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Self Storage Security Systems: Examining the Importance and Cost

August 22, 2018

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When the modern-day tenant thinks of self storage, the baseline of their expectation includes cleanliness and security.
3 min

To be a successful self storage operator you must stay ahead of the competitors. When the modern-day tenant thinks of self storage, the baseline of their expectation includes cleanliness and security.

Think about it, if you store your belongings at a facility purpose-built to harbor your things, you expect that those things will remain in the same condition.

More importantly, you would not expect them to get stolen! Neither do your tenants, and one way to ensure the safety of your tenants' storage is to be technologically advanced in your self storage security systems.

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The Importance of Self Storage Security Systems

By not having any type of security system in place at your self storage facility, you may, if you have not already, run into some significant issues with theft.

In today’s world, a person will search the Internet for a self storage facility near them, check the pricing, read reviews and view photos of the facility. You want consumers to read about how safe other customers items were while in storage and what type of security is in place.

Any type of break in or theft will serve as a pivotal point to choose one of your competitors.

When you deliver top-notch security, your customers will be more likely to recommend you to others, build long-lasting customer loyalty and most of all, they will be repeat customers. By becoming a trustable source for self storage, you will maximize your investment.

There are many different types of security features, and some of them include - video surveillance, fire-detection, resident manager, access-control systems, and automated gates.

When deciding on which security features to implement, be sure to at least meet the following baseline recommended by Live Oak Bank:

  • Ample Lighting
  • Property Maintenance
  • Surveillance Cameras
  • Perimeter Fencing
  • Gates

The first two might not seem directly related to security, but they indeed are.

Properly lighting your facility makes it harder for thieves or other types of wrongdoers to hide whatever it is that they are doing. Also, it makes it easier to see what is happening on the cameras.

Keeping your property maintained is essential not only because it shows your tenants that you care, but it sends the same message to criminals. A clean facility alludes to upkeep in other areas, including security measures.

Cameras should be strategically placed to cover as much of the property as possible, preferably all of it. Perimeter fencing is a must as it is the first line of defense, and the gate is the only way in or out.

Electronic gates are important for not only access control, but logging who comes and goes, and when they do it.

Not mentioned in the list, but still noteworthy, is to have separate keypads for any interior hallways. There is no need for anyone to go in there that isn't storing in that building.

Be sure to always stay up to date on the status of each aspect of your security system at all times. You can run into a negative situation if an automatic gate isn’t working or a security camera is broken.

You may have the latest and best technology, but if you don't keep it properly maintained you could lose out on customers.

How Much Does it Cost?

Cost is something that can differentiate by region, but security is not an area where you want to go cheap at while planning your budget.

A lot of times funds are cut for the security features when building a self storage facility - usually because it is one of the last tasks to be done.

Below we have listed three essential security features from this article that your self storage facility will need, along with a budgeted amount and facts about each feature.

1. Video Surveillance and Monitors

Estimated Budget: $300 - $400 per camera

Make sure to include the cost of the cameras and the installation in your budget. If you are looking for any advanced features such as temperature monitors or license plate readers, then expect to pay quite a bit more.

2. Individual Door Alarms and Electronic Locks

Estimated Budget: $50 - $250 per door that is installed.

Individual door alarms and electronic locks are becoming more commonplace because it is a great way to prevent theft. There are many other options out there, and you will need to thoroughly search and quote out prices.

3. Electronic Gates/Gate Operator

Estimated Budget: $8,500 - $35,000 per pair that is installed.

Now you must consider all the variances when a customer enters and exits the self storage facility after the automatic gate has been installed.

From Self Storage Insider, “Maybe you want a keypad and will give each tenant an access code. Or maybe you want to give tenants a card they must swipe to open the gate. Think about what works best for your facility and your tenants. Consider how your tenants will receive their gate information and what employees must do to give the correct codes.”

The most important thing is the safety of your customers and their belongings.

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