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Shopping For A Storage Unit? 2 Facility Features You Should Look For

When you start shopping for a storage unit, each facility might seem pretty similar. After visiting a few different aisles packed full of identical garage doors differentiated by a few digits, you might decide to snag a unit and stop your search. Unfortunately, choosing a unit at the wrong storage facility could cause trouble later. Here are two facility features you should look for and why:

1: A Smart Security System

How would you feel if you opened your storage unit one day and noticed that all of your valuable items were missing? Although rare, storage theft does happen, and it can be extremely frustrating for unit owners. In fact, in 2011, 7% of storage facilities reported that they had some type of break-in—translating to about two thefts per facility. What would you do if you were one of the lucky two?

To protect your unit from intruders, some storage facilities have installed smart security systems that automate the front gate with your actual storage unit. After you enter your gate code, the system sends a signal to your door to approve the space to be opened. If someone opens a door that doesn't match the gate code, the front gate will automatically close and lock itself so that managers can call police and investigate the incident before contents are stolen. Here are a few reasons these systems are so valuable:

  • Second Line of Defense: Storage managers can watch for strange activity, but you never know when a thief is lurking in the facility. Fortunately, these smart systems act as a second line of defense. Because the systems are automated and work 24/7, they can look out for your unit when other people can't.
  • No Need to Purchase A Lock: Another benefit to automated smart systems is that they eliminate the need to purchase a second lock. Because each door is fitted with a sturdy, embedded electronic lock, all you need to do is enter your code on the keypad to access your unit. This means that you won't need to keep track of a key or combination to visit your unit.

As you call around for storage unit pricing, ask facility managers when their security system was installed. The facilities with cutting edge security systems might be a little more expensive, but the small investment might help you to keep your unit safe.

2: After-Hours Kiosks

By the time you get home from work, you might be more focused on spending time with your kids than you are about paying your storage unit bill or reorganizing your space. Unfortunately, if your chosen storage facility maintains strict business hours, it might be hard to talk with a facility manager when you have time. Fortunately, to make things easier for tenants, some facilities offer after-hours kiosks. Here are a few reasons you might find yourself in need of a little automated after-hours service:  

  • Make Payments: Believe it or not, many small mom-and-pop-shop storage facilities don't have any way to take payments online or over the phone. To make a payment, you might find yourself mailing a check or trying to stop by the office during your lunch break. Fortunately, self-service kiosks connected to the web might give you an easy way to pay your rent online, or in person with a credit card.
  • Rent Units: After you endure a grueling cross-country move, the last thing you might want to see is a closed storage facility. However, some self-service kiosks give new tenants the opportunity to fill out new paperwork and rent a space without the help of an actual storage manager.  

By renting a storage unit at a decent facility, you might be able to fit your storage plans into your schedule a little easier and worry less about your unit. For more information on self storage units, contact come local businesses in your area.