How do you decide where to store your treasured possessions?
We know that one of the biggest deciding factors for customers choosing a storage supplier is security. Another factor, of course, is the price – but knowing your valuable items will be securely looked after is a huge plus for almost anyone.
While there are a lot of respectable storage facilities out there in the world, recent years have also seen a surge in new sites set up in fields, yards, and unexpected locations.
Are these places operating legitimately? Can they offer you the minimum level of security you expect for your money? That’s the question you have to ask when considering any facility.
As the SSA UK states, ‘As a minimum there should be CCTV on all entry and exit points as well as controlled access to the building.’
7 essential storage security measures
Having been providing storage since 1988, we’ve spent over 30 years tightening our already-tightly-run ship.
And if you’re in the market for storage, we know you care about keeping your things safe and secure.
So, without further ado, here are the top 7 security measures you should check for & ask about at any storage facility.
#1 – 24/7 monitored CCTV surveillance
It sounds obvious, because it is! Storage facilities should have all main entry and exit points covered, as well as the units or containers themselves.
Rather than passive CCTV (where the tapes are only checked if there’s a reported incident), a storage facility should provide active CCTV (where it’s monitored 24/7 by a member(s) of the security team).
Two of our security team on patrol through our units
#2 – Security team on-site
While CCTV is great, sometimes you need real people, with real security skills, a whistle away.
Our security team provide 24/7, 365 days a year manned security surveillance – even on Christmas day!
Every security member undergoes regular training drills on-site (so don’t be alarmed if you spot one next time you visit!). This keeps their skills honed and their reflexes sharp – should they need to use them.
An on-site security team also provides immediate assistance, should any customers need it.
Any storage facility that relies on automated or digital surveillance only should be carefully considered.
A security patrol with a dog taking place at our facility
#3 – Regular security patrols with dogs
Our Wentloog facility is ideal for dog patrols, as it spans a large radius and our containers are external, rather than units within a building.
Our security dogs are trained to provide the highest possible levels of security and defence, and though they might look sweet and fluffy, we advise our customers never to approach them.
The dogs are used as one of our security measures to provide assistance and support when apprehending a possible intruder. Along with the ‘human’ security team, this gives us 2 levels of enforced security.
A caravan customer coming through our entry-point using their photo ID
#4 – A manned entry-point
Consider this: If you’re able to enter a storage facility without anyone noticing, would you feel safe leaving your possessions there?
Nobody can enter our entire complex without first being checked at our manned entry-point with a barrier.
Our friendly security team will take your details – like your name and car registration – before letting you through.
This is to keep a record of visitors, and helps us to monitor activity within the site.
For caravan, campervan and motorhome customers, we also require photo ID when you enter and exit our site.
This is the main check we do to ensure our customers leave with the correct caravan, motorhome or boat, and is fundamental to our rigorous security process.
Vans secured in one of our yards, behind perimeter fencing
#5 – Alarmed perimeter fencing
Fencing certainly offers security, but is best when used alongside other, more stringent security measures.
If a storage facility offers fencing as its only security measure, be wary.
The blue self storage complex is split into sections protected with alarmed fencing.
This adds further obstacles to any potential intruders, and alerts security staff immediately if there’s a problem.
A bird’s eye view of some of our caravans and motorhomes on-site
#6 – Access fobs for caravan, motorhome, boat & vehicle customers
If you’re the owner of a caravan, motorhome, boat or similar large vehicle or vessel, it takes a lot of trust for you to store your pride and joy at any facility.
Without a water-tight identification process, storage facilities may run the risk of ‘losing’ a customer’s vehicle to someone else.
That’s why we insist on our customers using access fobs and ID cards, so that customers can only remove their vehicle from the site.
This two-level security check means we carry out our due diligence and lost fobs are not misused.
#7 – Pest control
Not the usual intruder we think of when talking ‘security’! But it’s worth mentioning – particularly for caravan & motorhome storage.
We always advise customers with large vehicles to remove all traces of food from within (even down to the salt and pepper shakers) to avoid attracting pests.
Storage facilities – whether they’re in rural or urban areas, whether their units are internal or external – should have some sort of pest prevention or pest control in place.
We use Aliard Environmental Services, who deal with all types of pests from fleas, cockroaches, mice, rats and other vermin including wasps nests. They provide us with a 24 hour rapid response service, should we ever need it.
We take the safety and security of your possessions incredibly seriously. We do everything we can to ensure maximum security – as any storage facility should.
If you feel a storage facility isn’t offering the minimum security measures you’d expect, it’s worth getting in touch with the SSA UK (Self Storage Association), the trade association in charge of regulating the industry.
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