The Latest Trends in Self-Storage Security Technology

New advancements in technology have pushed self-storage site security forward with unprecedented capabilities. Here are the most recent products and trends to consider as you evolve your facility’s security system.

Chester A. Gilliam, Owner

June 16, 2023

4 Min Read
The Latest Trends in Self-Storage Security Technology

Due to recent world events including the COVID-19 pandemic, the security industry has been shifting toward a touchless model driven by new devices and artificial intelligence (AI). At this point, most entry systems designed for commercial and industrial use, including self-storage properties, have made the move to contactless technology or soon will. Let’s examine the most recent trends and products to consider as you evolve your facility’s security system.

Access Control

The numeric keypad is becoming a thing of the past, with many access-control systems turning to card-type readers. The frequency range is 3 to 12 inches, which means users can keep their card concealed in a purse or wallet and still gain access. This, coupled with a rise in automatic door openers, has ushered in the era of touchless entry points.

The next step in the evolutionary chain of access control is to do away with the card entirely. There’s been a mass migration by manufacturers toward using mobile credentials, such as a smartphone. In this instance, the user simply presses a button on a screen to gain entry. Some systems will even recognize the user’s phone and allow access.

For self-storage operators, these security systems offer the benefit of not having to keep track of or pay for cards. For those who still use a keypad code system, these cardless platforms are an easy upgrade customers will appreciate. Besides convenience, another advantage is no more forgotten codes!

AI Cameras

We’ve entered the age of affordable AI platforms. While there have been camera systems on the market for several years that can count objects or people and detect if one is missing or where it shouldn’t be, the technology has moved lightyears beyond those capabilities.

Not only are the new AI cameras readably available and affordable, they have all of the features of the older systems and can now recognize a person or vehicle and use that information as a credential in concert with the access-control system. This has added benefits for industries like self-storage because not every customer has a smartphone or is willing to install an app.

Using facial recognition means there isn’t a credential that can be lost, stolen or malfunction. This allows customers and staff to enter a building with seamless motion. There aren’t any actions required on the part of the person entering—nothing to remember or keep track of. This wave of access-control evolution is quickly becoming the norm.

Vehicle Identification

Security systems have also moved past simple license-plate recognition—though that technology has become increasingly more accurate—to recognition of the vehicle itself, which enhances the whole identification process. If you have a gated self-storage facility or specialize in vehicle storage, this is the best tool available. A camera that can recognize a license plate or vehicle allows you to eliminate any other credential requirement while providing a new level of convenance and security to customers.

In addition, these systems can notify you if an unauthorized vehicle is trying to enter the facility or is perhaps loitering around the property. Most quality cameras on the market already include this technology, and new ones are emerging that also have the ability to notify the police in the event a vehicle is stolen or considered to be of interest. This will be the next frontier for camera security.

A Secure Future

Not long ago, cutting-edge security for self-storage was about having cameras that had the perfect view at the perfect angle and could record incidents as they occurred. A lot has changed in a short-period, providing new conveniences to customers while offering greater defense and peace of mind for business owners. What could only be imagined a few years ago is now on the verge of becoming commonplace. The future of site security is very bright indeed.

Chester A. Gilliam national manager of Colorado-based Wizard Works Security Systems Inc. He’s been involved in the self-storage industry for nearly 35 years, and holds certifications in the design and installation of automated-gate, access-control and video systems. To reach him, call 303.886.4502; email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Chester A. Gilliam

Owner, Wizard Works Security Systems Inc.

Chester A. Gilliam is the owner of Wizard Works Security Systems Inc. in Castle Rock, Colo. He’s been involved in the self-storage industry for more than 30 years, and holds certifications in the design and installation of automated-gate, access-control and video systems. He can be reached at 303.798.5337; e-mail [email protected]; visit

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