People with an overabundance of “stuff” often choose to rent a storage unit, either as a short- or long-term solution to their storage woes. But many are slow to pull the trigger, and one of the most common reasons for hesitation is this—

How safe is my stuff?

It’s an important question to ask, especially if you are storing items that are highly valuable like collectibles, antiques, artwork, or heirlooms. You may have items that hold no monetary value, but are sentimentally priceless, so finding out exactly how secure items are while in storage is a wise idea.

So….how safe are they?

The short answer is, it depends on two factors—the quality of your storage facility…and you. We’ve gathered plenty of indicators that will determine if the storage facility you’re considering is a good one, and a few tips and tricks for you to implement to ensure your items stay safe and sound.

The Storage Facility

Storage facilities have plenty of responsibility to make sure the items they house are not susceptible to thieves, and it is important that customers know what to look for to know the difference between a well- and poorly maintained business.

Surveillance System

Ask your prospective facility if they have a surveillance system and what kind they use. Any storage facility worth their salt should have 24-hour surveillance throughout their property. They get bonus points if they use a digital system rather than an old-school version that requires tape. And if you find a facility that incorporates 24-hour surveillance with on-site security personnel? We’d say your belongings are in good hands, indeed.

Well Maintained Property

When you visit a storage facility, don’t just tour the units. Evaluate the property itself. Take a walk around the perimeter, keeping an eye out for broken fencing or fencing with holes in it. Does the facility use keypads to gain access to the units? If so, do they appear to be in working order?

Be sure to visit the property after dark to check out the lighting. Is the exterior well lit in all areas of the property? If you have an indoor unit, does the facility provide motion sensor lighting indoors?

Businesses that look to be in sub-par shape or are poorly lit often draw the attention of burglars, so if you see any of these warning signs, or if the property just doesn’t seem to be well kept, move on to the next facility on your list.

Access Control System

Any storage facility you’re considering should protect their customers by using an access control system at points of entry. These high-tech keypads require visitors to punch in a passcode to gain entry to the property.

Having such security measures in place significantly reduces who can access the facility, and it provides a history of exactly who has visited the property should a burglary occur.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Stored Belongings Safe

It’s important to know that the responsibility for keeping your items safe doesn’t lie solely with the storage facility, and there is plenty you can do to protect your belongings.

Invest in a High-Quality Lock

There are plenty of locks out on the market at a variety of price points, so it can be tricky deciding which one to choose to protect your unit.

Avoid bargain-basement websites that claim to sell top-notch locks for blowout prices—you’ll likely get what you pay for. It’s also important to get a lock that will fit your unit, and the employees at your facility should be able to help you with this.

Disc locks are often considered the gold standard for storage units as they are difficult to cut. But, because they are so difficult to cut, you don’t want to lose your key…otherwise, it may be a while before you see your stuff again.

Combination locks eliminate the risk of someone else stealing your key and accessing your belongings. The only way they’ll get in is if they pick the lock or you give them your combination.

Avoid Putting Red-Flag Items in Your Unit

There are some things that just don’t belong in storage because they are not covered by insurance—things like cash (you’d be surprised how many people use their storage unit as their bank), fireworks, explosives, and weapons.

Choose Indoor Storage if Possible

Indoor storage is usually pricier than an outdoor unit but, if you can afford it, it provides an additional layer of security.

In addition to getting past the access control system at the entrance, thieves looking for a quick mark will likely have to access a keypad at the entrance of the indoor portion of the facility. Because most burglars are looking for the easiest target, they often choose an outdoor unit over indoor.

And so…

When you choose to leave your valuables with a storage facility, it is important to choose one that is well-staffed, well lit, and routinely surveilled. It is also important that you do everything within your power to keep your belongings safe. Both forces working together creates a superhero of sorts, committed to maintaining law and order and protecting what’s yours.

Whether you’re looking for long or short term, business or personal storage in Sydney, Holloway Mobile Self Storage has a comprehensive, cost-effective storage solution for you. Our team of experts can help you choose the unit that is perfect for the needs of you and your family. Not too big. Not too small. Just right.