Self-storage facilities across the nation are more secure than a recent report by “Good Morning America” would have consumers believe, according to research compiled by SpareFoot, an online marketplace that streamlines the rental process for self-storage customers. SpareFoot examined nearly 12,000 customer reviews from 3,467 storage facilities and determined those locations’ security rankings averaged four out of five stars from consumers.
A four-star security ranking indicates the tenant rated the facility as “very secure.” A five-star rating indicates the facility is a “fortress.” The reviews examined by SpareFoot were submitted on the company’s network of websites from August 2011 through May 2013.
The “Good Morning America” report characterized storage-unit break-ins as a growing problem in the industry but did not cite any crime statistics or explain how it came to that conclusion. The report featured security-camera footage of some onsite crimes being committed as well as interviews with a security expert and two storage customers who had their units burglarized. It did not include any comments from self-storage industry professionals.
“Certainly, crime does occur at self-storage facilities, just as it does anywhere else. However, our analysis of thousands of consumer reviews clearly indicates that self-storage crime is not rampant, as the ‘Good Morning America’ piece would lead you to believe,” said Chuck Gordon, SpareFoot CEO. “By and large, self-storage facilities around the country are safe and secure.”
Online surveys conducted last year by SpareFoot found that 90 percent of customers who booked self-storage units through the company’s network rated a facility’s safety and security as “extremely important” or “very important.” Nearly 900 consumers participated in the surveys, company officials said.
“That’s why owners and operators spend millions of dollars on safety and security measures like electronic gates, secure building access systems, security cameras, fences, lighting and more,” Gordon said.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot.com helps consumers find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. There are more than 6,500 self-storage facilities in its network. The company also provides Web-marketing solutions for storage facility owners and operators including AdNetwork, SiteBuilder and GeoPages.