Choosing a Self Storage Facility

Published on 29-04-2016
With all the different Storage Complex's popping up it's difficult not to become overwhelmed with the jargon and security options available.  Here is a list of things you should consider before you make your decision:

Security Features to look for:


Make sure cameras are installed in and around the facility. Check that there are enough to cover the entire complex, paying particular attention to the Entry and Exit points.  Also make sure that these cameras are not obstructed and are in good condition. Cameras may not stop criminal activity or thieves from breaking in, but they will assist if a break in does occur


This is not the same as just having an alarm in the facility. A monitored alarm is linked to a service that can summon appropriate help when activated. Unfortunately these days most of the general public ignore alarms so it's important that these systems are monitored. You will probably have to ask the storage facility if their alarm is monitored.


Ensure there are security gates at both the entry and exit points of the facility. This alone will not prevent criminals entering your site but will make it more difficult. Make sure there is adequate perimeter fencing that is strong, not damaged and high enough to keep intruders out. Concrete walls or fencing with barb wire at the top or gates with spikes on top will also ensure persons who do not have access do not gain access


Make sure that the facility is well lit at night. Industrial level security lighting should be used both inside and out and a mixture of permanent and motion sensor lighting is preferable. 


These require customers to use PIN numbers or security swipe cards to access the facility and their units, thus allowing management to monitor “who’s onsite”. These systems keep a log of all activity, including the date and time PIN numbers/swipe cards have been activated and how long individuals have been on the premise. 


For optimal security some facilities have each individual unit alarmed so that if an unauthorised person tries to enter a unit an alarm will be triggered. This leads back to the preference of Monitored Alarm Systems as management will be notified of this breach immediately.


Fire and smoke alarms are very important. You should be able to see the fire equipment around the facility. Ask facility staff to explain fire emergency procedures and ensure you are aware where your closest fire exit is from your unit. Also check to see if the facility is a smoke free environment, thus eliminating any potential risks of fire


Facility audits should be a part of the facilities daily checklist. This audit can include lock integrity checks and will bring to your attention any signs of forced entering or tampering of locks immediately. It will ensure that if there was any criminal activity in the facility, management or the staff will be aware of it as soon as possible and action can be made immediately and security practices can be updated if needed. You may have to ask the facility manager if these are being carried out and how often.