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The Most Common Types of Burglary in Self-Storage [And How to Prevent It]

Apr 19, 2021

Upgrading the Security at Your Self-Storage Facility

Theft and vandalism are an unfortunate fact of life as a self-storage owner and operator. While we hear about self-storage break-ins, theft and vandalism almost daily and occurring all around the world, how to keep your site safe and secure still remains a mystery to many site owners, new and old. That’s why we’re addressing the most common types of burglary in the self-storage industry and how you can help prevent them from happening at your own facility.


The most common type of burglary in the self-storage industry happens when a thieve cuts a lock on a unit and steals the items from inside. This can happen in just seconds with a simple pair of bolt cutters, and can cause significant damage to your property – not to mention, the complete loss of property for your tenant. Unfortunately, many sites that still use padlocks are outdated and not fully equipped to generate leads on this type of criminal activity.

ABC News states this trend in burglary is a wake-up call to the millions of people who are paying monthly fees to self-storage facilities to safely store their belongings. Tenants are starting to do their homework by assessing the security measures in place around local facilities and old school padlocks and minimal security measures are no longer cutting it.

Noke ONE multi-image with lock, thermal motion sensor, and mobile access to unit

The type of locks you choose for your unit doors is an imperative decision for site owners because it can help determine the type of break-ins you’ll be vulnerable to. Smart locks provide the most protection to self-storage units because they eliminate the threat of lock cutting altogether while providing a smarter, more convenient solution for both tenants and operators. With smart entry access and strategically designed smart locks such as Nokē ONE by Janus, tenants don’t have to remember any keys or gate codes, as they can access the facility and their unit doors using a smartphone or Bluetooth key fob.


Another common trend in self-storage break-ins is when a tenant rents a unit, accesses that unit and proceeds to cut-through or go over the walls to burglarize the other units alongside it. It doesn’t take long before that tenant is able to clear out every single storage unit down an entire row. So how do you protect your self-storage facility from this trend in burglary?

Smart entry access is an owner’s first line of defense, as it can be customized per tenant and records a complete activity log of who is on your facility at all times. The second line of defense for a self-storage facility would be smart locks. Smart locks can be designed with thermal motion sensors inside each and every unit door, which triggers a silent alarm notifying the tenant and staff of any after-hour thermal motion activity.

FBI crime stats

According to data collected by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)
 Program, there were an estimated 7,196,045 property crime offenses in the nation in 2018 alone, resulting in losses estimated at $16.4 billion.


Scary crime statistics aside, there’s a lot of business benefits to updating your self-storage facility’s security. After all, your facility’s security is your primary marketing tool, and with upgraded security you’ll be able to charge higher rental rates for your units and increase your revenue per square foot. 

Noke ONE with Tenant phone

Want to learn more about a cloud-based access control?

Click here to learn more about Nokē ONE, the industry's first, all-in-one, on-door Bluetooth smart locks!


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