How to Protect Your Stuff in a Storage Unit
People often store their belongings in self-storage units when they’re moving to a different part of the country, or shifting between homes.
Most self-storage facilities possess some security features to protect people’s possessions from being stolen; however, thefts are still a relatively common occurrence. Security features used to make self-storage facilities more secure include:
- Digital Surveillance Systems: Most self-storage facilities have cameras on the property that record video 24 hours a day and cover most if not all the areas around storage units. Facilities that use digital surveillance systems are often better equipped to monitor activities around the storage units than those with old tape surveillance systems who provide lower quality video.
- Good Employee Protocols: Employees at self-storage facilities are trained to look out for any suspicious activity and to avoid leaving the storage facilities vulnerable to thefts. This can include performing lock checks regularly to ensure that the units are secure.
- Password Access Areas: Some facilities will use password access systems to prevent people from entering areas without authorization. The more limited the access to a particular area is, the less likely it is that potential thieves can access your belongings.
While most storage facilities are relatively secure, you should also take steps from your end to ensure your belongings are stored safely. Some things you can do to improve the security of your unit are:
- Purchase a secure lock: This is a no-brainer. Purchasing a sturdy lock that is difficult to cut through is the best way to keep your belongings safe. Be sure to pick one that can’t be cut by bolt cutters or broken
- Maintain an inventory of your possessions: Keeping a record of the possessions you’ve placed into the storage unit is a great way to keep track of where your belongings are, and to also provide proof to insurance companies in the event that a theft does occur. It’s always best to pair this list with photos of your possessions in the storage unit.
- Avoid putting expensive valuables in storage: High value items such as jewelry or cash should not be put into storage units. In-fact, cash theft is not covered by insurance companies. Consult your insurance provider if you’re unsure about which items are or aren’t covered by their policies.
- Avoid giving your keys or access code to others: Some people choose to provide their storage unit key or access code to close family or friends that may live nearby so that they can check-up on or retrieve their possessions in their absence. However, a large percentage of thefts that do occur from storage units are done by such people. So it may be best to not disclose the contents of your storage unit to these people, or to simply avoid giving them access in the first place.
- Purchase a good insurance plan: Some locker storage facilities don’t require that you have insurance for your possessions. However, it is always best to have insurance when you put items into storage. Even a third party insurance provider will do.
You never know what could go wrong when you leave your items in storage for an extended period of time. However, by following these steps you are less likely to find items missing when you go to check up on or retrieve your possessions.