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An Operator's Guide for Dealing With Self-Storage Fire: Prevent, Plan, Protect

Linnea Appleby Comments
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Dealing With the Media

After a fire, the last thing you want to see is the event on the six o’clock news. However, as we all know, news of a self-storage fire will be nationwide before the smoke has cleared, literally. To minimize additional damage to your facility, tenants and wallet, make sure you have one designated spokesperson, and that all employees know who that person is and can direct inquiries in that direction.

Staff members need to be highly guarded, as not all reporters will identify themselves at the outset. Make sure tenant and company information is carefully shielded.  The potential of fire in a storage facility is a real danger. This is a clear case of “hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” 

Remember: It may not seem like it at the time, but this too shall pass. Step back and take a deep breath. Be aware of excess stress, emotion, work and hardship on everyone, yourself included. Coach your staff through the situation and recognize their efforts. It’s probably their first time handling a situation like this, too. 
Linnea Appleby is president of Sarasota, Fla.-based PDQ Management Solutions Inc., which specializes in the management of self-storage properties and offers complimentary services such as operational consulting, new-facility startup, property audits and the “Income Finder Service.”  Appleby is a regular contributor to industry trade publications and a frequent speaker at tradeshows and events. For more information, call 941.377.3451; e-mail; visit

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