storage unit security

Storage facilities are based on two fundamental customer offerings: storage space and security. 

It’s not enough to know that one can rent a space to store their belongings outside of their home or workplace. They need to know that their property will also be safe and secure. Without that assurance, no storage facility would stay in business.

However, given the growth of storage facilities across the country and the increasing degree of sophistication in criminal activities, storage facility security is a growing concern.

Keeping Up with Storage Facility Demand and Security Challenges

Storage facilities, particularly self-storage unit facilities, are in huge demand.

According to an article in Forbes magazine,

“Ever-increasing demand growth is a fact of the self storage industry. Up until now, supply has kept up with demand, with over 90% occupancy rates being typical since 2015, according to the 2019 Self Storage Almanac from Mini Storage Messenger.”

The self-storage industry generates an estimated $39 billion in the United States. There are an estimated 60,000 storage facilities in the United States and, collectively, they represent close to 1.7 billion square feet of real estate at an average cost of $87.88 per square foot.

Storage facilities are fairly straightforward and simple business models: enclosed spaces on concrete pads with roll-down doors and locking hardware. Fencing, lighting, and a security gate more or less complete the setup aside from an office and possibly an apartment for the manager, in some cases. 

However, a major component along with the amount of rentable space is the breadth and reliability of the security systems.

The challenge for the storage facility owners or managers is preventing theft 24 hours a day, day in and day out. 

The number one crime and security issue for storage facilities is theft. For criminals, it is also a fairly straightforward and simple prospect. Once on the grounds, a potential thief need only identify storage units with locks on the doors. Those all represent burglary prospects for the motivated criminal. 

The biggest challenge for the would-be burglar, aside from not getting caught, is getting any goods stolen from a unit off the property. A locked gate and a high fence can be problematic.

Unfortunately, the nature of self-storage rental provides another opportunity for thieves.

As one article noted,

“Studies show that most self-storage burglaries are the result of an “inside job” by criminals masquerading as customers. Traditionally, burglars rent a storage unit… then wait for an opportune time to go to work.

Once inside, they will usually cut a number or padlocks with bolt cutters, take what they want from unsuspecting customers under the nose of an unsuspecting manager, then replace the locks they cut with their own so they can access the burglarized units again at a later date, if needed, and the burglar is able to enter the property through the security gate with his confidential gate code, just like any other customer can do.”

And there are several other security challenges for the often understaffed and overworked managers of these facilities.

Common Areas of Concern for Storage Facility Security

While each facility has some unique aspects of security that must be addressed, there are a handful of common security concerns that typically involve onsite surveillance video systems.

Surveillance System Neglect

Many video surveillance systems were installed when the facility was first built and are aging. Over time, especially in harsher climates, system components can fail. This requires regular inspection and maintenance to ensure uninterrupted video surveillance.

Surveillance Video Data Storage

Too often, video recording data is stored on-site leaving it vulnerable to being stolen, lost, or damaged. Backup files are often thought to be unnecessary as, with most building security footage, if there have been no incidents then there is no need to keep it. However, there can always be situations when video footage may be needed days or weeks later.

Low-Quality Optics

Video quality and high definition are sometimes sacrificed in return for what is deemed an “affordable” system. In addition, some video surveillance systems are older, analog CCTV systems that fail to capture quality footage.

Unfortunately, the often grainy or distorted video footage captured by analog cameras makes it difficult or impossible to identify any significant details of a crime. For example, if criminals used a vehicle to enter and exit the facility, but the license plate number cannot be determined from the video footage, the system has failed to deliver useful results.

Updating and Upgrading Your Storage Facility Security Video System

A smarter video solution will eliminate all these issues while providing additional benefits and features unavailable with traditional video systems.

For example:

  • Newer digital video self-storage security systems provide IP health monitoring that issues a warning if the system goes offline.
  • An HD digital video surveillance system will produce video footage that can be used by law enforcement to identify and potentially apprehend criminals quickly.
  • Most modern video security systems store data in the cloud where it’s safe, secure, and can be accessed from anywhere.

However, even these enhancements and upgrades still leave you with nothing more than a passive deterrence system that only provides video evidence of a crime after the fact. Once a unit has been broken into and burglarized, if the perpetrators are not stopped before they leave the facility, it is highly unlikely they will ever be apprehended.

What is truly needed is a video surveillance system that not only provides comprehensive coverage of a storage facility with high-quality video imaging but can also serve as an active deterrent in real-time.

In other words, a security video system combined with responsive monitoring that can engage with and interact with individuals on a property   

Your Smart Solution for Storage Facility Security

Blue Eye uses our unique artificial intelligence software or AI software, to detect potential threats to your storage facility and a system that alerts our highly trained Video Surveillance Technicians (VSTs) within seconds, who can then respond in real-time.

Our proprietary security system solution integrates AI technology with human interaction to provide a safe and reliable video surveillance monitoring solution that utilizes your existing security cameras.

And, if you don’t have cameras, we can assist you in finding the optimum installation solution.

At our Command Center, VSTs utilize our Computer Vision-assisted technology to protect your business property. This is where our VSTs receive alarms and employ real-time responses for a wide variety of business properties in addition to storage facilities.

Even with global clients, each individual alarm is assessed live, in real-time, and responded to according to that property owner’s desired protocol.

Our customized approach allows each client to have the flexibility of adapting their security system to meet the unique needs of their business and their facility.

Ready for real-time security system deterrence at your storage facility? Call us today at 855.258.3662 or email us at [email protected] and let us design an effective, smart solution for your business!

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