Storage units and more prone to break-ins and thefts than you'd imagine. Although you may think that your belongings are safe, 7% of storage facilities surveyed in 2012 reported break-ins or thefts during that year. The risk of becoming a victim of these break-ins or thefts increases if you are sharing your storage unit with people like family members or friends because it can be difficult to account for everyone's belongings and more people have access to your unit. In addition, it's not uncommon for unit owners to accidentally grab boxes that aren't theirs. Here are 3 ways you can protect yourself.
Authorize Access to Owners Only and Mandate Sign-Ins
Some storage facilities will allow you to sign up for different levels of security clearances. If you are sharing a unit with family members or friends, you should definitely consider signing up for higher level security clearances just in case. You don't want to be pointing fingers in the event any items in the unit is misplaced or gets stolen—especially since you can't control who else other the owner unit owners may bring to the facility.
Make sure to sign up for services where only certain individuals are authorized to the unit owners only, and mandate that all owners are required to sign-in before accessing the unit. This way, you can easily track down where your belongings may be should someone accidentally remove it from the unit along with their stuff. These services will also prevent theft, as your unit will likely be located in an area that cannot be accessed unless that person signs in at the front desk.
Choose More Secure Boxes that Stand Out
It's easy to mistake which cardboard boxes belong to who when the unit is being shared by multiple people. Instead of using standard cardboard boxes, you want to choose secure plastic boxes that are of a certain color or design that stand out from the rest. Make sure you label your containers and boxes in large letters. This will help minimize mistakes from happening, and you won't have to hunt down your belongings later on.
In addition, you want to choose secure boxes that have locks on them or that can be strapped down in the storage unit. This will help prevent thefts during break-ins, as the thieves will generally not have the time to go through your belongings or steal them.
Inspect the Unit Regularly
Another good tip is to inspect your unit regularly. Some storage unit owners inspect their units so infrequently that they don't even realize when a break-in has occurred or when any of their valuables are stolen. If you are sharing a unit regularly, you also have to bear in mind that it's easy for someone else to mistake your items for their. Divide the storage unit into designated areas for all owners. This way, you just have to take a quick peek to see whether all of your items have been left untouched. It also reduces the risk of getting everyone's items mixed in with each other.
Sharing a storage unit with others can really help you save a lot of money if you don't have a lot of things that need to be stored in the first place; however, do keep in mind that it's easy for other owners to mistake your boxes or items for theirs. Being organized is key to making sure that these mistakes don't happen, so you don't have to hunt down your items when you need them. For more tips or further assistance, consider contacting local companies like Glenbrook Self Storage.