The Aftermath of a Self-Storage Break-In: Installing Electric Fencing?

By John Carlisle Comments
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Sadly, thieves target self-storage facilities, and too many criminals succeed at breaking into tenants' units. The reaction by a recently victimized facility operator was to beef up security, installing products such as an electric fence to prevent future crime. But in some cases, this type of fencing is illegal or dangerous enough to cause a facility's liability insurance rates actually to go up.

A recent discussion on Self-Storage Talk, the official online forum of Inside Self-Storage, has broken out on the topic of how to react to a break-in and what to consider before installing electric fence. Member Gina6k shares that electric fencing makes her nervous and she would rather explore other means. The thread-starter, member CrazyDave, responds by pointing out that most thieves are using bolt-cutters to get into units, meaning they can also easily get through traditional fence. Member Madman suggested perimeter wire censors, though CrazyDave's experience with them has been spotty. He says they are easily affected by weather.

Another member, phillipc, says he would eschew a real electrified fence in favor of numerous signs that say, "Caution! Electric Fence!" A fake electric fence can't hurt anyone but might scare off would-be criminals.

If you have opinions on the merits and risks of electric fences—or other theft-prevention techniques—log on to the discussion thread and share your thoughts. You must be one of Self-Storage Talk's 3,700-plus registered members to post, but if you're not a member, don't worry. Registering takes only a few minutes and is free.

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