American use of storage containers has risen tremendously over the past few decades. Increased mobility and the fact that the average individual owns more and more stuff has made out-of-home storage the go-to option for a whopping 11% of Americans.
Security is undeniably a top priority. While theft isn’t exactly rampant, up to 8.9% of facilities have experienced break-ins. Whether you’re evaluating or moving into a new storage space, here are a few things to keep in mind.
What Are You Storing?
The degree of security that you’re going to need is directly dependent on what exactly you’re planning to store. Some items are in obvious need of protection. If you’re stashing jewelry, valuable art pieces, or anything small and expensive, then take more extreme measures.
Some less obvious targets also have to be kept in mind. Identity theft is a constant worry, and as many Americans keep old paper records lying around, some thieves may break in looking for sensitive personal information. One man’s trash is another man’s credit-card-unlocking treasure, so keep those documents buttoned up tight.
What Sort of Security Does a Facility Have?
Given how popular storage units are, there’s little surprise that you’ll find plenty of companies offering them. Options range from extremely basic, outdoor cargo units to high-tech castles that would make your average bank blush with envy.
Understand the situation. A unit for all of your excess junk doesn’t need more than the most basic options. Even then, if you plan on keeping anything you remotely care about in that unit, even for just a night, be wary. If you buy a bargain plan to store premium material, you only have yourself to blame if problems pop up.
Will Your Unit Be Indoors or Outdoors?
Outdoor options are less expensive, and if you’re just storing an old treadmill or some furniture, they’ll do just fine. But they’re easier to gain access to and harder for on-site security to monitor.
Is a Guard or Site Manager Around During High-Traffic Periods?
Personnel can vary radically from company to company. Will your unit be under surveillance? Even the shoddiest storage operation should have at least a few closed circuit television cameras set up. Better ones should have even more, and hopefully someone to monitor them.
If you’re looking at storage, some fancier options may be available. Upscale facilities may have biometric locks or multi-layered security, both of which may be necessary if you’re storing valuable items.