Answer this question the wrong way and your customers will not be too happy with you. They want to feel like their belongings are absolutely safe at our facility. They don’t want to have to fear that they may get a call first thing in the morning that their storage unit was broken into last night and their stuff is gone.
Sadly, there is crime in the world and it is something you have to consider when it comes to running your self storage facility. A quick search of the internet brings up a number of stories where self storage units have been broken in to. Towards the end of last year owners in Georgia formed an alliance in order to combat the rising crime problem they were facing.
The economics of business have to be considered along with the risk of losing customers to too many thefts or too high prices. So how secure should you make your facility?
The trick is to think of it more as what the right security is for you, and not how much should you have. For your tenants and even potential criminals the perception of security can work in your favor as much as actual security.
Your gate is going to be one of the first things people see. Whatever gate you have should be accompanied by a fence of course. If you have the space for a standard slide gate that is what is suggested, but if not the vertical lift gate is the next best thing. No matter what kind of gate you do get installing an intercom in case communicating with the front office is needed is a good idea.
Besides a gate, your facility should have some sort of electronic surveillance. However many cameras you have is up to you and the amount of money you want to spend on them. Being able to record every inch of the facility is not typically feasible. Customers will generally like to see cameras at the gate, the office, and at any exit point to feel like their stuff is safe.
A third component that every self storage unit should have is some kind of individual door alarms. Typically they are deactivated when a customer enters their code in the key pad at the gate. If a door other than one that matches the code is opened the alarm sounds in the office to notify management.
“Security.” SelfStorageGuide.com; 31 January 2011.
“50+ self storage safes broken into.” WHPTV.com; 19 January 2011.
“Georgia Self Storage Owners Know When to Put Competition Aside.” Self Storage Industry News; 17 December 2010.