How safe is your self storage centre?

When you have your life packed away in a self storage centre, you really need to know how safe storage really is when the owner's advertise their facility as 'safe and secure'.  - padlock

Think of the hoops you have to jump through for your home insurance - fitting mortice locks, window locks and burglar alarms for instance.

Storage centres also have insurance and have to satisfy minimum security standards as well.

Once each company has attained minimum standards for insurance, then some stick at the basic level and others go the extra mile.

Picking a really 'safe and secure' site is straightforward.

Look around the outside, a secure site will have a robust, secure perimeter and exterior night lights. Windows will be barred and unbroken.

The loading area should effective shuttering and bollards to prevent ram raiding.

Outside should also have CCTV that actually works and records day and night.

To enter the premises, you should have a pin-code or swipe card.

Most storage centres that close overnight will have staff available who are monitoring security. They should also sweep the inside before locking up to make sure no one is left in the building.

Even some storage facilities that are open 24/7 don't always have round-the-clock security.

Inside, key areas like corridors and stairwells should have good lighting and CCTV coverage.

You should have a personal lock to your storage unit and no one else should have the key except you or your staff.

The storage unit should have secure walls and doors - many have wire grilles on the ceiling.

Often overlooked are smoke detectors and fire alarms - make sure your storage centre has fire protection.

Finally, you will find any reputable storage centre will expect you to arrange insurance for your property on their premises. You should have the choice of taking out your own policy or one provided by the storage company.

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