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Finding the Right Combination of Self-Storage Security System Components

John Fogg Comments
Continued from page 3

Wireless door-alarm systems consist of electronics at the office, receivers, repeaters, door-switch transmitters and batteries. The receiver will accept the signal from the transmitters. Repeaters are mounted throughout the site to boost the wireless signal as needed. Each door has its own wireless transmitter. The batteries in these devices need to be replaced periodically. Wireless systems are also sensitive to the cold.

The recessed door-latch, cylinder-lock assembly is another security item for evaluation. It is contained in the door, eliminating the potential thief from cutting a lock or latch with bolt-cutters. It would warrant tenants’ approval because keys are maintained and issued in the office.
Other Security Components

You may also need a burglar alarm for the office and its equipment: computer, monitors, digital video recorder (DVR), etc. These are similar to residential systems with motion sensors, glass-break sensors and door switches. Be sure to budget for monthly monitoring.

Cameras are considered a more passive security component than door alarms because they are merely recording site activity instead of annunciating it. However, the upscale, state-of-the-art sites are doing more with cameras.

Today’s security cameras are more refined and have great picture quality and expanded features. Pan-and-tilt cameras can be connected to a device to automatically zoom on activity in the field of view. Infrared night-vision cameras are available for areas with low light.

DVRs are affordable and feature-packed, allowing for remote viewing from a PC. They’re usually set to record only during motion, and allow for simultaneous recording of activity at all camera locations. Digital recorders are much easier to search and play back when a security situation arises than the old video recorders. Wall-mount, flat-screen monitors provide extra reassurance to tenants and prospective customers when displayed in the office.

One component often overlooked is lighting. Interior and exterior lighting adds to the safety and security of a storage site. It also adds to appeal to the overall look and feel of the business.

Security is just one aspect of self-storage development that should be addressed in the planning stages. Whether you want an amenity-featured facility with all the bells and whistles or a standard site with just enough security, the right combination of components will help you succeed. Security is one feature that continues to pay even after your initial investment. When forming your security philosophy, incorporate a combination of these key elements.
John Fogg has worked in the self-storage industry for more than 20 years. He is the general manager of Sentinel Systems Corp., which supplies security and software exclusively for self-storage. To reach him, call 800.456.9955, ext. 405; e-mail; visit

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