By Kay Miller Temple
They’ve plotted. They’ve planned. They know which camera, which gate, which unit is vulnerable. Criminals are imaginative. They’ll always be working on their next great heist.
With modern security technology, self-storage facilities can minimize the chance of seeing their business appear in tomorrow’s crime headlines. Without compromising customer service or your bottom line, do you have all the components you need? Here are a few things you can add to your security arsenal to minimize crime and maximize facility revenue.
Standard Components, New Functions
Some products, like access gates, keypads and video cameras, have remained steady staples of self-storage security, but their features have evolved to include many more options. New wireless and mobile technology provides a lot more flexibility to facility owners and customers alike. Remote-access tools are also hot on the market.
For example, keypads come customizable with a variety of amenities. Some models work via a mobile app that allows users to enter their access code via their smartphone or other device. Other features include intercoms, pinhole cameras and proximity readers for card or key fob entry. “Keypads are being sought after due to the adaptability to each customer’s specific needs,” says John Boire, an electrical engineer for Stor-Guard LLC, a company that specializes in security solutions.
Video cameras have also improved. Software can link a camera to a specific door opening and include a time stamp. "This allows the operator to have instant viewing, rather than the typical search through countless hours of DVR files," Boire says.
As security amenities become more automated, the difference for operators is apparent on their bottom line because automation improves revenue, says Tony Gardner, vice president of QuikStor Security & Software, which provides software and security products. "Operators are looking to cut costs, get more from their security and access-control solutions, and expect more value-added functionality from their security solutions," he says.
Hot Sellers: Alarms and Controllers
An improved economy has caused many self-storage owners to open their purse strings for the purchase of door alarms and controllers. This year, QuikStor has seen a “dramatic upswing” in wireless unit-alarm sales. "More and more operators are acknowledging the value in setting themselves apart from the pack by offering a higher level of security and peace of mind to their tenants," Gardner says.
Individual door alarms not only provide proactive theft prevention, they can serve as a marketing advantage. Jon Loftin, vice president of business development for PTI Systems, which provides hardware security systems, says having door alarms improves a facility’s public image. "No one wants a security breach to be the first thing people see about the facility when potential customers search the Internet for self-storage," he says.