Boating is a way of life for many in the summertime. Spending time on the lake…
Need a space to store your stuff?
Don’t choose a storage unit based on what’s the cheapest or closest.
With 1.7 billion square feet of self-storage space available in the U.S., there are plenty of options. So how do you decide?
Security is a top priority when choosing storage space.
Secure storage units and facilities serve two purposes. They keep your belongings safe by reducing the risk of theft. And you feel safer when you go to the facility to access your stuff.
Look for the following security features to know if a storage unit is safe.
Check out the Neighborhood
You want your belongings easily accessible—but choosing the safest neighborhood possible might be better than staying closer to home.
A neighborhood with more crime overall puts your belongings at a higher risk of theft. You might also feel unsafe when you go to the facility.
If you’re not familiar with the different neighborhoods, do research to find out which ones are safest. Drive around the neighborhood of the storage unit you’re considering to see if it looks and feels safe. Talk to other local people to get their input on the safety of different neighborhoods.
Being in a neighborhood with less crime doesn’t guarantee your items will be safe—but it may reduce the risk of a break-in compared to a heavily crime-ridden neighborhood.
Look at the Perimeter
As you approach the facility, check out the perimeter of the property.
Is there a fence with a gated entrance to limit access? If not, keep driving.
Look not only for the presence of a fence but also for the security of it. How tall is it? Does the fence have barbed wire along the top to prevent people from climbing it?
Consider how sturdy the fence is. A weak, poorly constructed fence doesn’t do much to limit access. Gaps in the fence also create vulnerabilities.
Look for a storage facility with controlled access.
If it’s not gated, anyone can drive into the facility and access your belongings.
Ask about access to the facility, too. Does everyone enter a code or scan a security card? Is there a guard at the entrance?
Another factor is how long the gate stays open. It needs to stay open long enough to let your vehicle through, but not too long that an unauthorized vehicle could also get through with someone who’s authorized to enter.
Consider who has access to different parts of the facility, too. If it’s an indoor storage facility, do you need a code to enter the building? Is each floor only accessible with the right code?
Buildings that require renters to use an individual code or security card make it more difficult for unauthorized people to enter. If a break-in happens, management can check to see who accessed different areas.
Evaluate the Overall Condition
You don’t need to choose the fanciest storage facility in town, but a facility that’s well-maintained is important.
If management cares enough to handle regular upkeep, they may consider other security measures, too.
Part of the overall maintenance is ensuring the safety features stay in working order. If a fence is damaged and left unrepaired, it gives potential burglars an easy access point. If the keypad isn’t working correctly, unauthorized people could access the building.
A clean facility can also protect your belongings from pests. They may not seem like as big of a threat as burglars, but rats, mice, and other pests can cause serious damage to your belongings.
Ask About Cameras
Video surveillance may discourage would-be thieves from targeting a storage facility.
Look for surveillance cameras throughout the facility, not just at the front entrance. The cameras can also provide video evidence if someone does break into your unit.
Ask how the facility uses the cameras. Are they constantly monitored, or do they only review the video footage if a break-in happens? How long do they store the footage?
You may not realize your unit was burglarized right away, so video surveillance footage that isn’t saved won’t help find the culprit.
Find Out About On-Site Management
Self-storage doesn’t have to mean no staff on-site.
Many facilities have on-site management to monitor what’s happening. Some may have 24/7 supervision from a manager or other staff member.
Ask about staffing at different times of the day. Find out how you can get ahold of a staff member if you have an issue.
Check for Alarmed Units
Some storage facilities offer alarmed storage units for added security.
If someone tries to break into the unit, an alarm sounds to alert authorities.
This might scare away burglars before they grab anything.
Look for Lights
A well-lit storage facility is another deterrent for would-be thieves.
The light makes it easier for thieves to be spotted, so they may stay away.
Proper lighting also makes surveillance videos clearer with fewer shadows. If someone breaks into your unit, the authorities may be able to get a better image of the person on video.
It also makes you feel more secure accessing your unit at night if there’s plenty of light. You can see any threats clearly. People are less likely to approach you in a well-lit area than they are a dark one.
Don’t just rely on looking at the number of light fixtures during the day. Visit the facility at night to see what kind of lighting it has and how well it works. Make sure there aren’t lots of bulbs that are burnt out or lights that don’t work at night.
Check out the parking lot and entrances to any buildings. Look at the hallways inside the buildings to make sure they’re well-lit as well.
Find Secure Storage Units
Secure storage units give you peace of mind and cut down on the risks of your belongings being stolen.
We offer 24-hour video surveillance, access codes, barbed wire, and other safety features to keep your belongings protected.
If you’re looking for self-storage solutions in Augusta, check out our storage units and features to see if they fit your needs.