When using a storage unit, security is one of the top priorities. If you’re in between homes, for example, you could be using a unit store all of your furniture and a bulk (if not all) of your belongings. You want to know it’s secure, that your possessions are safe and that you can sleep well at night with the sound knowledge that they’re locked up tightly until you need to return to get them.
We take a look at some of the security measures storage companies use to protect their sites and your belongings.
With between 4-6 million CCTV surveillance cameras in the UK, it’s one of the most popular forms of security. Most storage units will widely use CCTV around the building – outside and inside if needed. If you are concerned about your belongings, choosing a storage company that is equipped with cameras that run round the clock will help give you peace of mind.
As a minimum for security, you should ensure there is CCTV on all entry and exit points – some will offer extra levels of security (such as the individual alarms) but depending on what you’re intending to store in the unit, you will want to ensure there is adequate security in place.
More and more storage companies are adding an extra level of security in the form of a unique pin code system at the entrance. Each person who has a unit will be given a different code to enter the premises. This means that only people who have a storage unit there can enter the premises.
Having on-site staff helps to add another layer of security. While they may not be security staff, they can still act as a deterrent to prevent people from trying to cause damage or break into a unit. Staff will also be on hand to answer any queries or concerns you may have about your unit.
As the company may not have staff onsite 24/7, most self-storage companies will have individual alarms on each storage unit. With the surrounding area being monitored with CCTV surveillance, you can relax knowing your unit has been locked and alarmed.
Even something as simple as sufficient lighting is great for security. Not only is it helpful and a good safety measure to help prevent trips or falls, but good lighting can help give a clear CCTV image if there were to be any incidences.
It’s also likely that the building will have some form of protection around it, such as an alarmed and lockable fence. These extra layers of security will help to form a protective barrier around your belongings ensuring maximum security.
Not all units have 24/7 access however, some may have restrictions in place during the evening and at weekends. If you’re needing round-the-clock access, if you are using it to store business supplies for example, then you many to check the access time before signing a contract.
What to check
Not all storage suppliers have the same security standard. If you are unsure that one is of good quality, check that it meets the European standard (Self Storage Association UK Member). This specifies a minimum standard for security and customer protection. Be sure to check how many keys there are to the unit, unless you have granted rights to someone else, only you should have a key.
Before you leave your goods, it might be worth investing in some insurance – just in case. It is also recommended to check that the company also has insurance in case they are found to be liable for any damage to your belongings.
As self-storage in the UK is a self-regulated industry, the SSA recommends you have ‘comprehensive’ contract between you and the provider. By having this, it can ensure you maintain rights to access your items – and what happens if you fail to pay the bill.
The SSA UK has estimated that there are over 1,500 self-storage sites, covering approximately 45.6 million sq ft, in the UK – for context, this means there are more self-storage sites in the country than there are McDonald’s. Be sure to choose one which meets all of your needs; location, size and most importantly, security measures.