When Do You Need Advanced Security with Self Storage?

By Molly Hammond, USstoragesearch.com

You should always be thorough when choosing a storage facility for your belongings, but certain possessions require extra effort in order to be stored safely. To find the best facility for your storage needs, you need to understand your options as far as security is concerned and be aware of certain storage requirements.

All Safe, Not All the Same

Security features mean different things at different facilities. However, there are a number of common amenities, and facilities usually include one or a combination of the following:

  • Gated access: One of the most common security features, gated access means that only renters and employees have access to the facility. These gates are often opened by the use of a keycard or entry code (An entry code can either be uniform for all renters or unique to individual renters).
  • Perimeter fencing: Perhaps the most basic line of defense between outsiders and your unit, a property with perimeter fencing will be surrounded by a fence on all sides.
  • Included locks: Storage facilities vary on whether or not tenants are expected to provide their own locks. The benefit of bringing your own lock (which you’re usually welcome to do, even at facilities that provide them) is that you already trust its security. If you don’t have a personal lock already, a provided lock is an easy option that you can count on since the facility clearly trusts that particular lock for all of their renters.

The more advanced security features, however, are alarmed units, on-site management, and video surveillance:

  • Alarmed units: Units with alarms can come at a higher cost than a more basic unit, but they’re worth it when storing valuable items. A personal alarm for your unit ensures that no one will gain entry to your unit other than you.
  • On-site management:  Some facilities go the extra mile and have an employee on-site at all times. A warm body in a facility’s office is a major deterrent for any questionable activity around the facility.
  • Video surveillance: Cameras can go a long way toward deterring criminal activity at storage facilities. Plus, if something were to go wrong, a facility with constant surveillance has a better chance of reviewing and resolving the incident.

What Requires Advanced Security

Advanced security measures can make you feel more at ease about storing any item you like, but it’s more important for some items than others. These common items all necessitate extra security measures:

  • Collections: Whether it’s baseball cards, stamps, or the world’s largest stash of comic books, collections can be worth a lot of money. A storage facility with advanced security features is your best bet for protecting these priceless pieces.
  • Vehicles: Rarely do renters place anything in self storage that’s more expensive than a vehicle. Be it boat, car, or motorcycle, you’ll want to keep your wheels under the best lock and key available.
  • Firearms: Some facilities won’t even allow firearm storage, but the ones that do will want your weapons locked up tight. Always check with a facility’s operator before attempting to store firearms, as there may be specific guidelines they’ll need you to adhere to. In this case, advanced security isn’t just for the condition and safety of your firearms, but for the people around your unit as well.
  • Sentimental items: It’s not ideal, but sometimes we have to part from family photo albums or heirloom wedding dresses. Even if only for a short time, a facility with outstanding security features can really put a nervous mind at ease when it comes to putting irreplaceable items in self storage.

As far as self storage is concerned, security is all about what makes you feel the most comfortable. You should feel free to tour different facilities in your area and ask operators what features they offer. Don’t be afraid to ask storage operators what sort of relationship they have with local police or about their history with theft on the property.