The Best Security Amenities for Outdoor Self Storage Facilities

October 18, 2023

self storage outdoor security
5 min

Sure, you’ve put a lot of effort into building a state-of-the-art facility, it’s loaded with everything you could ever need–from shining, new roll-up doors to fresh-paved wide aisles. You’ve put your soul into your facility! A clean facility is half the battle already, but there’s one key disadvantage to owning an entirely outdoor facility–you’re exposed. 

Security is more than just an amenity when it comes to an outdoor property, it’s essential!

Not only is it important to deter thieves and vandals from you, but also to make sure your tenants feel safe when they store with you. 

So what are the security features that are going to make you and your tenants feel safest, especially after hours?


Perimeter Fencing

Let’s start with the basics. Perimeter fencing is one of the most surefire security measures for your facility and one of the best deterrents for loiterers and thieves. Aside from keeping out those you want, it’s an immediate relief for your tenants when they visit, helping them not feel exposed when they store with you. 

Why you need perimeter fencing is obvious, but what kind of fencing do you need?

Well, that can depend on a lot of factors like location, building permits, and the layout of your facility. We’ve seen everything from concrete walls to chainlink, and what works for you works for you!

There are some things we recommend to make your perimeters more formidable – build your fencing tall or barbed wire at the top of your fencing. 

It’s worth noting your neighborhood and how your fencing will be perceived. If you’re in an area with high crime, then having barbed wire could be an excellent deterrent and a plus for your tenants. If your facility is in a safer area, it could cause your facility to look more dangerous than it truly is. 

What works for your facility can really only be answered by you, the person who knows it best. However, as a rule of thumb, we do recommend perimeter fencing if you’re looking for security amenities that make your tenants feel safe!

Want more security tips & tricks? Register for our security-focused Gabfocus  on Thursday, Nov. 16!

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24/7 Monitoring

Digital monitoring is another no-brainer for a secure facility. Keeping the cameras running makes your tenants feel secure, safe, and assured that they can leave their storage units in peace. 

Don’t stop at the entrance of your facility, cover it with cameras! The more cameras there are visible throughout your facility, the less crime and delinquency you’ll have. It’s really that simple.

There’s a lot of technology to choose from when picking surveillance, for example, high definition, face recognition, and license plate reading, the options can be overwhelming! 

If you’re not sure what you need, start with the basics, good cameras and good placement.

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On-Site Management

Being on the grounds of your property is one of the most cost-effective ways to give your facility an edge on security. 

Of course, not every facility has an office or a space for staff to be stationed. Some facilities are built to be entirely automated and unmanned. For those people, we say: that’s fine! On-site management is not a requirement to have strong safety. 

If your facility does allow for on-site management, it’s crucial to make a daily schedule, for example, walk-throughs of the property to look for any signs of theft or damage. Not only will you have an immediate wellness check on the facility, but you will also give your tenants an extra level of ease when they store with you.

The good news: your facility might already have a dedicated staff. If your people are already on the property, give them something to do! A watched facility is a safe facility.

Gabfocus Session: Keeping Your Facility Secure

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Bright Lighting

Another obvious solution– bright lighting! Having the lights turned on at your property is one of the top ways to deter thieves and to make sure your tenants can store with you in total comfort. 

The benefits of having good lighting are almost too obvious to name, but there are a few considerations when installing them to keep in mind. For example, is just a portion of your property covered in light? Are the storage units at the back right of your property in a dark area than the center? Having uniform lighting across your grounds makes all tenants feel safe when they leave their units. 

What kind of lights you use can make a huge difference in both effectiveness and price. LED lighting is generally considered to be the best bang for your buck and the brightest option!

If you don’t want to run the lights all night long, there’s the option of motion-sensor lights. Motion sensors can keep your facility lit without running up the meter.

However you choose to do it, bright lighting is a must for any outdoor facility.

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Curb Appeal

What does curb appeal have to do with safety? Quite a lot, actually! 

There’s something called the “eye test” where a tenant will see a facility and decide in seconds subconsciously if they feel safe storing there. A clean, well-kept facility can do a lot to attract new tenants, but it can also deter delinquents and thieves.

When someone sees your facility what do they see? Hopefully, they see a property that is well-maintained and guarded. The less trash and debris you have on the ground, the more likely it seems that the property is being watched. 

If you were to look at two different facilities, one of them with a rusted chainlink fence and a mattress propped up against the wall or another that was spotless, which would you think is an easier target?

A clean facility is both an attraction and a deterrent!

Access Control

Before we talk about access control, it’s important to make a working definition for it. In this article, access control refers to any technology that restricts and secures access to your facility, whether that’s facility entrance or personal unit access. 

Access control isn’t really an option these days! It’s pretty difficult to imagine a facility where the gate entrance is a manual lock and key. That’s why we recommend at least having access control basics, like a keypad or smart-app gate entrance.

In fact, 73% of tenants agree they would like access control at their gate, and 36% are willing to pay more for it!

There are a lot of options for upgrading your access control!

  • Coded gate entry
  • Coded storage unit access
  • Smart-app entry
  • Bluetooth entry
  • Magnetic locks

Access Control, from your gate to your units, is a worthwhile upgrade that not only impresses your tenants but gives you less headache in the long run, without the constant need to answer calls and meet people at the gate.

Your facility is your pride and joy, you worked hard building it or you spent a fortune investing in it, so why skimp on security? 

You know your facility and your tenants better than anyone, and what you need, but in most cases we believe these amenities are crucial to a safe property and for happy tenants. 

Security is about more than just guarding your assets, it’s about drawing in new renters as well!

When your investment is this big, it’s worth protecting.

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