How to Improve Self Storage Security in Individual Units

May 12, 2022

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6 min

When you think of self storage security systems, what comes to mind?

Do you think of a good gate and fence? Cameras, ample lighting, and maybe even someone to walk the property or watch from an office? You probably even think of using the right storage unit locks and alarms for units.

There are other ways to improve your security (and upsell your units) at the same time, though! We’re talking about what security systems you can use inside the individual units.


Should You Add Self Storage Security Systems for Individual Units?

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Before we get started on the what, let’s talk about the why.

So, should you worry about adding individual security systems to your self storage units?

The answer is in your own security budget, your market, and yourself.

Self storage security is a huge deal for many operators and markets. There’s a reason that you’re likely to see a mention of security or safety on many self storage websites if you go browsing.

When your tenant chooses to store their items in your self storage unit, they’re expecting that it will be safer than keeping them in their own home. It’s one of their top concerns.

This means that there is an opportunity to create more value at your facility by improving your self storage security systems.

Adding security systems to individual storage units will help you go above and beyond your competition. And if you’re concerned about tenants not wanting to pay more for more security, you can even roll it out to only select storage units using value-based pricing to test the waters.

The arguments for focusing on the security of your individual storage units are plentiful and strong. So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can improve those security measures.

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How Can You Make Storage Unit Access More Secure?

The first place to start with individual unit security systems is with access control.

At the very least, your storage units will make use of locks to keep out unwanted visitors.

Often, conversations around storage unit access have revolved around two simple questions: Should you require a certain kind of lock, and should you provide locks yourself?

These days, modern technology-enhanced self storage security systems mean that the discussion on storage unit access is evolving.

With access control solutions like Nokē Smart Entry, SpiderDoor, or StorageDefender, keypads, your storage unit access becomes an additional layer of security. They do more than just attempt to keep people out—they can even monitor access and keep activity logs with real-time updates.

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Pug Pro Tip: As an added bonus, these access control systems create greater convenience for your tenant! Convenience is arguably an even greater concern than security for your tenants.

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Why Use Individual Self Storage Unit Alarms?

Your cameras and access control systems are important parts of your facility’s self storage security system, but they leave a bit of a blind spot.

Gates will try to keep unwanted people out. Cameras can be checked after a break-in occurs. But if they get through your gate, the cameras won’t tell you until the crime is already done (assuming you don’t have someone watching them 24-7!).

So, what’s the solution? How do you make sure you know when a break-in is occurring before it’s too late to catch them in the act?

By using individual alarms as part of your self storage security system.

Individual unit alarms can alert you to a break-in at a unit when it occurs. This gives you the best chance possible to mitigate the damages and give authorities a chance to catch the culprit in the act.

Your tenants will be happier knowing that any unwanted access to their storage unit will sound an alarm, increasing the safety of their belongings.

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Should My Self Storage Security Include Cameras & Motion Sensors Inside Units?

You might use security cameras and motion sensors throughout your facility already, but do you have any storage units with them on the inside?

Well, maybe you should.

Similar to individual unit alarms, using these devices inside your storage units improves the peace of mind of your tenants. They can also lead to catching a break-in when it happens rather than the next day when it's discovered.

More importantly, they help to solve another problem: detecting a break-in that doesn’t go through a door.

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Imagine what happens at your self storage facility when this event occurs: A tenant rents one of your self storage units and accesses it legally. Once inside, they shut the door, and then they burrow through the wall into the neighboring storage unit.

If they work fast and the facility is remote, they could clear out a whole block of storage units without opening a single door they weren’t given legal access to.

Installing self storage security systems like in-unit cameras and motion sensors helps combat this kind of problem.

It’s even better if you can give your tenant access to the camera feed in their own storage unit. With the rise of personal home security cameras, people are becoming more and more accustomed to the option of checking a security feed on their phones to make sure their property is safe.

So why not offer that at your facility through your security systems?

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What is a Smart Unit & How Does it Improve Self Storage Security?

How do you take all of those internal storage unit security systems and make them even better?

Like with many technological advances, you do with by throwing the internet into the mix!

The term “smart unit” is a fancy way of saying that your storage unit’s security system is connected to a network and sends escalations over that network for real-time monitoring of the storage unit.

As this is an evolving term, and technology is sure to change and improve over time, what goes into a smart unit is likely to change quickly.

But at its base, a smart unit includes security systems that might include motion sensors, cameras, and more connected to a network and able to send updates to you and your tenants.

This connectivity, combined with the right software, means the self storage security system can read what is happening inside the storage unit and determine whether someone needs to be alerted based on the pre-defined escalations. It’s more advanced than a simple motion sensor or door alarm.

While these smart units serve to improve the integrity of your self storage security system, they also create a perceived value for your customers.

You can ask for more money for a smart unit and reasonably expect that tenants will pay it.

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Whether or not improving your self storage security systems at your facility is a priority comes down to you, your tenants, and your market.

The important thing is to know what’s out there and to know that the actual security isn’t the only benefit!

Improving your security systems also improves the value of your storage units.

How are some more posts on improving your self storage business:

At StoragePug, we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

Run your facility smarter, not harder.

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