The Components of a Strong Self-Storage Security Plan

By Rich Morahan Comments
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Over the last few years, a number of facilities have been built around automated 24-hour kiosks that promise hands-free management. Such facilities use the Internet for remote surveillance and management, allowing new renters 24-hour access to move in and move out, while providing electronic eyes on the site. Electronic door locks and door alarms linked to management software allow remote access control for each unit. When exploring this option, keep in mind that you still need to provide some onsite protection against roamers with unlimited access.

The Final Line of Defense: Security Locks

In 2013, we still have facilities that promote “your lock, your key,” allowing customers to set the security level at your facility. The customer loses his goods when a cheap lock is broken. You lose your reputation and damage your investment. Would you stay a hotel where every guest used his own lock? Thieves would need to take a number to get in. It’s to your benefit to require or offer locks and lock systems that stop thieves.

A pin-tumbler padlock belongs on a yard shed, not a self-storage unit. Don’t be fooled by a “round padlock.” That’s a disk lock with the same cheap, jam-prone keyway found on inexpensive padlocks. In addition, all disk locks are not alike. Select one with a pick-and-drill-resistant keyway that complements sound design and manufacturing.

If you think a generic padlock can deter crime any more, just search “bump key” on Google or YouTube and be afraid. A bump key turns an amateur lock picker into a pro as long as you “secure” your units with cheap padlocks.

For high security, consider a cylinder-lock system. Cylinder locks secure a door with a flush-mount system integrated with the latch. There’s no shackle or lock body to cut. They’re typically available with tubular or high-security keyways that are virtually pick-and-drill-proof. Because all units look the same, thieves don’t have an easy road map to focus their work. A medium- or high-security cylinder lock just might send that crook down the road to the customer-friendly “your lock, your key” facility.

Is Your Computer an Asset or Liability?

Protect your assets and information by setting strict access levels on your facility computer. You can protect against hacking by ensuring your software is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Also verify it has Service Organization Control accounting controls, and consider a “penetration test” by simulating an attack from an external source. If you don’t know what these terms mean, ask your software provider and demand a clear answer.

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