Safety and security are the key features to look for when choosing the best self-storage facility for your belongings. While almost everything you read will advise that you go with a secure unit, very few tell you what makes the unit secure or what you can do to help increase that security. This guide can fill that gap so you are sure to pick the safest place for your storage needs.
#1: Schedule a Tour
Most facility managers and owners are more than happy to allow you to tour the place so that you can address any questions or concerns. Often, they or an employee will accompany you, so you can ask questions as they arise. If not, bring a notebook with you and jot down any questions as you walk around the facility.
#2: Prepare the Checklist
Not sure what to ask? The following list provides a few questions to get you started:
Is the facility under video surveillance? Are the cameras monitored in real time or recorded for later review if a problem occurs?
Is access to the facility controlled? Is there 24-hour controlled access, or do the gates close at a certain time? What kind of controlled access is it—code, security card, or remote control?
Are there individual alarms on the units, or are units with alarms even available?
Is the property well-lit, especially near the entrance points or near back areas that are easily seen from the street?
How high is the fence, and does it have any anti-scaling measures, such as barbed wire, smooth panels, or pointed tops?
#3: Choosing the Right Unit
The placement of your unit is another key factor in keeping it secure. Generally, units in indoor facilities are a bit more secure than drive-up units, if only because it's harder to get into a building and to empty out a unit quickly if you can't pull a car right up to it.
For outdoor units, opt for one near the main building or entrance. These areas tend to be busier and there are usually witnesses about, such as other tenants coming to their units, who can discourage would-be thieves that don't want to be seen.
#4: Provide Your Own Security
First, always place your most valuable items in the rear of the unit. This will protect them from thieves that are acting quickly and not taking the time to sort through an entire unit's worth of stuff. Next, choose the right lock. Disk and cylinder locks have almost no exposed shank, which makes them difficult to cut off.
Finally, be wise when visiting the unit. Avoid showing off any valuable items, even by accident, that may tempt others to come back to steal them later. Also, make sure the door is fully closed, the lock is secure, and the alarm is engaged, if applicable, before you leave the unit each time. A little foresight and planning goes a long way toward keeping everything safe.Share
16 July 2015
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