The things people keep in storage are important to them and should be protected from harm. Doing so requires the combined efforts of the person renting the storage unit and the storage unit management company. Read on for tips on what renters can do to keep their stored items safe and what they should look for in a secure storage unit facility.
Fires are devastating in a storage unit facility. Because the units are right next to each other, fires -- although rare -- spread quickly and can be difficult to stop. The multiple hallways in a facility can quickly fill with smoke and each storage unit must be checked for flames before the fire department can give the "all clear." Some storage units are separated by drywall or chicken wire; however, drywall is flammable and chicken wire does nothing to stop the spread of a fire. Instead, storage unit facilities should have units with concrete walls and metal roofs. Sprinklers should be installed in the ceiling as should smoke detectors. Security also should be tight at the facility. A strict no smoking rule should be enforced and storage unit management should be aware of what goes on at the facility. Sometimes fires can start as the result of drug labs set up inside a unit. Storage unit renters should never keep any flammable chemicals in their unit, like gasoline, or explosives, like last year's fireworks.
When choosing a storage unit facility, potential renters should see what kind of security is offered at each facility. Are there cameras in the hallways or in the parking lot? Is the front desk staffed around the clock? Is there a locked gate leading to the units? Storage unit renters also can do a lot to prevent theft of their items. When placing items in the storage unit, the most valuable items should go in the back of the unit. Thieves want to get in and get out, so they'll often grab the first couple of boxes they see in a unit before moving on to the next. Renters also can thwart would-be thieves by choosing a good lock to put on the door. Thieves want an easy target and a lock with a long u-shape at the top is easy to cut with a pair of bolt cutters. The shorter the u-shape, the harder it is to break, so fast-moving thieves will move past those locks.
Water and Moisture
Storage unit renters planning to store items that can be damaged by moisture, like clothing, photographs or important papers, should look for a climate-controlled storage unit that reduces humidity. Flooding -- even a small flood -- also can cause a lot of damage in a storage unit. Storage unit facilities that are not in low-lying areas are less prone to flooding and in a large facility, units on upper floors are safer. Storage unit renters worried about moisture and flooding can place pallets in their unit to raise their stored items off the floor a few inches or place items that are particularly vulnerable to water damage in large plastic storage bags.
For secure storage, contact a storage company such as Arctic Self Storage.