It’s one thing to give yourself a holiday present. It’s quite another to steal that present from someone else. Yes, it’s that time of year again—when some holiday shoppers will help themselves to gifts in your self-storage facility.
As in most cases, thieves will take the path of least resistance. Self-storage properties that are improperly lit, have less than state-of-the-art surveillance, or whose locks and other security can be easily broken will become easy pickings. Conversely, if thieves perceive that they will have to work hard to break in and remain unidentified, they will likely move to the next property.
To help prevent thefts this holiday season and beyond, consider steps to help ramp up security and tamp down the perception of “easy pickins’” by thieves:
1. Enlist local law enforcement to “audit” your property. When you look at something every day, it’s easy to overlook potential vulnerabilities. Bring in an expert from your local police or sheriff’s department (or someone they recommend) to survey the property and identify potential weaknesses, as well as strengths. This can provide an excellent strategy document used to improve security going forward.
2. Manage your reputation. If you’ve been the victim of a previous theft, make sure to correct problems that facilitated it and broadcast those fixes loudly and clearly. A self-storage property in West Virginia was recently subjected to a break-in impacting as many as 80 units. This is on top of a previous break-in last summer. Although the facility had security cameras, they evidently weren’t working the first time. Besides fixing the technology, let everyone know—both through online and on-site communications—that they’re working just fine. That messaging just might have prevented the second break-in.
3. Use common sense. There are always ways to improve security. Periodically look around the property and address any “low hanging” threats immediately. For example, a Florida property recently had 13 units burglarized. An article recounting the break-in pointed out that, “The suspect or suspects pushed the video surveillance cameras up so they wouldn’t record the crime.” Making the cameras less accessible by mounting them out of easy reach is one common-sense step an operator can take. Adding an alarm that will sound if the camera is tampered with is another option. Again, thieves typically seek out easy opportunities. The more complicated it gets, the less likely it is that they will victimize your property.
Image courtesy of homesecuritystore.com