Self storage is convenient and cost-effective, but you shouldn’t assume that the precious items you keep in your unit are going to be safe without any additional precautions being taken.

With that in mind, here are some handy hints on how to ensure improved security when you are using self storage.

Add an extra layer of protection

Don’t rely on the door of the storage unit itself to be the only thing standing between your possessions and potential thieves. Instead, keep the most expensive and meaningful items in a secondary storage box, which is locked and secured in its own right.

Also take into account any specific requirements of the items themselves. For example, if they are susceptible to things like changes in temperature or moisture, keeping them insulated against these unwanted fluctuations is wise as well.

Choose a facility local to you

Being close enough to visit your storage unit and check up on the contents periodically is better than having to trek halfway across the country to see if all is OK.

So if you’re based in Arizona, picking the best cheap storage units Phoenix has to offer is a priority, and the same rule applies to residents of other states and regions.

Don’t share codes or keys with anyone else

Depending on how your storage provider operates, you may have a lockable unit which is either accessed via a traditional key, a digital fob, or via a coded number pad.

In either case, you should keep this to yourself, and avoid the temptation to give it to anyone else. For codes, don’t write them down and leave them lying around. For keys and electronic fobs, keep them out of reach of others and don’t make copies, as this is not only a security issue, but could be against the policy of the storage facility you choose.

Pick a provider that takes surveillance and site security seriously

Aside from lockable doors, good self storage setups will also need a host of other security measures in place to give you peace of mind about the safety of your valuables.

Surveillance cameras which are either locally or remotely monitored are a must-have for security-conscious customers.

Alarmed entry points will also be appealing, as if an incursion does occur, you will want to know that the authorities will be alerted before mischief takes place.

Make an inventory

This may sound simple, but it has significant security implications, because if you don’t have a written record of what you have placed into storage, it can be difficult to tell if anything has been taken many months or years down the line when you come to retrieve it.

A combination of having an inventory that you can refer to, as well as the use of labels on the items you store, will clear up any confusion. Storing the inventory digitally, rather than just keeping it on a piece of paper that could go missing, is advised.

Get insurance

Finally, even with all of the precautions taken and all of the best practices followed, you can’t ever be certain that your valuables will avoid exploitation or deterioration while they are in storage.

For this reason, having your own storage insurance policy to give you a way to make a claim if calamity strikes makes sense. The storage provider might have its own cover to offer customers, but if you decide to rely on this alone, make sure to read the small print and know what exceptions exist on the policy so you don’t get caught out.

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