Know how your system works. A time will come when information will need to be retrieved from your systems. Access-control information and CCTV images can be extracted from most systems. As the owner or manager, it’s important you know how to retrieve the information. You will need it some day.
Archive information. Keep copies of CCTV footage and access logs if you believe you will need the information in the future. CCTV systems eventually override the images stored with new ones, and it could be too late if you want to recover important information later.
Check CCTV footage daily. Checking footage frequently can reveal after-hours activity that is not acceptable. If you see something you don’t like, act on it. Also, the images should be focused and exposed correctly. Poor images are of no use in the event of a security breach.
Never allow tailgaters. These are tenants who come in just behind another tenant and cannot be bothered to enter the PIN code for their space. A simple sign that shows a “$95 call-out” fee for false alarms usually fixes this. Also, tailgaters may not even be tenants, so don’t let them in.
Monitor who’s inside. Many door alarm systems will show the tenant has entered the site and has opened his storage space door. Keep your eye on these tenants. If you think it’s been too long for the door to be open, they might be up to something.
Have a Security Plan
Dealing with a security event is also part of the process. Do you have a plan? How would you deal with a hoard of reporters outside your office asking questions about seized drugs or the bomb-making materials authorities just found? Are your security records in order? Can you provide the information law-enforcement authorities need?
How you deal with these issues defines your business in the community, and the image of self-storage rests on your shoulders when these types of events happen. Staff members can easily be thrust into the media spotlight, only to say the wrong thing or reveal sensitive information if they haven’t been trained or you don’t have written procedures.
Also, as an owner you have a legal responsibility to look after staff security. Do you have a CCTV camera in the office to record any incidents with customers? Owners sometimes rely on the customer’s view of events and the staff often bears the consequences. Staff members know they have to be polite and courteous. When it all gets down and dirty, a CCTV recording of the event will be important.