A Guide to Self Storage Security Systems

A Guide to Self Storage Security Systems

In 2022, companies across the world experienced a combined total of $1 trillion USD in revenue loss from physical security incidents like break-ins. Thieves often target companies that have valuable physical assets, and self-storage facilities are some of those notable. To keep your property safe and your customers happy, it’s essential to implement the right security measures.

We’ve created a guide that outlines your potential options and how to get started. Let’s explore the key information you should know about self-storage security.

Access Control Systems

These systems aim to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the facility. In context, this often involves using a keypad or access credential to open a gate or door.

It could also require users to use a card key to authenticate themselves. The end result is having another layer of defense against trespassers and burglars. This can make an already robust security system even stronger.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are some of the most common security solutions at self-storage facilities. As the name implies, they operate if they detect the presence of motion under certain circumstances.

For example, a property owner could configure a motion sensor system to activate after 9:00 p.m. each night. If motion is detected, the appropriate action is taken.

This often results in turning on lights, but it could notify security personnel or law enforcement. A building that has access control measures in place likely doesn’t need to use motion sensors as a form of security. Instead, they could automatically turn on lights in dark areas when they detect people walking through them. This makes using the facility at night safer and more convenient.

Video Surveillance and Analytics

Video surveillance is one of the most effective options on this list. It’s hard to argue against what a camera records, after all. Video surveillance could be constant or only activated during certain circumstances.

Technology has reached a point where artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to analyze video footage. This is particularly useful for facilities that use constant video surveillance. To clarify, imagine having to manually sift through hours of footage to look for evidence of a break-in.

This is impractical and could delay how quickly police can solve a crime. AI can compile segments of footage from your security cameras that contain suspicious or abnormal activity. This goes a long way toward making the most of the video evidence you record.

Perimeter Fencing

Perimeter fencing is best for facilities located in high-crime areas. It’s also a necessary solution to use if thieves have targeted the facility in the past. Many storage facilities have experienced theft where an intruder cuts through the fence to enter the property. Utilizing a combination of security measures can help detect and catch these criminals.

Facilities that store high-value items like boats or cars outside will need heavy-duty commercial fencing. The installation of perimeter fencing can help you attract new customers, as well. People generally don’t want to store items in places they feel are susceptible to break-ins so a proper security plan is key to eliminating these threats.

Aerial Surveillance

This option isn’t quite as common as the others on this list. It’s typically reserved for very large facilities or those that need as much protection as possible.

Aerial surveillance involves using drones to provide a bird’s eye view of the facility. Using a large number of drones will provide multiple angles, allowing you to get a better look at the activity on your property.

Security Guards

On-site security is one of the best ways to deter potential thieves. Security personnel can also quickly respond to concerns that arise.

However, you should keep in mind that hiring security guards can be costly. It’s best to have guards at your facility if you’re making renovations or have recently experienced a break-in. Utilizing security guards in conjunction with a properly designed and implemented camera system can allow guards to be more efficient while allowing the storage facility to use less guards and save money.

Perimeter Intrusion Alarms

This type of alarm detects a vibration that occurs at your facility’s perimeter. In context, the alarm could go off if someone jumps over a fence or cuts through a gate. These alarms can also use acoustic sensing technology.

If the alarm system detects an intruder, it can emit a sound to notify security personnel and deter the criminal. Some alarms can be configured to contact law enforcement, as well.

Electronic Door Locks

Criminals often don’t have difficulty cutting through conventional locks. Experienced thieves can remove a lock and steal valuable property within seconds.

Electronic door locks provide much higher levels of protection. These require a code or credential (card, fob, mobile or biometric) to open instead of using conventional lock mechanisms.

They’re also sometimes equipped with alarms. If a password is inputted incorrectly a certain number of times, the alarm will activate.

Benefits of Self-Storage Security

There are numerous key benefits of self-storage security you can’t overlook. Understanding these will help you make the most of available opportunities. Listed below are the most notable to keep in mind.

Customer Satisfaction

It’s not uncommon for people to worry about the items they keep at storage facilities. This is true even for people who don’t store high-value items.

If customers don’t feel their items are adequately protected compared to their expectations, they might not renew their lease. In some cases, this could substantially impact your company’s revenue.

Reduced Insurance Costs

By design, insurance companies charge higher premiums for businesses they determine to have high levels of risk. Insurance costs can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you have a large facility.

New companies or those located in areas with high crime rates will also experience higher premiums. Adding strong security measures will help you reduce the overall amount you spend on insurance. Even something as simple as installing an access control system at your front gate could save you hundreds per month.

This will depend on your insurance provider, though. It’s best to shop around to find one that fits your budget. Keep this in mind when moving forward.

Avoid Legal Issues

If you don’t properly secure your facility, you could run into legal issues if theft or property damage occurs.

This is especially true if negligence is involved. Let’s assume you advertise your facility as one that integrates constant video surveillance and access control systems.

However, issues arise with your video surveillance system that you never get around to resolving. If a break-in occurs while the surveillance system is malfunctioning, you could face a lawsuit.

Not only will this be costly, but it can also damage your company’s reputation. Even a single incident can be difficult or impossible to recover from if the stolen items are of a high enough value. Collectible items, for instance, can sometimes be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

The Importance of Maintenance

Your security systems will only function appropriately if you properly maintain them. This means fixing issues as soon as you discover them.

Small problems can evolve into something much larger if overlooked. A damaged part of perimeter fencing, for instance, could be exploited by criminals to gain access to the facility.

As previously mentioned, malfunctioning video surveillance systems can lead to numerous issues. The same can be said about access control systems that don’t properly authenticate users.

Regardless of what arises, do your best to make repairs as soon as possible. It can be costly at first, but you’ll experience much greater financial issues if an incident occurs. It is important to ask your security professional if they have a plan in place for fixing issues with your system and if there is a way to budget for this.

Getting Started with Self-Storage Security

The best way to get started with security is by hiring a professional. They have the tools and resources to get the best results and avoid common pitfalls. When searching for someone to work with, look at their past reputation before making a decision.

This provides insight into what you should expect. Ask about their pricing structure, as well. They should be fully transparent about what you’ll pay so you can avoid financial surprises.

It’s essential to check what solutions they offer so you can ensure they’ll meet your needs. Never hire a service provider who isn’t communicative.

It can be frustrating to be left in the dark after starting your professional relationship with them. With enough due diligence, you’ll find the ideal service provider for your situation.

When to Make Upgrades

Many facility owners find it difficult to know when they should upgrade their security systems. There are a handful of situations where it becomes imperative to do so. These include:

  • You recently experienced a break-in
  • Your current solutions aren’t meeting your needs
  • You need to reduce your insurance premiums
  • You need to attract new customers

Making upgrades in these scenarios can likely help you meet your goals. You don’t have to spend as much money as possible, either. Minor upgrades typically have a large return on investment (ROI).

Never Overlook This Obligation

Effective self-storage security plays a large role in your company’s longevity. You can leverage it to prevent issues you may have otherwise dealt with and maximize customer satisfaction.

Pavion provides comprehensive security, fire, and integration solutions to companies around the world. We strive to maintain clarity during each client interaction and exceed all expectations. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can take your business to the next level.

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