Renting a self storage unit is a great way to keep your possessions safe and secure. However, no matter how diligent the storage facility management may be about security, it is still up to you to take a few extra precautions to protect your items. Below are a few simple steps you can take to enhance your storage unit’s security profile:
Use a premium padlock.
If you are permitted to choose your own padlock for your unit, then it is important to purchase one that is secure against tampering or forced entry. Padlocks can be bought for less than five dollars at a hardware store; however, locks at this price level should not be expected to provide much protection against a determined thief. Instead, be willing to invest a bit more for a well-made, secure padlock that won’t fail you when needed. Here are a few attributes to look for when selecting a padlock:
Hardened shackle – The shackle should be resistant to bolt cutters or hacksaws, and hardened steel or another heat-treated alloy can make cutting through the shackle difficult for a burglar.
Keyed locking mechanism – Combination locks may be convenient, but they are less secure than well-made keyed locks. A thief can often crack a combination lock through feel or sound.
Discus-shaped case – Padlocks that use a round case with a partially concealed shackle fare better against forced entry attempts. Discus-shaped locks make cutting the shackle difficult, if not impossible.
Corrosion-resistant – By choosing a lock that is rated as corrosion or rust-resistant, you will also protect the lock from prematurely failing. A severely corroded lock may weaken and become vulnerable to being forced open.
Keep an eye on your surroundings.
You can also increase the security of your possessions by practicing good habits when entering and working inside your storage unit. When driving into the storage facility, be sure no one is watching when you enter the gate access code, and also shield the keypad as much as possible from outside viewing; this will prevent individuals from viewing the keypad and stealing the code.
In addition, whenever you are working around or inside your storage unit, be alert to your surroundings. If you notice someone observing you, report them to the facility manager immediately. Also, keep your unit door closed as much as possible, as this will help prevent thieves from gathering an inventory of your personal possessions inside. Be sure to avoid marking boxes with labels that catch the eye of criminals; for example, don’t use the words “valuables” on the side of a box. Finally, try to keep items concealed as much as possible in plain, unmarked containers, and don’t dawdle when loading and unloading.
Employ deception to trick would-be burglars.
One way you can provide an extra measure of security for your storage unit is by installing fake security cameras inside the unit. These small phony devices are realistic in their appearance and also can be set to display lights that run off a battery.
When installing a fake camera, choose a location that is highly visible inside the unit. Be sure the camera is securely attached and will not fall from its mount. In addition, also ask permission from the storage facility manager before attaching anything to the interior walls or ceiling of the unit.
Maintain confidentiality about your unit.
Another important means of protecting your self storage unit is by limiting the information available to others about your unit. That means you should avoid talking about your unit and its contents in public settings where others may overhear. In addition, be cautious with your keys and facility access code. For example, if you attach a keychain or tag to the key you use for your padlock, don’t label it with the name of the facility, unit number or access code. Should you do so, then lose your key, you will have made it easy for a would-be burglar to enter and steal your possessions. Instead, color code your keys and keep critical information safe at home or in another secure location.
For more information or tips, contact a self-storage provider, like National Self Storage – Denver.