One of the most important things a self-storage owner should do is protecting their tenants’ property. Self-storage facilities exist to give people some extra space to keep their things and it is important your tenants see that you take security at your self-storage facility seriously. There are a number of tools you can use to improve the security of your facility and using them will limit your liability if theft does occur. Here are a few security tools that will help self-storage owners protect tenants’ property.
Install smart cameras
Installing a security camera system is one of the best steps to beef up your security. Cameras allow you to record who comes in and out of your self-storage facility, gives police evidence if theft occurs, and deters potential thieves from burglarizing your facility. Every self-storage owner should invest in some form of security camera system.
Harrison Ward a Systems Design Consultant for smart tech installer Automated Environments said that self-storage owners should install people-oriented smart cameras that track license plates and have facial recognition.
“You are going to want to install security cameras that can recognize who is a tenant and who is not,” Ward said. “There are affordable security cameras that effectively record license plate numbers and recognize faces. Using these types of cameras ensure only people that need to be there are going into your self-storage facility.”
Ward went on to say that it was imperative your cameras are people-oriented and motion-sensitive.
“You don’t want any camera with motion sensors. You want a camera that can distinguish between a person and an animal,” Ward said. “These cameras only start recording when a person walks in their vicinity. Using these cameras will save you a lot of money on data storage because the camera will not have recorded hours of useless footage.”
Self-storage owners should also look to install security cameras with infrared technology and the ability to record at night. Most commercial security cameras have this technology but it is still important to ask your security camera provider if the system you are considering has nighttime and infrared features.
There are both wired and wireless security cameras. A wired system is preferred since the cameras will still function if WIFI is down; however, not every self-storage facility has the necessary infrastructure for a wired setup. Wireless cameras are a great secondary option for self-storage owners who want to increase their security measures but don’t want to invest money to create the infrastructure for a wired system.
When you install your camera system you are going to want to place cameras in every major walkway, roll up, and doorway. It is imperative that you consider your tenants’ privacy when installing security cameras. Place cameras in areas that limit anyone’s ability to view the inside of an occupied self-storage unit.
Hire trained security guards
Cameras are a great visual deterrent for potential burglars, but you also need a physical deterrent. Hiring private security guards to look after your self-storage facility is another way to beef up the security at your facility.
Hiring a security team creates a physical presence that can respond to situations in real-time. A good security system can record or alert you to someone breaking into your facility, but hiring a security team can help you stop break-ins when they happen. Any burglar is going to think twice about stealing from a place that is being patrolled by a good security team.
Bill Herzog, Director of Operations at Lionheart Security Services in Tempe Arizona said a good security team is one of the best ways to prevent theft.
“Someone physically watching your property is the biggest deterrent to theft at self-storage facilities,” Herzog said. “You can have the best security system in the world, but only a human can stop a crime when it is happening.”
It is important you hire a security team that will respond to situations appropriately as they happen. You want to hire a team that knows how to deescalate situations. The point of hiring security is to protect your tenants’ property so you want to get someone who will not run and hide but also not try and start a fight.
Herzog said any security firms you hire should be licensed through your States Department of Public Safety and they should be willing to go over their security plans with you.
“You want to work with a company that is licensed and is willing to provide you the proper guidance,” Herzog said. “A good security team is walking the entire property with you, taking notes, finding access points, checking crime stats, and asking you what you need.
Do not hire a security team that is unable to give you a detailed plan for how they will protect your self-storage facility.
Hiring a security team creates a physical security force to go along with your security cameras.
Implement two-way radios for instant communication
A self-storage team that communicates effectively will be able to respond to emergency situations more quickly. Two-way radios are an efficient way for self-storage employees, owners, and security teams to communicate during a break-in. Two-way radios instant push-to-talk communication allows self-storage team members to reach one another from any area of the facility.
Stewart McClintic, Corporate Account Manager at two-way radio retailer HQ98.com said two-way radios are one of the quickest ways for self-storage teams to reach their colleagues.
“Instant communication via two-way radios is one of the best tools for employees and security teams at self-storage facilities to communicate suspicious incidents or distress calls,” McClintic said. “The push-to-talk benefits of two-way radios ensures that you can call for backup in a criminal situation at your self-storage facility.”
There are multiple types of two-way radios and selecting the right one is important. Self-storage facilities and their security teams should consider a high-powered digital UHF radio. UHF radios get better coverage in a more localized area and are better at getting signals through structures.
Security is important for every self-storage facility. Installing the right cameras, hiring the right security team, and giving employees the right communication tools are key to implementing a security strategy that will keep your tenant’s property safe from criminal activity.
Max Lancaster is a freelance writer specializing in stories to help small businesses.