Five Tips to Improve Your Self Storage Facility’s Security

07/09/2020

Self storage security starts at each unit and moves out layer by layer. Some self storage owners who built their facilities in the 80's or 90's haven't necessarily kept up with the standards of security of newer facilities. Below, we review five tips to consider as you look at the security of your own self storage property.


Tip #1 - Disc Locks

Requiring your customers to use disc locks may be the most important piece of security that you can put in place at your self storage property. Disc locks are much more difficult to cut or break than traditional padlocks. While it does make it more difficult to remove the locks for auction, it's a small price to pay for the security of your customers. Many facility owners will even include a disc lock for their new customers as part of their rental and other facilities that have an office will sell locks with the rest of their supplies. It's up to you what options you choose to make available to customers, but requiring disc locks is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost security at your self storage facility.


Tip #2 -Camera Systems

Installing a camera system at your self storage facility has never been easier or more cost effective than it is today. While there are still specialized security companies that are more than happy to design and install elaborate and costly systems for you, that's no longer your only choice.

A simple search for "security camera system" on Amazon will give you more options than you can handle from hardwired systems to wireless, with any range of camera options, number or cameras, hard drive sizes, etc.

If you're going to take this on yourself, it's crucial to get educated on your different options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. It's also important that you plan on who is going to do the installation for you and how the system will be configured so you can ensure cost savings and success. Many electricians will be able to do this type of installation cheaper than a specialized security company.


Tip #3 -Lighting

Lighting is a great deterrent for unwanted activity at your self storage facility at night. It will also help to make your customers feel safer in the event they're needing to access their storage unit when it's dark outside.

Lighting has also come a long way from where it used to be in terms of efficiency. Even if you have existing lighting at your self storage property, it may very well make sense to look at retrofitting the existing lights to something more energy efficient. This is not only good for the environment, but also good for your bottom line as it will save you month after month on your electricity bills.


Tip #4 -Fences

Fences are an obvious security feature, but it's amazing how many facilities don't have fences installed. That said, fences regardless of size and type typically only "keep honest people honest." Just like disc locks, if someone is motivated enough to get in, they will.

That said, fences and gates do prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering the facility. This can be even more important for people wanting to dump things rather than folks actually wanting to steal or deface. Dumping can be a huge issue at non-fenced facilities especially in rural markets. Cleaning up the illegally dumped items can become expensive, especially if the dumped items are hazardous! While fences can be a significant upfront cost, there is a good chance that they can save the owner money in the long run if dumping is an issue.


Tip #5 - Gate Access

Gate access can be handled in a number of different ways with different advantages and drawbacks. Having a gate with a pin pad allows you to not only keep unwanted visitors out of your facility, but also keep out non-paying customers. These gate access systems are typically tied to the internet, so they can be updated in real time to make the codes of non-paying customers no longer work. Then, as soon as the customer pays, the code can be reactivated.

Another option for even further security is to have both an entry gate and an exit gate. While it's possible for non-paying customers to sneak through the gate when it's opened by a paying customer in front of them, if they need to enter a code to exit the facility this will be an added deterrent. While dual gate systems may be cost prohibitive for small self storage facilities, they can be well worth it for self storage properties large enough to support them.


Are you considering selling your self storage facility rather than spending money on putting additional security measures in place? Give us a call today! We buy self storage properties all over the United States. Call (717) 687-0221 or email jon@centralpenngroup.com.