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Tackling Self-Storage Security Installation: What Facility Operators Should Know

John Fogg Comments

The installation of a self-storage security system is no small job. Systems consist of a diverse number and type of sophisticated components. The combination of these elements accomplishes the overall site-security plan. Establishing a “security philosophy” for the site will help you determine which components need to be installed, and how each piece will be tied together.
Choosing a Security Installer

The first question you need to ask yourself is if you or your staff have the knowledge and expertise to correctly install and set up the system. Nowadays you can find how-to instructions for just about anything on the Internet. Security systems are certainly part of this information overload.

A security-system installer needs to be an expert at welding, pulling wire, reading site plans, traffic control, wiring schemes, site design, ditch digging, computers, system setup and programming, concrete, gate construction, fencing, safety regulations, photography, elevators, etc. Now do you still think you can tackle installation in house?

Choosing the right installer with a proven track record and experience in the self-storage industry can make or break your ability to provide a secure, marketable store. It can mean the difference between a smooth-running operation or an ongoing maintenance issue.

Licensing requirements for installers vary from state to state. Even though a person may be licensed, it doesn’t guarantee the quality of the work. Portioning out pieces of the work to several installers is not advisable. Just because you know someone who builds gates doesn’t mean the gate will be built to fit, mounted or tied in correctly to the gate operator and access system.

The security installer should be involved during the planning stage, prior to finalizing your site design. The location of buildings, driveways, gates, parking and office all have an effect on security. The installer you choose will have valuable input on the location of these items, based on his experience with placing gates, keypads and cameras as well as office design. Bringing him in early will also allow better working relationships to develop with other contractors, such as the electrician, concrete provider and general contractor.  
Your Security Gate

The location of the entry gate in relation to the office, storage buildings and street is the most important security consideration for the site. Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s one of the last things to be addressed. The gate location is influenced by three things: safety, the position of the office, and zoning. It needs to be far enough off the road to allow for the stacking of vehicles as they enter the property, particularly trucks or trailers.

Remember to allow enough room for the gate to operate. Different types of gates require corresponding clearances. Place the gate so the office and parking spaces are accessible without having to go through it. Local zoning requirements may dictate. If the gate is not properly located, even a perfect installation will not resolve traffic issues.

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