Self Storage Security

Storage Facility1 in every 10 households rents a storage.

How safe are the Self Storage Facilities? There have been many reports on the news about break-in’s at these facilities. There are self storage facilities that are safe and have adequate security but they are not all the same. Be smart! don’t just base your decision on price or because of a special they may be running. Protect yourself by doing some research ahead of time. It can be helpful to check on-line reviews to see what others are saying about the facility you are considering.

Some of the tactics being used to gain access into units are:

  • The Thief rents a unit and actually breaks through the sheet rock wall into the units on either side allowing them easy access undetected by anyone
  • Facilities that do not have adequate security camera’s make it easy for a thief to break the locking mechanism and just open the roll up door. It only takes a few minutes to break a lock. They then remove the items and put them inside their own unit located in the same row. Close the roll-up door, put the lock back and everything appears normal until coming to remove your things and see it has been broken into.

If you do need to rent a self storage facility there are things to watch out for to help protect yourself.

  • Be careful of facilities offering first month for $1.00. These facilities are more likely to be targeted since the Thief doesn’t have to put much out of pocket.
  • Visit the facility,
  • Walk the grounds.
  • Inspect the unit they have available for you to rent
  • Is the facility clean? If it’s run down and not well taken care of then chances are their security system isn’t well maintained and probably out of date as well.
  • Is the facility gated? does the gate work? There is usually a man-door next to the gate does that door have a working locking system?
  • Are the units Individually Alarmed? Look for a facility where each unit is individually alarmed.Security
  • Do they have working camera’s. Camera’s should be located throughout the facility NOT just at the entrance. If it’s an inside storage facility camera’s should be on each floor. Outside facilities should have camera’s throughout the grounds.

Don’t forget to insure your items while they are in storage. In case of a loss you want to make sure you are covered. It can be a good idea to take pictures of the items and have an inventory for the insurance company.

11 thoughts on “Self Storage Security

  1. Kim,

    Excellent article.

    Over the years, I’ve found a HUGE difference in the customer service, accessability, and security at various storage facilities.

    Yes, true confession… I’m a Professional Organizer and I have a storage unit, albeit a small one. In addition to a few household & seasonal items, this is where I store my PHOTOS!

    After 26 years in business, I have thousands of “BEFORE & AFTER” pictures of client organizing projects. I just got a digital camera last year, so the volume will never increase at the storage unit. However, until I can get the film images scanned, I sleep well at night knowing they are safe.

    Indeed, “you get what you pay for”, and all the points in your article are valid.

    Warm Safe Socks,

  2. Great article, I never thought about all of those considerations. Really makes sense if you think the way of the thieves.
    Really shows that the extra money that you may have to pay up front to get a quality storage facility may actually save you money and grief in the long run. Thanks for keeping me informed!

  3. Thanks for reading our Blog. Being an Organizer in business as long as you have I’m sure you’ve seen it all.

  4. Thanks for checking out the article. Education really is what we are trying to provide. Thieves are very creative, staying one step ahead can be difficult.

  5. A recent antiques roadshow featured an art collector who stored 60 valuable paintings in a storage locker while his house was being renovated only to discover them stolen when he was ready to hang them again. I wish I had the benefit of your article when I stored household goods when I moved recently. Fortunately, I retrieved my possessions safely, but I realize now the facility didn’t offer all the protections you recommend.

  6. Photo prints deteriorate easily, so a storage locker that isn’t climate controlled is risky. I hope you can get your photos scanned soon. If you need a service to scan them for you, I recommend Digital Pickle in San Francisco. Tell them Nancy Heifferon from the Association of Personal Historians referred you.

  7. Thanks for the comment Nancy. We really are trying to educate people on these kinds of topics. I know everyone is trying to save money where they can but that isn’t always best in the end.

  8. For photo’s I highly recommend having them stored in a facility that is climate controlled. It’s temperature flux that is typically is the problem not just with pictures but also with furniture.

  9. Kim,

    This is a great article! I have used a storage unit at many different locations over the last 10 years and have noticed huge differences between the facilities.

    I am needing to move my contents closer to where I live now, so this reminded me of everything I need to think about when looking for a secure place of storage.


  10. Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you found it valuable. Good luck with your search for a new facility location.

  11. Nancy,

    Re: Your March 8th post, yes my storage is climate controlled, however I appreciate the reminder!

    I have added “Digital Pickle” and “On With Your Story” to my resource database, as I do need to get this H-U-G-E project started someday.

    Warm Grateful Socks,

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