Inside Self-Storage Magazine 10/2004: Construction Corner

Construction Corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected].

Q: I am looking to remodel my management of. ce and would like to build a security console to house my access and surveillance system. Any suggestions on what to include?

Russell in Victorville, Calif.

A: A well-built security console can be the centerpiece to any management office. Though some companies offer prefabricated consoles, it is almost always better to have one built by your cabinetmaker. It will be better constructed and have a more integrated look.

The standard for such a structure is to have a couple of cut-outs near the top for your surveillance monitors and/or site graphics. Depending on your surveillance system, you may also want to have a cut-out for a time-lapse or decoy VCR. You should have locks on the lower cabinet doors to prevent theft and prevent your relief managers from changing important settings.

Q: I have heard a lot of buzz about elevator control, but I dont really understand how it works. I would like to implement it at my four-story property. Could you give me some more information, including pros and cons?

Wendy in Phoenix

A: In its simplest form, elevator control is the restriction of unauthorized access to the upper floors of a building. This is usually achieved by the use of an access keypad at the elevator bank. A tenant with a unit on the second floor will call the elevator, enter his code at the keypad, and press the second-floor button inside the elevator car. If he tries to press one of the other floor keys, the button will not light up and the elevator will not go anywhere.

The technical part of this is handled by relays that interface between the keypad and elevator controllers. Your security software determines if the code entered allows upstairs access and to which floor. It then closes the relay for that floor and grants access.

The pro to this configuration is a more secure site. It keeps tenants only on the floors on which they need to be and provides for tighter control over your site. The only con is tenant confusion. That can almost always be eliminated by good signage and managers providing instruction during the rental process.

Tony Gardner is a licensed contractor and installation manager for QuikStor, a provider of self-storage security and software since 1987. For more information, visit

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