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Beyond Security: Evaluating Self-Storage Safety Issues

Linnea Appleby Comments

Although self-storage operators often fixate on site “security,” not enough emphasis is placed on “safety.” While these two seem to go hand in hand, it’s important to review safety issues regularly, two to four times per year. Here’s what should be evaluated:

Gates. Gates are a great security item for any self-storage site. Most every facility that uses them has the electronic version. These are typically equipped with a safety device that prevents them from closing on cars or people. Does yours still work properly? It’s easy for an electronic eye to get pushed out of place, making this important function of the gate suddenly a liability. Make sure yours is working properly.

Emergency lights. Are the batteries up to date? Do all the lights function properly? These can easily get knocked around by tall items on carts. Many storage facilities can be a maze for folks who are unfamiliar with the layout. Proper exit signage and lighting is vital. Make sure to keep them lit.

Cameras. It’s a good idea to review your camera system at least quarterly to ensure it’s recording correctly. If you notice cameras are no longer positioned correctly, you should review the tape and carefully check your facility. Someone may have moved it out of range for a reason that is not to your benefit. Find out and fix the problem.

Elevators. Are your emergency telephones working in the elevators? Step inside and try to make a call. If someone gets stuck inside your elevator, you’ll want to be sure they can get help immediately. Check the elevators and phones on a quarterly basis.

Lights. Check to see that your lights are working properly. This can help you save money as well as add to site safety. Indoor lights on motion sensors will ensure tenant areas are well lit when needed. Outside lights should be checked at night to make sure they are working and are bright enough to adequately light the facility.

Safety equipment. Take an inventory of emergency and non-emergency equipment, such as a first-aid kit, gloves, goggles, wet-floor sign, etc. Replace any missing or worn-out items.

The annual inspection of the fire extinguishers is imperative. Your county may have additional requirements for the fire-prevention systems at your site. Keeping these up to date is not only critical, it can be life saving.

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