The reasons for renting and using a storage unit are many, but the ultimate goal is the same – finding a safe, secure place for clothing, books, papers or whatever needs to be put away for a while.

The safety and security of your items is important – as is your own safety and security when you access your storage unit. The better, well-run storage unit companies can ensure that in a number of years, but it is up to you to choose the right place and determine that critical protections are in place.

Here’s a checklist to make that part of the job easier for you:

  • Lighting. Is the overall facility well lit, especially at night if it is a 24-hour access place? You can equip the interior of your storage unit with a motion detector that turns on a light, and that will give you a measure of your protection when you open the door and enter. The surrounding areas from the entrance to the walkways around the various storage buildings should also be properly illuminated. Help management by reporting any bulb outages you may detect, but well-run places should be on the job monitoring the lighting.
  • Active security systems. This means digital surveillance and the presence of cameras 24/7/365. Cameras are a deterrent to loiterers and others with bad intent and also help ferret out those who attempt to live in their storage units, which can create a nuisance. Digital records last longer and are clearer than videotape in the event an incident occurs and pictures or evidence are required. Password-protected access via a keypad also bolsters overall security and helps keep intruders out.
  • Be proactive to protect the items you’ve stored. If you have packed away items of value, put them toward the rear of the storage unit. In the event of a break-in (and they are fairly rare), burglars do not want to root around. They want to make a fast exit. So put less valuable items and boxes toward the front of the unit. Do not indicate on the storage lists you keep in the unit for your reference that certain boxes contain jewelry or coin collections – use a code you will understand but one that will not be obvious to an intruder.
  • Invest in a quality lock. If you are providing the lock for your unit, you want a strong piece of equipment that will withstand bolt cutters. The longer the lock’s shackle, the more area is vulnerable to bolt cutters, so avoid those and choose something more compact.

You should enjoy peace of mind when you are at your storage unit, and peace of mind when you are away and your items are locked up. If you’ve chosen a facility that is strong on security and you follow a few simple guidelines, you and your stored items should remain undisturbed for as long as you are using the unit. Your safety is paramount, but all of your possessions should also be secure for as long as you have them packed away.

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