BLOG CATEGORIES

Keep Your Self-Storage Facility Safe With These Tips

Keep Your Self-Storage Facility Safe With These Tips

Storage facilities are one of the fastest sectors within the real estate industry, but they don’t come without their own challenges and safety issues. Here’s a few safety items of which to pay attention.

Downsizing baby boomers and Millennials who prefer to rent are making the self-storage industry the hottest sector in commercial real estate. In this post, we explore the ways you can keep your storage facility secure for you and your clients.

Keep a secure property with this free guide on essential property safety items >>

What it boils down to: we have too much stuff. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles found that the storage of goods had “become an overwhelming burden for most middle-class families, especially in the West, where basements are generally not available to absorb possessions.”

According to Bloomberg, the storage sector itself is nothing short of a wild success. Nearly 54,000 self-storage facilities are available in the U.S., which is home to 90 percent of the world’s self-storage locations. Those sites feature 2.63 billion square feet of rentable storage — estimated to be the size of Palm Springs, California.

Bloomberg adds that the industry itself has generated more than $32.7 billion in revenues in 2016, which is almost three times Hollywood’s 2016 box-office gross. The average cost of a U.S. self-storage locker was only 97 cents per square foot in 2016.

Of course, popular property is never without its problems and challenges. One of the biggest for the self-storage industry is live-in renters — those who think they can join their stuff in storage and live there day to day. You may know the difference between a commercially zoned property and a residentially zoned property, but many civilians don’t know — or care.

Find out how to improve safety and reduce costs at your property

Our best-in-class emergency phone + monitoring solutions provide peace of mind and are backed by decades of expertise

Learn More

Here’s why live-in renters at self-storage facilities should get a zero-tolerance policy from you:

Security. If you look the other way when detecting a live-in renter, you may be compromising their safety, as well as the security of the surrounding possessions in the other units. One faulty hot plate, portable heater or air conditioner could become a danger to the property. Also, one live-in renter sends the signal that it’s OK to do it, inviting more. One live-in renter is one too many.

Liability. As a property owner, you’ll be held liable for damages if something happens while a live-in renter is in your facility. That renter could harm storage or even an employee or customer.

Consider these solutions:

  • Discourage live-in renters by keeping your units from being too cozy.
  • Try motion-detected lights inside all units, and shut off the hot water.
  • In your rental agreement, state very clearly that live-in renters are prohibited; review it with them and have them initial it.
  • A more philanthropic effort could involve offering temporary free storage for local residents experiencing financial hardships. This could help customers transition and generate goodwill (and good publicity) for your facility.

Here are some other important action items to help prevent bad things from happening in good storage facilities:

Create an enter/exit log at the gate. This will help you keep track of who is spending unusually long periods of time in their storage units. As long as you check this log frequently, you may be able to detect problems as they arise.

Perform regular inspections. For the safety of the facility, perform regular unit inspections, checking for lights, locks and fire hazards. Make sure it’s in the customer agreement that you have the right to regularly perform inspections.

Check your video surveillance regularly. You may advertise that you have 24-hour video surveillance, but it means nothing unless you’re proactively checking it, regularly. Create a schedule and stick to it.

Keep your facility clean and orderly. This sounds like faint advice, but a sloppy, chaotic-looking facility can attract tenants who think it may be easier to get away with something illegal from a management that doesn’t seem to care. Keep it well-maintained, well-swept, well-lit and graffiti-free.

Offer the best locks to your customers. Research and choose the most high-quality locks, and recommend them to your customers. Be aware of sneaky things that clever thieves do, like clip a lock, then replace it with another lock so it doesn’t look like a theft had just been committed.

Invest in security. Cameras, gate sign-ins and good lighting send a message that your facility is sensitive to — and on the lookout for — potential crime.

Maintain and upgrade your emergency communications. This is vital for the type of facility that may not keep regular hours or welcome regular visitors. Customers will feel better knowing that they have instant, dependable, and clear access to help in the case of an emergency.

By following these steps, your self-storage facility will be more appealing to customers and perceived as safer and more dependable. To learn more about how Kings III can increase the safety and value of your facility, visit www.kingsiii.com.

The Five Key Elements of Property Safety

KEEP LEARNING

How Your Life Safety Devices are Impacted by Landline Technology Phaseout

In our space, there’s been a lot of chatter about FCC Order 10-72a1 and how it is impacting copper/analog/plain old telephone service (POTS) phone lines. With this comes deteriorating service and significantly higher phone line costs. Learn your best options for addressing this with your emergency phones.

May is Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month is an international campaign celebrated in May to raise awareness about building safety. Learn more about what you can do to further the initiative here in this blog post.

What You Need to Know About IBC 2021 Elevator Phone Code Requirements

While it’s been over a year since IBC 2021 was released, many are still familiarizing themselves with the elevator phone code requirements and how to navigate them, as significant accessibility changes have been made. We’re here to help clear that up for you.

Property Safety for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Tenants

Although, of course, those with hearing loss or deafness can continue to live independent and productive lives, there are unique needs and accommodations associated with them, and it is in your best interest as a property manager to keep their safety in mind. Here are some considerations to make when helping to protect your deaf/hard-of-hearing tenants.

How To Deter Illegal Activity On Your Property

Here, we list the most common types of illegal activities that take place on multifamily residential properties and how you can sniff them out. Finally, we detail the steps you can take once you discover the illegal activity while reducing the chance of harm to you and other tenants.

Kings III Makes The Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work List Becoming a 2x Winner

Kings III was honored to be recognized by its employees and The Dallas Morning News by making the daily newspaper’s Top 100 Places to Work list, falling in at 17th in the midsize companies category, jumping from its 26th standing in the previous year.

How to Handle After-Hours Emergencies

Not all on-site emergencies take place during regular working hours, but that doesn't make them any less important to address. Here's how property managers can effectively respond to property emergencies occurring after-hours without an unrealistic, burdensome workload.

The 5 Most Common Reasons Smartphones Fail at Property Safety

If you rely on tenants' smartphone use as an on-site emergency response, you're opening up some liability issues when it comes to property safety. Here's what you need to know.

Prepare an Emergency Plan for Your Fitness Center

Because your fitness center could be one of the more popular amenities on your property, it certainly brings a need for a plan to manage risks that can occur. If you haven’t already, it’s important to establish life safety and emergency response practices specifically designated for the area. Here are some of the essentials.

Kings III makes it easy as a single point-of-contact for all your emergency response needs. With expertise in line connectivity, compliance codes, equipment maintenance and safety protocol, we offer the total package.