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Self-Storage Citadel

June 1, 2000

2 Min Read
Self-Storage Citadel

Self-Storage Citadel

i021te.jpg (12793 bytes)While recently attending the Southwest Self-Storage Conference and TradeShow, presented in Phoenix by the American Mini Storage Association, my curiosity waspiqued by one of their choices of speakers. The association had brought on board a CrimePrevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) specialist with the Tempe, Ariz., policedepartment. CPTED is a branch of situational crime prevention, the basic premise of whichis that physical environments can be manipulated in such a way that they actually reducethe incidence of crime. Unlike other more aggressive methods of crime-prevention, CPTEDattempts to use environmental factors to influence the perceptions of all users of a givenspace (i.e., a self-storage facility), addressing not only the opportunity for crime, butthe sensation of fear on the part of potential victims.

The idea here is that the design and layout of your facility can potentially contributeto the avoidance of crime, but that really oversimplifies the concept. (For moreinformation, visit www.cpted.org.) The bottom line is that, as owners or managers ofstorage facilities--especially if you're a resident manager--you have a lot atstake. Not only are your business and tenants' goods vulnerable, but potentially your homeas well. This makes the decision as to what security systems to implement and maintain aparticularly crucial one.

Before directing you to this issue's catalogue of articles regarding securityissues--software, gates, alarms, installation, locks, etc.--let me just say that,obviously, safety and security are of utmost concern in both our personal and professionallives. People chuckled when they saw an article on tenant-operated methamphetamine labspublicized on the cover of our February issue, but we were barraged with phone calls fromself-storage operators plagued with similar woes. And, in the case of many of thesetrials, the challenge isn't petty theft, it's the devious, conniving criminal mind. Makesure your managers are prepared to identify problem renters, or to recognize suspiciousbehavior or items on your site.

The safety of your facility will, of course, be bolstered by a sound security system.Whether you're a new developer or a seasoned veteran, it's important to keep abreast ofthe most current options in that arena. David Reddick provides a comprehensive overview ofself-storage security hardware and software, and how best to choose it. Steve Cooper addsa more detailed focus on individual unit door alarms, while Arden Thoburn looks atclosed-circuit television. Finally, Chris Shope shares his views on locks as more thanjust an ancillary product, and Lance Comstock highlights the importance of properinstallation and support.

Hopefully, those of you who joined us in Buffalo, N.Y., last month took advantage ofthe unique exposure to an international market. Self-storage is spreading its influenceover borders and overseas, which will mean a more challenging business climate for us all.Don't allow anxiety over crime or other manageable hazards to undermine your participationin what is sure to be an exciting--and profitable--future.

Be careful out there,

Teri L. Lanza
Editor
[email protected]



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