Self Storage Security: Protect Your Belongings
When it comes to determining the safety and security of a self-storage facility, it’s worth doing your due diligence before you decide to rent a unit. There are many factors that can determine just how safe your belongings are, as well as some steps you can take to give yourself some added security. Here are some things to consider.
Are self-storage units secure?
The answer to this question lies entirely in the actions both you and the self-storage unit company do to prevent theft. Not every storage facility takes the potential for burglary to their customers’ units seriously. Here at Village Green Storage in Port St. Lucie, we do.
It’s important that you know what to look for when differentiating between a storage facility that is well-maintained versus one that couldn’t care less about the safety of their customer’s belongings. Here’s what you should look for when shopping self-storage facilities, as well as some tips for what you can do to help ensure your items are safe.
The Most Important Self Storage Security Features
Here’s a list of security features that every facility must have in order to protect your belongings.
1. Digital Video Surveillance
Before renting a self-storage unit, ask what type of surveillance the facility uses. A digital surveillance system is far better than one that stores data on tape, due to the higher quality of video it provides as well as the lowered risk of a lapse in a video coverage. Our digital surveillance system tracks every bit of activity on our property 24/7.
2. Password Protected Access
At Village Green Storage, our facilities require all customers and employees to enter a unique access code at all gates and doors. This not only limits who is able to access the facility, but it also allows us to see exactly who has entered and exited the property and when.
3. Sufficient Lighting in All Areas
Another thing to look for when shopping for a storage unit is proper lighting, which is one of the simplest ways to deter would-be robbers. So make sure you choose a place that has plenty of exterior lighting, as well as interior lighting that is either always on or is motion-activated.
At Village Green Storage, we maintain proper lighting in all areas of our storage facilities. Our team members walk every inch of our property, inside and outside, each day to ensure all lighting is functioning correctly. When we see that a light bulb is burned out, we replace it immediately.
4. Good Property Maintenance
Thieves are smart. They know what to look for. If a storage facility has overgrown weeds, a broken keypad, or a damaged fence, they know that’s a perfect target. Steer clear of any facility with red flags like these. You need to know that if a maintenance problem arises at your storage unit it will be dealt with promptly. Looking at the general condition of the property is a good way to gauge that.
5. Sound Protocol
The front line against theft at any storage facility is its employees. If they aren’t following the proper guidelines, your belongings could be at risk. At Village Green Storage we make sure our employees are trained to do all the right things to greatly reduce your chances of having your items stolen.
For starters, they will never have access to a key to your unit. Only you will have that unless you so authorize. Next, they do daily checks to make sure all units are properly locked. If your unit is discovered unlocked, you will be notified. This isn’t always a sign of theft or attempted theft. Sometimes unit owners are forgetful. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What You Can Do To Keep Your Belongings Safe
Just as important as what your facility owners are doing to maintain your unit’s safety is what you can personally do to protect your valued items in storage. Despite management’s best efforts, there are still some things you can do (without knowing) to make your unit more vulnerable. Here’s how you can better safeguard your belongings.
1. Buy the best lock you can.
You’re more than welcome to bring your own lock to secure your unit at Village Green Storage. But we encourage you to consider the models we offer. We’ve found them to be the best available to secure your items.
Thieves typically look for subpar locks that are easy to quickly snip, and the ones we’ve chosen are tried and true. Ours are resistant to both lock tampering and bolt cutters. Criminals don’t typically even give them a second glance. If you choose to purchase your own, we recommend a cylinder or disc lock as opposed to ones with a long shackle.
2. Know what your insurance covers.
There are obviously some major categories of things NOT to put in your storage unit (like anything dangerous or illegal), but there are also some other things we don’t recommend. Things like cash and fine jewelry may not be covered (or may be limited) by your homeowner’s insurance. So check your policy before storing anything of extreme value in your storage unit.
3. Keep an inventory of your contents.
In the unlikely event that your storage unit could fall victim to robbers, it’s extremely helpful to have an inventory of everything you’ve placed in storage. You know what they say about “out of sight, out of mind.” So keep a running list of what all you’ve had stored there. Even more helpful, take clear, well-lit photos of the contents so you can document them in case of a loss.
4. Go with indoor storage for added protection.
If you’re still concerned about the possibility of theft, consider opting for a storage unit that’s located inside. Because the building itself typically requires an additional keypad access point, there’s one additional layer of protection.
5. Don’t give your key or access code to anyone.
It’s scary to think you can’t trust even those closest to you. But sadly many thefts are often the result of an “inside job,” where a friend or family member takes advantage of having access to your belongings. It’s best not to tell anyone where you’re storing your items or what you’re keeping there.
6. Buy the insurance.
At Village Green Storage, we require each customer to insure the contents of their storage unit. We take every precaution to ensure that no losses happen, and we encourage you to do the same. However, things still can and will occur. And we won’t allow you to take that risk.
We’re happy to review your homeowners or renters insurance policy to verify what the company will or won’t cover when it comes to items in storage. If the coverage is lacking, we’ll require a storage insurance policy.
It’s inexpensive, and it’s absolutely invaluable to have that coverage in place in the unlikely event that theft were to occur. Whether you purchase coverage from us or from another carrier, make sure you review your policy in detail so you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered, as well as the full value of coverage the policy covers.