The Problem of Self-Storage Facility Security
Unfortunately, theft and vandalism are distressing facts of life for self-storage owners and operators. With the vast and growing number of self-storage facilities, storage unit break-ins and theft occur almost daily, along with vandalism and other petty crimes.
The Challenge of Self-Storage Facility Security
Protecting property is an ongoing task for storage unit managers that involves challenges for technology and logistical challenges. Self-storage facilities are often simply fenced in behind locked gates with no staff onsite. Would-be thieves are more prone to take advantage of these types of facilities, banking on the hope that the security will be easily bypassed or ineffective.
Security Guards and Self-Storage Facility Security
Most storage facilities offer basic security, including gated access. In addition, an increasing number of storage facilities make use of digital, electronic-entry gates with unique passcodes or security cards. These self-storage security systems help to keep track of exactly who is entering and exiting a facility at all times.
Storage Facility Security Tactics
Very few self-storage owners or operators can afford to implement all of these security measures. Instead, most will make do with a combination of a few traditional measures, such as motion-activated floodlights, barbed wire-topped fences, or security guards and perhaps one or two more high-tech security tools, such as audible alarms or night vision cameras.
Some nationally-owned self-storage enterprises have the means to rely on security guards to monitor their properties, either onsite or through the use of regular courtesy patrols, but these services can be expensive, costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars a month.
The typical facility layouts are practically mazes that prevent visual coverage from the ground level, making it difficult to maintain comprehensive monitoring.
Security Guards for Self-Storage Facility Security – A Sound Investment?
Much like security cameras, their mere presence can serve as a deterrent for most would-be thieves and storage unit burglars. However, the more determined criminals may not be so easily dissuaded. And should they be caught “in the act’, an unarmed security guard has limited options.
If the best a guard can do is try to warn off potential thieves or, worse, do nothing more than call the local authorities while a burglary is taking place, the cost involved must be questioned. And simply trying to detain a person or persons caught trying to break into or removing goods from a storage unit can be dangerous. In addition, there are potential legal restrictions that can diminish a security guard’s ability to take preventative actions.
A high-quality video surveillance system with night vision capabilities and motion sensors can just as easily “witness” and digitally record any activity that takes place on a property at a fraction of the cost of paying for live security.
In other words, while a security guard may be more than a passive security measure, that approach is not likely to be cost-effective for most facility owners.
Security Measures Beyond Guards and Courtesy Patrols
For most businesses, typical security strategies focus on protecting a company’s property and goods only after business hours. And, while this may be sufficient for industrial shops, office suites, and even many retail operations, it’s not comprehensive enough for storage facilities.
In other words, self-storage facilities of all sizes require security and protection all day, every day.
While there may be some physical limitations to the extent of equipment placement, a truly effective security measure is the extensive use of surveillance cameras.
Cameras allow owners, operators, or managers to not only have a visible deterrent, but also an effective means for possibly identifying and pursuing individuals recorded committing a crime. Remember, people do tend to avoid cameras when considering committing an illegal act.
However, despite the advances in technology, fidelity, and ease of use, video monitoring and security camera systems still have limits.
Unlike security guards, for example, video cameras cannot intervene or engage with criminals, or even sound a warning. At best, their mere presence can serve as a deterrent. However, much like an unarmed security officer, video cameras can be avoided or simply ignored.
And when that occurs, all that the facility manager or owner can do is review the video footage and watch the events that occurred after the fact.
The Solution for Self-Storage Facility Security
What every security professional knows and understands is that the fundamental key to effective and successful property security is the ability to intervene.
Intervention, such as an alarm system or an armed police officer, is perhaps the single form of effective deterrence against property crimes. However, unless the alarm system alerts a local law enforcement agency, criminals can easily ignore it and finish their business.
And the odds of police officers being dispatched and arriving at a facility in time to catch the criminals before they escape are slim.
In a large facility, thieves could easily hide or slip over a fence before being seen. And the officers will need to access the locked gate before getting into the facility.
The larger the facility, the more challenging physical intervention becomes. And with more units, the level of security risk increases exponentially.
Eyes, Ears and Engagement
Almost without exception, all self-storage facility owners and managers most likely believe that video surveillance camera systems are necessary.
Numerous studies and surveys have determined repeatedly that visible, on-site video cameras provide a strong deterrent for criminals. In addition, they provide a desired sense of safety for storage unit tenants. This, too, is essential since the security of personal goods is part of the service being offered by facility owners.
For example, one storage resource vendor pointed out,
“Motion sensor lights can also greatly lower your energy costs and lengthen the lifespan on expensive LED light bulbs. Flood lights, area lights, and canopy lights are all great options for bright, outdoor lighting for your parking lot, entry/exit points, or unit driveways. There are many professional lighting vendors and tons of options available to owners.
How it drives revenue: Just like your property fence, your facility’s lighting is easy for renters to see and evaluate when checking out your property. Whether they’re checking out your property in the evening or wanting a storage solution where they’ll feel safe day or night, safe and secure, bright lighting is essential to bringing in customers and creating a secure environment at your facility.”
It’s been established through numerous studies that having visible cameras installed throughout a self-storage facility can serve as a passive deterrent to potential criminal activity.
In conjunction with recorded video surveillance, a self-storage facility security strategy solution can certainly include security personnel.
However, when it comes to determining the overall self-storage facility security solution, most traditional approaches fall short. While having both live and video monitoring might seem like a sufficient system, security guards still have physical and logistical limitations, and video camera systems are also prone to limitations such as visibility and range.
Smart Video Technology: The Ultimate Self-Storage Facility Security Solution
AI Blackbox Technology
What is “smart video technology?”
A smart video security system gives you the ability to interact and engage with anyone caught on camera attempting to trespass, damage property, steal anything, break in, or commit any other type of criminal activity. Best of all, it allows you to do this in real-time, as it happens.
What makes this possible is the advanced artificial intelligence integrated into your existing security camera system. It uses sophisticated software to analyze and assess an event while it is happening with the help of a human operator monitoring from a remote site. This adds up to create the ultimate smart surveillance system provided by Blue Eye.
We enable you to evolve your current network of cameras into something more — a fully interactive security system for your self-storage facilities. We can convert your cameras into sensors that our AI platform uses to actively monitor your properties for any signs of illegal activity. The software provides analytics processing that activates a response whenever a security threat is detected.
In the event of a security breach or other type of criminal threat, an alarm is sent immediately to our command center. There, our team of highly trained and experienced remote guards can react to the incident in real-time, assessing the situation and taking whatever action is determined to be most appropriate.
The response might consist of little more than a verbal warning broadcast over the on-board loudspeaker to deter criminals. It might also involve contacting the police or your contracted security provider, but 99% of the time the initial verbal warning is sufficient to stop incidents. The vast majority of the time, there is no need to contact law enforcement. Perhaps best of all, this solution is much more cost-effective than maintaining a live security guard presence on your site.
When you choose Blue Eye to be your security partner, you’ll benefit from our approach that combines human and artificial intelligence. We’re committed to providing a safe and comfortable solution that utilizes the resources you already have installed around your facility.
By adding the extensive capabilities found in our AI software technology to your cameras, they can be transformed into detection and breach sensors, enabling your system to analyze and even anticipate threats. We deliver a real-time, interactive surveillance system that uses the most advanced security technology available.
Blue Eye’s proprietary managed service platform is the most advanced on the market today, empowering you with state-of-the-art tech and enhanced performance when compared with other solutions. Our AI-enhanced video surveillance ensures your property is monitored by our personnel who have the ability to dispatch security or law enforcement to the site as quickly as possible.
To learn more about our unique approach to self-storage security solutions, call us at 855.258.3662 or email [email protected] and find out what we can do to help your business.