficult to see, let alone get a hold of.
The Importance of Environmental Protection
When renting indoor storage, it’s very important to make sure that your units are properly sealed and protected from damage from the elements. If you can, try to find a storage facility that is climate-controlled. Otherwise, your possessions are in danger of exposure to floods, fire, rust, and corrosion. Be on the lookout for things such as cracked or split furniture, yellowing metal, or mold or mildew growing. If you notice any of these issues, it might be time to find another storage facility.
Invest in a High-Quality Lock
When it comes to locks, you really do get what you paid for. If your storage facility requires you to be responsible for your own lock, then take the time to find and spend the money on a lock that is of high quality and that cannot be cut by bolt or wire cutters. If your unit is not locked, insurance claims will be rejected in the event of theft. You should also not give your key or gate code to anyone.
Make Sure That Your Items are Properly Insured
Does your storage facility offer insurance? If so, what is covered specifically? If they don’t offer insurance or they do but in a very narrow or limited way, check and see if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers items that are stored off-site. Which leads to…
Know What You’ve Got Stored
This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Make sure that you have a comprehensive and up-to-date list of what you’ve stored. Take down the serial numbers of any computers and other types of electronic equipment. List the value of all your stored items, as this will help with insurance claims should the need arise.
Items That You Should NOT Store
Food, beverages, and plants are a big no-no. They attract bugs and rodents, which are then much harder to get rid of than they are to attract in the first place. Fuel, flammable paints, weapons, or aerosols are other items that should definitely not be placed in a storage unit.
People today use self-storage for a variety of reasons. Some want more room in their houses or apartments. Others may be moving and need a place to keep their belongings while they are getting settled in their new surroundings.
Whatever your reasons may be, you want your possessions to be well-cared for and you need to have confidence that your storage provider is up to the task. At Jiffy Self Storage, we offer professional, thorough, and cost effective storage services for homes and businesses alike. For more information, give us a call at (416) 74-JIFFY(54339) or contact us here.