There are many reasons people use self-storage but one of the key reasons people put their stuff into self storage is to keep it clean, safe and secure. To keep your items safe and secure requires action by both the storer and the storage facility. Keep in mind that not all self storage facilities are created equal so it is important to ask the correct questions and make the right observations before you decide which facility is the best for you.
Choosing a Secure Self Storage Facility
Self storage is becoming a popular industry with most Australian states presenting several different options for consumers to choose from. It is important to look at all viable options presented when choosing a facility and comparing the security features they have to help you make up your mind. Security features should not only be present in the facility but also the grounds and surrounds of the facility. You need to ensure that not only your belongings are safe whilst they are there, but that you feel safe whilst you are at the facility.
Security features to check for:
Ensure cameras are installed in and around the facility. When visiting a facility, try to locate a camera to ensure that it is not obstructed or covered and that there seems to be sufficient number of cameras so that you know your items are being monitored no matter where they are in the facility. Cameras may not stop criminal activity or thieves from breaking in, but they will assist if a break in does occur
Ensure there are signs in and around the facility advertising the security features of the facility. This may deter criminals from trying to break into a facility and gives customers the peace of mind that you know what is going on in the facility at all times
Security Monitored Alarms
This is different from just having an alarm in the facility. A monitored alarm is linked to a service that can summon appropriate help when activated. These days most alarms that go off are ignored by the general public, but by having it monitored the facility is paying someone to ensure a response is immediate when it is triggered. You may have to ask the storage facility if their alarm is monitored
Ensure there are security gates at both the entry and exit points of the facility. This alone will not prevent criminals entering your site but will make it more difficult. Make sure there is adequate perimeter fencing that is strong, not damaged and high enough to keep intruders out. Fencing with barb wire at the top or gates with spikes on top will also ensure persons who do not have access do not gain access
Ensure that the facility and car park is well lit at night and that the lights are well positioned. Industrial level security lighting should be used both inside and out and a mixture of permanent and motion sensor lighting should be used. Ensure that the path from your car to your unit is well lit and the surrounding area is lit whilst using your unit
Access Control Systems
This requires customers to use traceable PIN numbers or security swipe cards to access the facility or their units and thus allows management to monitor “who’s inside”. These systems keep a log of all activity, including the date and time PIN numbers/swipe cards have been activated and how long individuals have been on the premise. Some facilities only give customers access when the office is manned, thus eliminating the need of access control systems but also restricting customer convenience
Individual Door Alarms
For optimal security some facilities have each individual unit alarmed so that is an unauthorised person tries to enter a unit an alarm will be triggered. You will need to check with the facility as to how these alarms are monitored
Fire and Smoke Alarms
Ensure fire and smoke alarms are present. You should be able to see the fire equipment around the facility. Ask facility staff to explain fire emergency procedures and ensure you are aware where your closest fire exit is from your unit. Also check to see if the facility is a smoke free environment, thus eliminating any potential risks of fire
Facility audits should be a part of the facilities daily checklist. This audit can include lock integrity checks and will bring to your attention any signs of forced entering or tampering of locks immediately. It will ensure that if there was any criminal activity in the facility, management or the staff will be aware of it as soon as possible and action can be made immediately and security practices can be updated if needed. You may have to ask the facility manager if these are being carried out and how often
Most self storage facilities require you to supply your own padlock. This is so you have total control over your storage and you are the only one who can access your storage unit. Most facilities will not hold any keys to your padlocks and therefore cannot enter or gain entry into your storage unit. At Store UR Stuff we say “It’s UR padlock, UR key and UR in control”.