Nowadays, it is quite commonplace for people to use self-storage units to store all kinds of items, from short-term storage while you renovate your home to longer-term storage solutions. But, how do you know your belonging will be safe?
Choosing A Secure Self-Storage Facility
Your first line of defense is choosing a self-storage facility that is well-maintained and secure.
To safeguard your stored goods and avoid the cost of replacing stolen items, always review the security features at a facility before renting a unit. Call the manager if you need any clarification and, if possible, visit the facility in person.
Here's what to look for:
- Choose a facility that is well-lit and has functional indoor and outdoor lighting.
- Look for facilities with gated access. Inspect the perimeter to make sure the fence or gate appears secure.
- Observe the number and placement of video surveillance cameras.
- Find out if the facility has a relationship with the local police and how often they surveil the area.
Next Level Security
Video surveillance technology can deter would-be thieves who spot the security cameras. However, the primary function of surveillance is to help managers review what went wrong after a burglary, rather than to stop one from occurring in the first place.
If you're serious about giving your items the highest level of security, we recommend selecting a facility with an access control system and individual door alarms, which are the best tools for preventing burglaries.
Access Control Systems
An access control system requires renters to use individual codes, remotes, or security cards to enter the facility. This technology not only gives self-storage managers a record of who's using the facility at all times, but it also makes it harder for would-be burglars to enter.
Individual Door Alarms
Individual door alarms provide an additional layer of security by immediately alerting self-storage operators if an unauthorized user enters a certain unit. These alarms are particularly effective in protecting against a common type of self-storage theft — an existing customer clearing out another customer's unit.
Taking Safety Into Your Own Hands
Even after you've chosen a secure storage facility, you still can take steps to make sure your belongings are safe.
Avoid The "Crash And Grab"
If you have a few high-value items among your stored possessions, place those valuables in the back of your unit. Doing so can protect your most important belongings from what he refers to as a "crash and grab" theft.
In this type of burglary, thieves break into several units and quickly seize whatever looks like it holds the most value. Because these burglaries often happen so quickly – usually in a matter of minutes – crooks will be less likely to snatch important items if you've made them more difficult to grab.
Choose Your Lock Carefully
Many storage facilities also let you choose your own lock for your unit's door. Take the time to choose a lock that will hold up against bolt cutters. You should avoid buying a lock with a long shackle, which is the loop that passes through or around the object you're locking. Instead, purchase a disc lock or a cylinder lock - both of which are difficult to cut.
If you are using a storage unit, contact the Heritage Insurance team. That way, you can be sure you are fully covered if a theft or other disaster should occur.
Get A Quote