by Sasha Smith, guest blogger
Maintaining renter satisfaction at a self-storage facility is largely dependent on the amount of security the facility offers. Renters paying monthly fees to store their belongings expect those belongings to be secure at all times. Problems with theft not only deter renters, but owners could be liable for losses. No matter how large or small the self-storage facility, there are cost-effective measures that can be taken to maximize security.
1. Limit hours
One way to keep a self-storage facility secure is limiting the hours when renters can access the facility. Depending on the safety of the surrounding neighborhood, owners may want to only keep doors and gates open during daylight hours. This step is simple, but can significantly reduce the possibility of theft.
2. Locks and gates
Every storage facility should invest in a strong gate to keep intruders out when the facility is not open. Owners of larger facilities can add electronic security features to the gate that will keep it closed unless a renter enters a specific code associated with their unit. Electronic gates cut down on theft that may occur even when the facility is open.
It seems like a no-brainer, but always remind renters they are responsible for keeping their units locked. Unlocked units welcome thieves, and even if the theft is not the owner’s fault, any theft occurring in a storage facility will turn off potential renters.
3. Video surveillance
When a storage facility owner cannot be on the premises at all times, video surveillance allows for constant monitoring. Installing cameras to keep an eye on who enters and leaves the premises not only adds security to the facility, but is also a great sales tool when attracting new renters.
The safest method of video surveillance is utilizing digital recording technology. This eliminates the possibility of having video destroyed on-site by thieves. The video is digitally stored online, which also makes it easy to access when the owner or manager is not there.
Larger facilities may use off-site monitoring services to increase security. In this case, video surveillance is relayed directly to the security company, where an operator monitors the video and will notify the owner or manager if suspicious activity occurs.
4. Living on-site
This option is obviously not reasonable for every facility owner or operator, especially if there is no space available that is zoned residential. However, if an owner or manager has the ability to live on-site and is willing to commit to the responsibility, it can be a cost-effective way to provide security. Part of a manager’s compensation could be the living quarters, saving the owner money on employee expenses.
Sasha Smith is a guest blogger for EZ Storage, a self-storage facility with locations in Newton, Natick and Framingham, MA. EZ Storage offers full security and a diverse range of units and amenities.