In Arizona, we’ve tumbled over the precipice of mild weather and landed with both feet in the land of blisteringly hot. But just a couple of months ago, we languished in that lovely time of year when the evenings are cool for comfortable sleep, mornings are ripe with warmth, and afternoons are resplendent with sunshine. April marks that rare point on the cycle when we actually might consider keeping doors and windows open—if it weren’t for other concerns.
In the desert, air conditioning is non-negotiable for six months of the year. But as I was growing up in Connecticut, it was reserved for only the steamiest times. Most nights of the spring and summer, our windows were propped open, allowing the scent of lilac to waft into our dreams. I knew when friends were coming to call because I could hear their approach through the screen door. My dad left the hatchway open while he worked on the lawn after work, and the garage was always gaping to allow for the comings and goings of bicycles.
Back then, people didn’t worry so much about intrusion. There was still trust in the world. Now, most everyone I know uses a home-alarm system. We lock our cars when we go out. Heck, we lock everything: computers, filing cabinets, closets, the shed in the back yard … And we don’t leave windows open when we sleep. We are more aware of potential danger and have more security technology available to us than ever before, yet we make ourselves prisoners in our own homes and feel compelled to look over our shoulders in every deserted or dark parking lot.
I’m sure not all of you feel this way. There may yet be little corners of this country where safety prevails, and those of you in them are fortunate indeed. So let’s look at the brighter side of things: There are circumstances in which the need for security creates greater freedom. Self-storage happens to represent one.
It’s true the increased sophistication and competitive nature of our industry have necessitated greater security trappings. Sites lacking the basics—perimeter fencing, access gates, unit alarms and surveillance cameras—are not only at risk of crime and other physical peril, they suffer a marketing disadvantage where customers are concerned. So modern-day facilities bone up on the options, including new, high-tech tools.
Among the latest offerings are “smart” security devices and streamlined integration betwixt software and hardware. The Internet, in particular, has played a key role in heightened site security, as it allows operators to view and monitor facilities remotely from anywhere in the world. Toss in an automated kiosk, electronic door locks and the right connection speed, and you have the possibility for unmanned sites that operate as efficiently—and safely—as any with full-time staff.
This month’s issue will enlighten you on the basics of a sound security system, the demands of government vigilance, the evolution of defense products and the future of site technology. You can rest easy knowing the plethora of options available and how easily and inexpensively they can be implemented. When it comes to self-storage security, could the window of opportunity open any wider?
Here’s to safe sleeping for all,
Teri L. Lanza