Ensuring Safety and Security at Your Self-Storage Unit

Renting a storage unit in a gated self-storage facility offers many benefits. You may have unlimited access to your belongings regardless of the time of day or night. Some gated self-storage facilities may also have lower rental rates compared to other options with an in-person staff. However, there are some steps you'll want to take to ensure your safety while on the premises and to ensure the security of your belongings. Here are some things to consider before you sign a rental agreement.

Exterior Lighting and Cameras

As you tour different units available for rent, take a look at the exterior lighting. Choosing a unit close to a security light can provide an added layer of safety should you need to access your items after dark. Some lights may work in tandem with security cameras, so be sure to ask how the system is set up. Lights and cameras together can capture footage of would-be thieves, which can then be forwarded to the authorities should the storage facility experience a break-in.

Proximity to Parking

You may want to consider renting a unit that is closer to the parking lot and security gate. This provides quick access, so you don't have to walk through a maze of storage units to get to your items. If you will be visiting the storage facility alone, being closer to your vehicle can also provide an added sense of safety. You'll also get the benefit of shorter trips to and from your car when moving items to and from the unit.

Sturdy Roll-Down Doors

Adding a lock to your unit's door is essential, but you should also make sure the door to your storage space is built to last. Inspect the door closely and practice opening and closing it when you tour the facility. When closed, the door should reach all the way to the ground with no visible gaps. The loop for your padlock should be in good condition with no signs of rust, wear, or tampering. If the door doesn't meet your inspection, ask the facility if staff can replace the door before you move your belongings in.

Individual Security Upgrades

There are a few additional precautions you can take to keep your items safely and securely tucked away. Battery-operated motion lights inside the unit can serve as a deterrent for potential burglars, and they can also increase visibility during visits. Consider storing valuables in durable containers with padlock attachments or in portable fire safes. This added step creates a nuisance for would-be thieves who may not want to waste their time picking numerous locks in an attempt to find valuables. An inexpensive solution is to mislabel boxes with your prized possessions in them. For example, you may want to store heirlooms in a box labeled "winter clothes." Placing a coat and other winter accessories on top of your valuables can serve as a great decoy to help prevent theft.

To learn more about protecting your items, visit a gated self-storage facility near you.