The Self Storage Association estimates that 1 in every ten U.S. households currently rents some kind of off-site storage, including storage units and portable on-demand storage options (PODS). That means that there are a lot of tenants putting trust in the storage facilities housing their goods.
The Insurance Information Institute warns storage unit tenants to closely examine the security features of a storage facility before renting or leasing space. Storage facility owners can protect themselves and tenants by taking measures to deter theft and other crimes that can happen on storage facility property.
Security vulnerabilities of storage facilities
Many storage facilities present the following security challenges:
The modern storage facility often features several rows of separate barracks-like buildings. The large, spread-out footprint can make it difficult to have eyes on everything at once and presents the opportunity for thieves and vandals to go undetected while in the act.
Many storage facility clients are families storing household goods between moves and small business owners storing seasonal equipment. Unfortunately, some storage businesses do not take measures to verify the identities of tenants, granting dishonest individuals the same access to units as honest individuals.
Hours of operation
Some storage facilities advertise 24/7 access for tenants, but this can open up two potential sources of liability for owners. Tenants may not be as safe from physical violence in the dark off-hours and it is more difficult to protect personal property.
Security solutions for storage facilities
Storage facility security solutions include:
- Security camera installation to deter employee theft, unit robberies, and physical violence on-site. Footage can be stored and viewed remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. Such surveillance acts as valuable evidence in the event of crime and may even prevent the completion of a crime if footage is viewed in time to intervene.
- License plate recognition cameras can monitor all vehicles coming in and out of a storage facility. Known for their clear and reliable data capture in all weather and lighting conditions, LPR cameras are especially useful when placed in parking lots of large storage facilities to protect against theft and aid in recovery of stolen property.
- Armed guard services, especially after traditional business hours, convey a sense that the facility is secured by a watchful eye at all times.
Other security measures that can benefit storage businesses include:
- Fingerprinting and background checks on tenants
- Enforcing firm access hours
- Installing ample lighting
- Using gated password-protected access gates
Taking a page from some high-end pet kennels, some storage facilities are even opting for 24/7 private video feeds allowing tenants around-the-clock access via an app.
Storage facility security in Maryland
Maryland Security Professionals understands that storage facilities present unique considerations that need to be taken into account when customizing an effective security plan. We are an industry leader in the mid-Atlantic region and offer customizable options to secure your self-storage facility in Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. Call today to speak with one of our security experts.
- Insurance Information Institute, Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind, But Not Out Of Coverage; Tips For Choosing A Safe Self-Storage Facility – And Insurance For Belongings Stored Offsite, http://www.iii.org/press-release/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-but-not-out-of-coverage-tips-for-choosing-a-safe-self-storage-facility-and-insurance-for-belongings-stored-offsite-021715
- ABC New, Storage Units Easy Prey for Thieves, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/05/storage-units-easy-prey-for-thieves/