Storage units have been in the headlines more than usual over the past few months. Most of those headlines have been because of crime or negligence, but they refer to a very small number of units out of the millions in use. Mostly, storage units are used for legal purposes.
There are more than 54,000 storage unit facilities in the US, and the reasons people need a storage unit are vast and based on individual needs. The similarity between all those needs is that everybody wants their unit, whether used for residential, industrial, or commercial storage, to be safe and secure. After all, you want the peace of mind of knowing that nobody will touch your property. Unfortunately, the level of security between storage container rental facilities can vary tremendously.
So what should you look at if you want to find a safe and secure storage facility? Modern rental companies have excellent, high tech security features in place in order to convince you to come to them. Since nobody would be happy to rent a unit that can’t be kept safe, businesses have invested heavily in security, starting with controlled access.
Features to Look For
You can find storage units in a range of different sizes, and they cater to domestic and commercial uses alike. A 10x5x1.5 unit is the most common, but they can also be much larger. In fact, some storage units are 20ft by 20ft, which is the same size as a modern double garage. Usually, these units are poorly ventilated because they are windowless and made of corrugated metal, as well as only have a single, locked entry point.
You should, at the very least, be offered a protective lock on your unit. While this may literally mean a strong padlock on some units, others are now offering electronic controls, not dissimilar to the electronic keycards seen at hotels. It is up to you to decide which one of the two you like best, with both having excellent track records. Be sure to check that you are the only one who can access the unit. Not even the facility owner should have a copy of the key or keycard.
Another feature to look for is access. While it may be convenient for you to have 24/7 access, this would mean that permanent security guards are also on site. It is not common for units like this to exist, although most do have extended opening hours. You should be able to visit your unit in the evenings and on weekends. Some facilities will require you to make an appointment, which further increases safety.
Storage Safety For You and Your Property
When considering the safety of a storage unit, it isn’t just about keeping your belongings safe. You also have to make sure you and other storage users, are perfectly safe.
If you do an onsite inspection, review the terms and conditions. Specifically, look for their policies on dangerous materials. The last thing you want to do is have a unit next to someone who stores flammable materials and toxic waste. If something were to go wrong with that, it would place you and your property in considerable danger. Many dangerous materials are perfectly legal to own, so read the fine print in the storage regulations and ask questions so you understand the risks.