Self-storage units are a great way to store unneeded items and free up space within your home. However, self-storage units can be susceptible to theft or burglary, especially if they're located in an industrial part of town without a lot of people around. Thankfully, you can do several things to help ensure that your items are secure against criminals.
Choosing the Right Facility
The facility where you choose to rent a self-storage unit is of paramount importance to keeping your stuff safe. Take a tour before you commit to anything and check to see what, if any, security measures are in place. See how each unit locks, if there are cameras within the facility, and if there are security guards (and how long they are at the facility – some will have 24 hour coverage, others will not). The best secured units will have their own locks and alarms on each door, as this provides a second level of security specifically for your stuff.
Packing the Unit
However, even if you've got the most secure self-storage unit in the world, it's still a good idea to pack your self-storage unit in a certain way to help protect your most valuable items from theft. This means that you should place your valuables in the unit first so that they are the furthest away from the door. Put larger items, like furniture and boxes of books, at the front of the unit. In the event of a robbery, it's likely that thieves will only grab the items at the front of the unit, as they will not have time to empty out the entire unit. Covering up expensive items with blankets can also make it more likely that a thief will pass over your unit for one that appears to be full of higher priced items.
Choosing the Right Lock
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to ensure that you choose the best lock for the job. Choose a lock that cannot be easily broken or cut with bolt cutters – this means one that does not have a long shackle, and that is made out of thick metal. If possible (and affordable), it's a good idea to buy two locks so that you can try to break or cut one see just how durable it really is. If you can't manage to cause any physical damage despite your best efforts, you've found a good lock for your unit.