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Giving Your Self-Storage Security System a 'Wellness Checkup'


By Randy Johnston

However helpful your self-storage security system has been to this point, times are changing and technology has become more advanced. We’ve all heard this saying, “Evolve or die.” In regard to security systems, this would entail a full-blown upgrade involving the latest version of your current system, or a “tear it out and start over again” replacement.

But as much as it may be critical to evolve your site security, it’s still cost-effective and in the best interest of your self-storage facility to schedule a thorough wellness check of your system before making any major decisions. Your manufacturer can best help you determine your needs for upgrades, replacements or routine maintenance.

What a ‘Wellness’ Check Provides

When it comes to obtaining a wellness checkup for your security system, your first call should be to the manufacturer of your security products. Ask the manufacturer to recommend a well-seasoned dealer who has the experience to provide you with a superior evaluation. This should include an inspection of the overall working condition, appearance and other important factors of your security system including:

  • Gate and gate operator
  • Access-control system
  • All keypads or card-access devices
  • Individual unit door alarms (hard-wired or wireless)
  • Management software
  • Telephone and intercom systems
  • General facility observations

After the wellness checkup has been performed, the dealer should give you the results and offer recommendations for improvement. A typical result could include the following findings:

  • Tighten bolt on keypad at the main entry gate.
  • No. 4 key on elevator keypad doesn’t work.
  • Rollers on main entry gate need replacing soon.
  • Unit alarms on the following units are giving false readings: 120, 141 and 167.
  • Light above exit gate not working.
  • Access-control system overheating during daylight hours.
  • Display on climate-control keypad not working.
  • Speaker on main gate keypad distorted.

Take Action

The findings from the dealer should be delivered with proposed action items and a timeline for implementation. Using the bulleted list above, these recommendations could include:

  • Replace elevator keypad due to non-working number key.
  • Before winter, give serious thought to replacing wheels on slide gate.
  • Have wires checked on units 120, 141 and 167, and replace switches.
  • Fence post is loose next to main gate; tighten to decrease security breach.
  • Access-control system needs updating (unit no longer manufactured).

Dustin Reeves, sales manager for Blue Ridge Security Systems in Anderson, S.C., has offered a wellness checklist to his customers for several years.  “I love the approach. It gives my customers a low-pressure blueprint for successfully upgrading, maintaining or replacing any component of their security,” says Reeves, who’s also used wellness checkups to introduce new innovations. “For example, with our exclusive intelligent motion sensor, the motion sensor reacts and sends a 10-second video clip to our monitoring center. Our staff then determines the threat and reacts accordingly,” he says.

Most installing dealers offer wellness checkups free of charge, regardless of which products you use. They all want what’s best for you and your customers because that’s what’s best for the manufacturers as well.

Work closely with your manufacturer and its factory-trained dealers and installers to unlock your security system’s full potential. A thorough checkup can show you where your security system excels, and where you can make improvements. It may be your system is just fine, and with a little TLC you’ll be in great shape. Or you may learn a new security product is available that will take your system to the next level. By giving your facility a thorough wellness checkup, you’re protecting your investment and providing your customers with a safe storage solution.

Randy Johnston, a national self-storage specialist for DKS DoorKing Systems, has enjoyed nearly a decade in the self-storage industry. He serves on industry committees and speaks often during self-storage tradeshows and events. To contact him, call 843.679.5977; visit .

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