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What is an Operator's Role in Preventing Crime at a Storage Facility?

May 14, 2021

Every self-storage owner and operator knows that if a thieve wants to break into a facility bad enough, they’ll typically find a way. But one thing’s for certain, you don’t have to make it easy on them. In fact, creating more steps for a criminal is one of the largest roles an operator can play in preventing crime at their self-storage facility.

A large portion of the criminal activity occurring at self-storage facilities is actually caused by the tenants themselves, and we’ve seen a large spike in these break-ins due to the pandemic and unstable economy. A growing thread on Self-Storage Talk discusses what current facilities are going through and what they’re doing to help fight crime. Ultimately, the increase in crime rate has forced operators to step-up their site security measures in many ways, from implementing new technology to adding steps to their everyday operation. As an operator, every step you take from the moment of lease-up to your daily routine can impact your effectiveness on preventing theft and vandalism at your self-storage facility. That’s why we’ve outlined a few extra steps operators can take to help prevent crime and ensure a safe on-site experience for both tenants and employees.

Tips on preventing crime:

  • Get the right contact information
  • Turn to automated lock checks and overlocking processes
  • Inform tenants of the high-tech security features in place
  • Keep a well-maintained facility
  • Utilize a cloud based activity log
  • Customize access control per tenant

Get the right contact information:

Photo copying a tenant’s photo ID and recording accurate contact information are important first steps in maintaining a safe facility. You can use this information to identify and contact tenants regarding payments, security breaches or other events at the facility. By implementing smart entry access that requires a smart phone for gate, door and unit access, you can take advantage of a natural filtering system and say goodbye to fake names and numbers from unreliable tenants.


Turn to automated lock checks and overlocking processes:

Performing daily lock checks includes verifying each unit status and making sure everything around the facility looks like it’s supposed to. This is the time operators will typically notice any suspicious activity such as burglarized units, vandalism and trash build up around the facility.

By using smart locks such as Nokē ONE by Janus on every unit door, managers no longer have to walk around to each unit and physically check every lock. These unit statuses can be accessible on apps and web portals, allowing managers to do an efficient drive-through check on the facility’s appearance rather than spending valuable time on old-fashion lock checks. Not only are lock checks automated, but so is overlocking and releasing too.


Inform tenants of the high-tech security features in place:

Since a large portion of criminal activity occurring at self-storage facilities is caused by the tenants themselves, operators can take a seat of control by providing up-front information during the rental process. Start by explaining how secure your new tenants belongings are and follow up with a few key points on how traceable all activity is with the high-tech features you have in place, such as motion sensors inside each unit door that trigger an instant silent alarm when activated.

Thermal motion sensor on the back of Noke ONE Smart Lock

Keep a well maintained facility:

Maintaining your facility encourages tenants to respect your property, and smart facilities have made this even easier than ever before. Since site managers no longer have to perform mundane tasks such as lock checks, overlocks or granting entry access to tenants with forgotten gate codes and keys, they have more time in their day for cleaning units, maintaining the facility and even spending time on marketing efforts when needed.

Pro Tip: Consider limiting trashcan, dumpster and bathroom access to inside access controlled areas only. This will eliminate public use and only allow tenants permitted to these areas to have access, which will help reduce vandalism and trash around your facility.


Utilize a cloud based activity log:

Self-storage operators need to know who’s on the site at all times, whether it’s a tenant or someone they’ve handed their key off to. With a smart facility that has a digital key system, activity logs are automatically tracked, generated and stored on the cloud. Even if someone signs into another tenant’s account, the root personnel for any suspicious activity is automatically captured, helping you generate leads and track the root of any criminal activity on your site.


Customize access control per tenant:

With Smart Entry Access you can customize a tenant’s personal accessibility from gates, man doors, elevators all the way to their individual unit door. If a tenant has a ground level unit on a multistory facility, you can restrict their access to elevators and man doors to create a more customized approach to site security.

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Want to learn more on how Noke ONE Smart Locks can help eliminate theft and vandalism at your facility?

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