Implementing the right security measures is essential to the success of any self-storage company. A self-storage facility’s main job is to give your clients space to store their belongings while ensuring their property is protected within reason. Your clients must know you take security seriously or they will not trust you to store their belongings. There are a number of areas where self-storage facility owners overlook their security needs and not fixing them will lead to increased liability for your company.
Here are three areas self-storage owners overlook their security and how they can improve it:
1. Security cameras
You would be surprised how many self-storage facilities are working with either old and outdated CCTV systems or none at all. Installing a modern security system is a great way to improve onsite security. Modern security cameras give you better picture quality and recording tools to monitor who comes in and out of your facility. Cameras give visual evidence in case of theft as well as serve as a deterrent for prospective thieves. Every self-storage facility should have an up-to-date camera system installed.
Jason Fischbeck, Owner of smart technology company Automated Environments said self-storage owners have begun to install camera systems that can track license plates a recognize faces.
“A truly smart camera system can recognize if the people on your property are tenants or not,” Fischbeck said. “A camera that can record license plate numbers is going to make it easier for your team to know if someone should be on your property or not.”
Fischbeck also said that you want to avoid cameras that are simply motion sensor activated. Motion sensor cameras will turn on if any animal enters your space which could easily use up any video storage space you have. CCTV systems should also have night vision technology since most people are not going to break into your facility during work hours.
The camera system should be wired as opposed to wireless to avoid camera outages due to Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Cameras should be installed in every doorway, rollup, and walkway; however, make sure cameras are not pointed at your tenants’ storage space. Tenant privacy is important and you should not be able to see what they are storing.
2. Physical security
Many self-storage facility owners forgo a physical security presence as well as a visual one. A secure self-storage facility uses a capable private security company to protect your tenants’ property.
Cameras are great but they lack the physical presence to engage with a real-life event. Hiring the right security team can prevent break-ins in real-time. A prospective burglar will not want to mess with a place that is being patrolled by properly trained security.
Actual people overseeing you and your tenants’ property are going to be the biggest deterrent for theft.
Ensure that you hire a security team that knows how to deescalate. You want a security team that will not start a fight over property but won’t just allow someone to steal your tenants’ things.
The security team should be properly licensed by your state. Hiring an unlicensed security team is a massive liability so don’t do it.
3. Handling sensitive documents
No business is free of sensitive documents and a self-storage facility is no exception. Any self-storage company will have sensitive business data, tax data as well as employee and tenant information that if stolen by the wrong people will put their info at risk. You have to have a place to store those physical documents.
Jerry Dilk Senior Consultant for secure document storage company Data Storage Centers said that sensitive documents should be kept inside of a secure room.
“You don’t want to just put sensitive information in a storage bin, you want all sensitive information in a secure room that is monitored,” Dilk said. “That means you know who and when someone enters and leaves the room as well as what documents they looked at.”
Dilk went on to say that you should have a system that lets you process what documents are stored there and when they are stored and removed. Keep a list that clearly labels how long each sensitive document needs to be stored and when it must be destroyed.
When it is time to destroy your important documents it is important that you destroy them securely using a professional document destruction company.
Your tenants’ properties are only as safe as the security measures you create. Take the time to set up a security plan that integrates a modern CCTV system, hires licensed private security, and protects important documents. Do these things and you will show your tenants you take protecting their property seriously.
Bill Herzog is the CEO of Lionheart Security Services in Tempe Arizona. He is an expert in private business security and has over 25 years of law enforcement experience.