With its ascension in the public eye, self-storage has made new friends ... and new enemies. Negative press aside, the world at large now understands a few things about how this business is run: In most cases, you have a quiet facility with minimal manpower. Last week in Orange County, Fla., a band of three criminals took advantage of this factin broad daylight no less. What they didn't realize at first was the entire thing was being caught on tape.
Eyewitness News for WFTV reported that the manager of Champion Self Storage was bashed in the face with a gun during a mid-day holdup. The three perps entered the office and headed straight for the manager, demanding to know where cash was kept. They beat him regardless of his cooperation and left him with a face full of blood on the facility floor. They eventually discovered a surveillance camera behind the desk and ripped it off the wall. But the images were already captured. Here's one still:
So while the presence of the camera didn't deter the crime and may not even aid in the capture of the villains, the important thing is it be known to the public that video surveillance is common in our facilities. Perhaps it will serve more as a deterrent moving forward. I do believe customers feel more secure when they see security taking prominence in this business, and that's essential. Many facilities these days show their site-graphics displays in the office, or use signage to promote video monitoring.
If you do use your security as a marketing tool, make sure you're careful about how you advertise it. You don't want to set yourself up for liability by using the wrong verbiage in your collaterals. For more information on this topic, see this recent article written by legal expert Jeffrey Greenberger. He explains how the power of a word can be potentially risky for your business.