Secure Storage Containers

Hardwired Systems
When it comes to individual door alarms, there are two styles to consider: hardwired and the relatively new wireless systems popping up throughout the industry. Which type you should use hinges on several factors and opinions will vary depending upon who you talk to. Each style has its pros and cons that industry veterans are more than happy to comment on.

The wired systems are generally straightforward, using a system that uses one of several different types of wiring schemes. The most common being a multiplexer installed at each secure storage container to collect and convert the mass of wires running from a magnetic contact and reed switch into each unit. The wires are usually connected at the mulitplexer and run to the control system in the rental office.

Wireless alarm systems have a lot going for them. They have the marketing advantage of being able to sell space-age-like technology and can be a breeze to set up.

In the past, wireless systems got a bad rap because of extremely low battery life. But now, Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Quikstor has brought a battery to the self-storage market that it says will last 20 years. Doug Carner, Quikstor’s director of marketing, says companies are currently working on batteries that exceed 20 years and may last a lifetime.

Video Security
Video-camera security is another method picking up steam in the self-storage industry. It’s far from being a new technology, but in the last few years it has been embraced by the legion storage operators.

Video gives what we call ‘legal chain of custody,’ the act of the person entering the property to the point at which he leaves and what he does while he’s there. If you have proper video positioning up and down the aisle, and a tenant rents a unit and breaks into another two aisles over, you actually have video coverage of that,’ says Crest Electronics’ Castelli, who adds that insurance companies have especially taken a liking to facilities using video monitoring. ‘We get a lot of people who rent a unit, and then a week, three weeks or a month later claim their unit has been broken into. They claim they had $25,000 of jewelry and furniture in there. These fraudulent claims are bad for the insurance industry and of course the insurance company can’t really prove if it was fraud or not. With the tapes, they can prove the tenants did rent the unit, but they didn’t put anything in it.