Security is obviously a vital component in running a successful self-storage facility. Here are the basics you need to know.
Facility Security Goals
The goal is to create an environment that is both welcoming and professional for customers, but at the same time discouraging potential wrongdoers. Having a secure facility is expected by customers nowadays and if they perceive your company as not having the correct measures and precautions in place, they will take their business elsewhere. There are obviously various ways to go above and beyond in terms of your facility’s security, but here we’re going to cover the basics and the things that every self-storage facility should have in order to be secure.
Perimeter fencing and points of entry
This is your first line of defence and the first sign to intruders to consider. Not only is it a visual reminder for them to keep out, but also takes time to either break through or get over. Fencing can range from basic chain-link to more advanced alarmed perimeter fencing, which will inform employees if a potential issue is detected. Either way, this is absolutely essential for any self-storage facility.
Similarly, considering where the points of entry into your facility are is a significant consideration. Fewer will equal fewer opportunities for trespassers, but access control over the gated entrances is just as important. This allows you to monitor the vehicles entering and block unauthorised ones from getting in. Keypad-access systems will make it easier to keep track of who is allowed on the site and who is inside at any given moment. However, detailed recording of who enters and exits should also be kept alongside. These systems can sometimes also be linked to a property-management system which will give you even more command and let you lock out non-tenants or even tenants late on rent payments right at the gate.
Another no-brainer. CCTV cameras are another security feature that is absolutely essential. This gives you and your entire staff a full view of the facility at all times, meaning you can spot security issues or other problems much quicker. Security camera technology has advanced greatly and digital systems now allow much greater storage capacity and indexing functions, as well as allowing upgrades when you need them. Remote-access options are also popular, allowing you to access the cameras on a remote device through the Internet. There are options for every budget, but also remember that cameras are an investment worth your money. Finding a contractor that has done similar work previously will help immensely, as they bring experience on which areas to cover and the installation process.
A basic defence system for your office, intrusion systems will let you better protect everything inside, whether it be sensitive documents or people. So if anyone tries to break in, alarms will sound, alerting you and everyone else on site of a threat. Intrusion alarms are increasingly becoming a standard addition when building a new facility and are also easily retrofitted to older ones. Again, finding contractors who have done similar work will be incredibly helpful and it’s important that the system has a secondary power source, as having it tied to just one will make it extremely vulnerable to outages.
Good exterior lighting
Having your facility be well-lit is another simple way to deter potential intruders. Again, there are many ways to make the lighting more convenient and cost-effective. Linking to a timed system means they will only come on during certain parts of the day and motion-controlled lights mean they only turn on when they detect action. Both these options will make sure your lights don’t burn through your electricity bill and are on at the appropriate times.
Last but certainly not least, your facility and its individual units have to have effective lock systems. Locks are probably the first sign your renters have to show how seriously your company takes your security. If all they’re given is an old padlock to lock up their unit, it gives the wrong impression. Disk locks are a popular option, but are increasingly being compromised by thieves and intruders. Safer options include cylinder latch systems which will bury the entire locking system behind the door. Above locks, you could potentially also install alarms for separate units, performing the same function as office-intrusion systems.
Having your facility be secure not only makes it safer, but also makes it more marketable to potential customers. Renters will have peace of mind that their possessions are being taken care of and this plays a major role in giving your the right reputation as one that takes security seriously.
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