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Planning Your Self Storage Security Budget

September 16, 2019

Planning your self storage security budget@4x

Planning Your Self Storage Security Budget

3 min

It is common to hear about theft and break-ins at self-storage facilities throughout the country.

That said, facility owners can prevent arson, vandalism, and theft by installing effective security systems.

Hence, it would help to take precautions right from the start. Prevention is better than a cure.

Therefore, businesses need to plan and budget appropriately for a robust and state-of-the-art security system before the first rental moves into the facility.

People do not usually prioritize video surveillance, access control systems, fire-detection systems and automated security gates at a new storage location. In many cases, cutting funding for these security items completely.

This is usually because construction costs exceed the limit in budgeting.

Although the need to stay within budget is entirely understandable, corners cannot be cut when it comes to security systems.

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Security adds a benefit to customers wanting to feel comfort when storing their belongings; this intrinsic value will add to the bottom line which is why it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Here are a few general guidelines to ensure not to exceed a security budget.

Always bear in mind that every facility or site has unique needs and requirements. Before setting any final budget, speak to a trained and experienced access-control and security professional.

Ask (and answer) the following key questions:

  • How many units will be on-site?
  • What are customers planning to store?
  • How often are new customers moving in?
  • Will they access items frequently?
  • What are the unit sizes?

These questions can help focus on what various needs and the scope of security a facility requires.

However, in most cases, security costs should be three percent to five percent of the total construction budget.


Keypads, Stands, Intercoms, and Other Access Control Hardware

The average spend is in the range of $7700 and $30000 per system.

It is best to have a keypad at all entry points, exits, doors as well as elevator doors to minimize risk.

The security system at each site should at least include a retreat and entry keypad with stands, intercoms, and a controller.


Video Surveillance and Monitors

The average spend is in the range of $300 and $400 per camera. Ideally, operators should install cameras at the management office, all entry points, as well as any other essential areas.

Essential areas will be zeroed in on by answer those questions to realize where customers will spend the most time.

This budget will probably cover the expenses of the camera as well as installation.


Individual Electronic Locks and Door Alarms

The average spend is in the range of $50 and $250 per door. The least expensive solution is hardwired door alarms; wireless alarms tend to fall somewhere in the middle while, in most cases, electronic locking solutions are usually the most costly.

In self storage facilities, the standards are more electronic locking or over-locking solutions and door alarms.

Because of the abundance of products available on the market, there is such a significant price variance.


Gate Operator and Gate

A fair pay range per gate installed and operator is between $8,500 and $35,000.

An automated-sliding security gate and operator will cost more than a swing security gate and operator.

Many self storage facilities usually install electronic gates to remain competitive; that said, the extra security offers several other benefits too.

For example, renters may feel much safer and secure at a property storing their belongings if they know that the public cannot get access to their belongings when they are not there.

A facility layout may also dictate which system and gate are best for the real estate and configuration. There are many different kinds of gates and gate operators on the market. Hence, the costs may vary considerably.


Mobile Apps, Security Software and Tech Support

The average spend is between $95 and $150 each month.

However, it would cost a lot more, especially in the long run, if you do not pay for support services and professional installation.

It would be best to consider security software that can interact with the management program. This solution can restrict access to past-due tenants as well as assign access codes to new tenants.

Budgeting for premium features, such as preferred technical support and mobile gate solutions, will be a benefit in the long run.

In the case of a tenant crashing into a gate or keypad stand, you will need to get back up and resume operations quickly.

Also, fire detection coupled with adequate lighting is vital to any storage facility’s security system too.



Asking questions about the space and customer’s preferences can help guide the planning of security system decisions. Having these decisions will further optimize any budgeting when constructing a new self storage facility.

Luckily, the self storage industry is a tightly knit community that has so many resources and information sources. When you have made these considerations, you can consult trained and experienced security professionals to provide the best service and benefit to your clients.



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