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Do Your Storage Units Offer the Right Protection Against Theft?

Do Your Storage Units Offer the Right Protection Against Theft?

Theft is a serious issue in our society. There are people that have things and people that don’t have things, and some of those people that are without want to take what isn’t theirs. With that in mind, if you plan on providing apartment storage solutions to your tenants, security becomes your responsibility. You’re the one that’s in control of the area and that means that if your security game isn’t tight your tenants will be less likely to want to rent the units from you. Without tenants renting the storage units out, your return on investment will be 0%.

People that think long and hard about how to keep their units secure typically see a higher return on investment simply because good security inspires faith from your tenants. That faith is important considering they’re trusting you to keep some potentially valuable items safe from harm while those items are stored away from the tenant’s living quarters. With that in mind, do you think your storage units are secure enough? Let’s look at some tips from top security professionals so you can have a better idea of how good of a job you’re doing.

Make Sure There is Light

Light is a wonderful thing. It’s the fastest thing in the universe, moving at the astonishing speed of 186,000 miles per second. Without light, there would be no color, and there would also have not been any opportunity for life to exist on our planet because the sun provided the energy needed for early life to form. Light is a pretty big deal no matter how you cut it, and it’s an even bigger deal when it comes to security for a multitude of reasons. In fact, you’ve probably thought of several since you started reading this paragraph.

One of the biggest reasons why light is important here is that thieves are typically opposed to working in well-lit areas, often preferring to work under the cover of darkness. It’s harder to identify someone in poorly lit conditions, and even more difficult to see what someone is up to when it’s dark out. You can use the thieves’ natural aversion to light to your advantage by making sure that your storage area is well lit. You can do this with all sorts of different appliances, but the end goal is always the same.

This is the same reason why parking lots, streets, and pretty much any public space are lit up at night. If you can’t see what people are doing, some people will be happy to take advantage of that. Fortunately for you, lighting is easy and relatively inexpensive to get set up. Most tenants also know that thieves prefer to work in darkness, meaning that if they see a good amount of lights around the storage area they’ll likely think of it as being a little more secure. That being said, good lighting is only one part of a solid security plan.

Are You Ready for Your Close Up?

What does Hollywood and making sure that your storage area is secure have in common? It’s easy, the use of cameras. Cameras are a great way to make sure that there’s an eye on your storage units even when you can’t physically have someone there. In fact, most security cameras have the option for you to hire a monitoring service to watch over the cameras so you don’t have to. That makes this an even easier solution for you and can make a world of difference when it comes to deterring thieves.

As much as thieves prefer to work in darkness, they also prefer to be able to work in spaces where they know they aren’t being recorded. That’s why cameras are so useful for security because most smart thieves won’t mess with your storage units if they know that they’re being watched. Breaking into storage units takes time, and the longer they’re there, the more likely the cameras are going to be able to catch them in the act. Thieves don’t want that because they’re well aware that what they’re doing is illegal, and evidence of them committing their crimes can result in three hots and a cot at a jail or prison.

It may or may not be surprising, but a lot of thieves think of their marks using the same logic that investors use to think about if an investment is good or not. That logic is, of course, commonly referred to as the risk to reward ratio. This ratio is used by all sorts of people for things that have nothing to do with either investing or thievery and there’s a good chance that you even use it in your day-to-day life without even thinking about it.

At the end of the day, by installing cameras in your storage unit area, you increase the risk while the reward stays the same. Unless you have incredibly thorough thieves on your hands they don’t know exactly what it is that they would be stealing, so odds are that they have no idea what the reward is. If you do have thorough thieves on your hands they might know exactly what they’re stealing, but if you have thorough thieves you have an entirely different problem on your hands that is a little harder to specifically plan for unless you catch them early.

Gates and Fences

One of the best ways to make sure that your storage area is as secure as possible is to make sure that there is more than one security measure in place to act as a barrier between a would-be thief and the storage units that you’re looking to protect. The units are probably already going to be locked up, but by erecting a fence with a gate you can ensure that there’s one more obstacle in their path before they can even try to get into the unit to steal whatever is inside of it.

Remember, the longer a thief has to spend on your property, the more likely they are to get caught. Any thief with half a brain realizes that. Most thieves would prefer to be able to smash, grab, and run. By erecting a barrier between them and the storage units, you’re forcing them to either hop the fence or find a way to bypass the lock holding the gate closed. Both of those options take time and make them stand out. If you have cameras on top of that the risk part of the ratio skyrockets while the reward stays the same.

Pay Attention to the Quality of Your Lock

SmartStop Self Storage - Rancho Mission Viejo | 28322 Airoso Street | SpareFoot

Locks are cool little things. The way that they work is fascinating, with most locks having a pin system that needs the teeth of a key to properly trigger the unlocking mechanism. We use locks for everything from doors to bikes and so on and so forth. We trust locks to keep our things safe from people that we don’t want getting into our things because, well, those people don’t have the key to our lock so they can’t get in. Or can they?


If you’ve ever hired a locksmith you’ve worked with someone that knows how to pick locks. What if we told you that there are criminals that have the same skills? Lock picking is a tool, and like most tools, it can be used for construction purposes or destructive purposes, depending on who wields it. The same hammer that is used to build a house can be used to tear that same house down. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what kind of locks that you use. Unpickable locks don’t exist because if a lock can be opened with a key, it can be opened with something other than the key.

You want to make sure to have locks that are going to provide a challenge to someone that’s trying to pick it. Some lockpicks can have a master lock open in less time than it took for you to read this sentence, which means that they could get into a unit quickly enough that no one thinks twice about their presence. That’s not what you want. Something challenging enough to make less experienced lockpicks turn tail and more experienced lock picks thinks twice about if they really want to spend the time to get the lock open will be perfect.

Beef Up Your Security

Getting good security for your storage units is important, but remember that you aren’t shooting for perfect security. In the security field the phrase “perfect security” is actually considered to be an oxymoron because it’s not possible. Your real goal is to make sure that the risk level for stealing from your property is as high as possible because that will make thieves think twice about stealing from you. The more you can stall a thief while giving them clear evidence that someone is aware of their presence, the more they’ll realize that messing with your property is a mistake and leave before their worst crime is something more serious than just trespassing.