For self-storage property owners, site security is becoming a top priority. A perimeter intrusion can have catastrophic impacts on your business—especially when it comes to how potential tenants view the security of their valuables—and your current tenants.
Remember that security is always a powerful marketing tool that allows you to convince more people to rent from you. The more secure your property is, the safer new and current clients feel, which can, in turn, increase sales, lower your overall tenant turnover rate, and reduce headaches for you. Plus, it can also lower your insurance premiums. That’s a win-win for your business and a net positive for your ROI.
While there are multiple security system options on the market, they come with a variety of positives AND negatives. We’ve put together a list of these options to help you navigate the best ways to deter intruders and protect your perimeter and your clients’ valuables.
Perimeter Intrusion: Pros + Cons of Storage Solution Security Systems
Keypads for entry: When tenants have to access a keypad for entry onto your property, it allows them to feel that the valuables they have in storage will be safe from thieves. Keypad entry systems also keep a record of who enters the property and when, making it easier for law enforcement to track down unwanted intruders if the need arises.
What’s missing: If the time between when entrance is granted and when the gate closes is too long, unwanted intruders could slip onto the property undetected. And unwanted visitors can also enter your property if tenants share their keypad code too freely with those who might not have the best of intentions. It is a great first step, but it needs many more layers of security to fully protect your perimeter.
Security Cameras: When placed correctly, and when paired with the optimal perimeter lighting system, security cameras can see what’s going on throughout the property at all times, helping to ensure tenants that you know what’s happening on your property 24/7/365.
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What’s missing: Security cameras are reactive, not proactive. They can “see” unwanted intruders, but they won’t keep them from entering the property. And what they “see” can be obstructed by vegetation, moving people, moving or stationary vehicles, the weather, and shadows, blind spots, and even darkness if a perimeter lighting system is not included in the overall security system. Cameras without lighting at night, in most cases, become a negative because, while you think you can identify the intruder, in many cases, all you get is blurred pictures that can’t be used in a court of law. Also cameras can be a con if they’re placed incorrectly or too sparsely throughout your property.
Perimeter Fencing: Well-maintained perimeter fencing is a must to keep trespassers off your property, and when a first-rate perimeter lighting system has been added on top of the encing, intruders will find it even more difficult to enter your property unseen. Many will even skip your property and move on to one that has not been so conscientiously protected because the #1 fear of an intruder is being seen.
What it’s missing: Any type of fencing can be a deterrent to intruders because it can actually keep them from entering your property, but if it’s damaged or not well-maintained, the odds of it preventing intrusions are pretty low. And if there’s no type of perimeter lighting system on your fencing, the dark of night will become your potential intruder’s best friend and your (and your tenants’) worst enemy.
Perimeter Lighting: Intruders don’t want to be seen. And if you have a top-notch lighting system that illuminates your perimeter on even the darkest of nights, intruders won’t even want to enter your property. It’s as simple as that. Lights deter intruders. Intruders look for easy places to attack where they can get in and get out without being seen or getting caught.
What’s missing: Depending on where it’s placed, perimeter lighting does have the potential to conceal intruders in blind spots, shadows, and even darkness. However, if you work with perimeter lighting experts, you can turn this potential con into a definite pro for your business and your tenants!
Infrared Sensors: Since infrared sensors form an invisible gate that triggers an alarm whenever a gate is breached, they can be a viable option for helping to prevent theft on your property.
What’s missing: Due to their sensitivity to hot temperatures and direct sunlight, frequent need for maintenance, and the potential for false alarms due to a disruption in the sensors’ alignment, infrared sensors can deliver a false sense of security if they’re relied upon too much as a deterrent to unwanted intruders. Also IR lights have limited visibility from the camera lense at night vs. what the camera sees in the day. The answer is to take advantage of the new IR technology that allows you to “field tune” each IR light to the camera's eye so what the camera sees during the day, it sees at night. The latest technology actually uses a combined IR and white light so it is dark at night until an intruder approaches. When the intruder approaches, the IR identifies them, sends a signal to the white lights, and turns. This makes the intruder think someone is watching, and they think twice about breaking into your property.
By following this checklist, you can ensure your current tenants’ valuables and piece of mind stay secure and make it easier for potential tenants to choose you as their storage solution. Need help designing the optimal perimeter lighting system to protect your property? Complete our contact form—we’re ready to get your property securely lit in no time!