How to Take a Proactive Approach for Protecting Your Storage Facility
While self-storage crime happens year-round, there's no doubt that the holiday season brings out the worst in some people. From porch pirates to self-storage vandals, criminals take advantage of others' most giving time. This is why it's so common to see local police departments sending out an annual advisory not to leave large packages that were once filled with expensive items or "toys" by your roadside trashcan. It basically advertises what you got for the holidays and marks your house with giant a bullseye.
There are several factors that drive increased theft around the holidays. Primarily, people of all demographics are contributing to greater consumption and are storing high-value items wrapped up in pretty bows. Whether they're being placed under a tree, hidden in a closet, or stored in a self-storage unit to stay out of sight until the big day, presents can be quite tempting for the local Grinch.
What facilities are high-risk? (High Risk)
- Low-income, high-crime locations
- No/Low access control (may be lacking perimeter fencing or gate)
- Unmonitored security (no real-time footage or video monitoring)
While every self-storage facility should have at least the most basic security measures in place, not all of them do and there remain many facilities that are completely unprotected from theft and vandals. Just like the facility in Dubuque, IA, all it takes is one tenant to use their unit for mischief. In this case, the tenant cut through the walls of 7 units and stole items estimated to be worth $10,000 in total value. Luckily, you don't have to wait until you have a lawsuit on your hands to take the next steps in property protection. There are several, easily accessible, security measures that you can implement now.
The most basic security measures include: (Moderate-Risk)
- Perimeter fencing
- Entry/Exit gate with access control
- Security cameras
The first step to deterring crime from happening at your self-storage facility is to control who has access to it and this starts with perimeter fencing and an access-controlled gate. Installing security cameras and increasing the lighting around your facility can also play a preventative role.
If you want to go past the bare minimum and take your site's security up to the next level, there's quite a bit you can do. The best way to protect your facility against theft this holiday season, and year-round, is by installing a smart entry system that allows you to control access and remotely monitor your facility.
The best security measures include: (Low Risk)
- Perimeter fencing
- Bluetooth Access Control
- Zoning/customized access
- Automatic activity logs
- Digital lock checks
- Thermal motion sensors
- Cloud-based video surveillance
- Smart lighting
Do you have a multi-story or a facility with multiple zones? You can customize access per tenant to heighten the security at your self-storage facility. This ensures tenants only have access to the specific areas their units are located in. So, if a tenant has a storage unit in Building B, you can restrict their access to Buildings A and C for extra security measures.
Thermal Motion Sensors
Thermal motion sensors located inside the individual unit are a great addition to site security. Designed to send you an instant notification when thermal motion activity is detected inside a closed/locked unit, you'll know immediately if someone is trying to break into or sleep inside a unit. This means you can say goodbye to the pesky threat of tenants cutting through and going over walls for personal gain.
Cloud-Based Video Surveillance
By integrating cloud-based video surveillance with your smart entry system, not only can you view all cameras in real-time from one convenient location, but you can take advantage of a variety of innovative features such as remote monitoring, efficient past-event look-up, two-way audio, and much more. Consider setting up your smart cameras to send you an instant notification when activated by motion.
Automatic Activity Logs
One of the major benefits of using a smart entry system with Bluetooth electronic locks at the gate, access points, and unit doors is the activity log it generates automatically. This activity log lets you know who exactly is visiting your facility, which access points they're unlocking, and when. Not only does this help you track where tenants are around the property based on access point activity, but it helps to generate leads when any malicious activity does occur.
Digital Lock Checks
What if we told you once manual and mundane lock checks are now a thing of the past? With a smart entry system, you can take advantage of digital lock checks by viewing unit statuses in real-time from a mobile app or an online web portal. This means, no more walking around the facility to check unit statuses, overlock delinquent units, or remove overlocks.
One thing that all criminals have in common is that they don't want to get caught. Good lighting increases that likelihood. That's why smart lighting that's activated by motion can help deter criminals from striking your self-storage facility. Make sure you have optimal lighting installed around your property. This helps to make tenants feel safer too.
You can set up your various smart tools to send instant notifications, so you'll know immediately if an event is taking place at your self-storage facility from thermal motion inside of a locked unit to a person walking in front of a security camera. This helps to stop crime in its tracks, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Another perk to installing a smart entry system at your self-storage facility is that your customers are likely willing to pay you more for it. This means you have the opportunity to generate more revenue this holiday season. To learn more, view our case study below.