High-Tech Security for Storage: Self-Service, Innovation and Change

Steve Cooper Comments
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We can also expect wireless methodology to spread to other parts of the security package. The various keypads and readers will begin to sport wireless capabilities, which will be a boon to retrofit older facilities.

Also on the horizon (maybe wireless, maybe not), a more positive way to over-lock each unit automatically will help managers reach for ever more convenient management methods. Early experiments encourage further development and more viable integrated systems can’t be far behind.

In actual practice the use of automatic locking devices—already a possibility—raises a discussion of the issue of care, custody and control. Incorporating checks and balances in operational procedures, management practices, and language in the rental agreement describing the purpose and use of the automatic systems will preserve the foundational principle of "self-storage." Nevertheless, the element of controlling the door locks remotely helps to complete the positive security that will be available.

The dream of "space vending" that owners relish includes integrating even more electronics and controls that move the integrated security systems to their highest level. A fully integrated system will incorporate the latest innovations and improvements. Access control will be more thorough. Individual unit door alarms and automatic locks will free up management time and attention. Progressive gains in technology applied in the closed-circuit video industry will make coverage and remote viewing more affordable and prevalent.

Security camera technology changes as regularly as the seasons. Day-night cameras with infrared enhancement and automated light compensation are producing strikingly high-quality images. Digital video recorders process an endless stream of images, compress the data stream for more efficient storage on better hard drives, and have improved schemas for affordably transporting images over broadband connections. Continued improvements will further enhance capabilities for full convergence, resulting in better performance and full-time remote monitoring.

Tomorrow’s Facility

As the self-storage industry continues to evolve, especially with its newfound attention from the amazing growth it has seen, new opportunities will bring new demands. Along with that, regulatory compliance is more pervasive. Some jurisdictions are requiring better security systems as a condition in the approval process. Compliance also means keeping up with local, state and federal regulations and guidelines. A good example is in the mixed-use facilities that feature traditional storage spaces along with the operation of a marina. And, if it happens to be a seaside marina, the restrictions cover even more categories. Some jurisdictions have also adopted more stringent regulations for life-safety issues including gate systems.

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