ISS Blog

Protecting Your Facility Against Theft

A tenant at a self-storage facility in Texas loses $70K worth of guitars after his unit is broken into. Blogger Amy Campbell explores the importance of video cameras and value limits.

Last week we ran an interesting news piece about a theft at a self-storage facility in Garland, Texas. A tenant was storing more than $70,000 worth of celebrity-signed guitars he was collecting for a charity auction.

The facility only had one security camera, located at the front gate to record vehicles coming and going. This sparked a lot of questions from self-storage operators on the Self-Storage Talk forum. They questioned the use of only one camera, and why the self-storage operator allowed the tenant to store items with such high value, as most rental agreements have a value limit on stored items.

Geraldine1051 writes: “Our rental agreement has this in bold type: ‘Occupant agrees not to store property with a total value in excess of $5,000 without the written permission of the Owner.’ So, did the owner know what was in the unit?

SST forum moderator Autodoc brought another good point: Did the tenant have insurance?

But it was the lack of cameras that was the biggest red flag to SST members. “Now, ONE camera, COME ON!!!!! I have 18 total,” wrote Sandra.

Security cameras can not only catch criminals in the act, but can also deter would-be thieves. Many facilities have one or more monitors in the office displaying what the cameras see. This helps managers keep an eye on things and gives tenants peace of mind.

If you don’t have cameras recording everything that happens at your facility, get them. Today’s cameras are more affordable and easier to use. Don’t know where to start? Read up on today’s technology in these articles from the ISS archives:

While it’s unlikely many of your tenants are storing thousands of dollars of property, keeping everything they store safe—even grandma’s antique table—is a self-storage operator’s responsibility.

Cameras alone cannot prevent all crimes, but are just one part of an operator’s arsenal of security weapons. Share your thoughts on security by posting a comment below or join the discussion at Self-Storage Talk.

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