Some self storage companies offer 24 hour access to their storage rooms. This usually involves permitting access to the storage building without a staff member being present.
We have the access control and CCTV systems to offer 24 hours access in the same way as others do but we choose not to as we believe it represents a significant risk to all our customers that is not worth the extra convenience it might offer to a few. We do offer long opening hours, 7 days a week and always with a staff member present.
Self Storage buildings have burnt down and thefts have occurred from Self Storage rooms in competitor stores. In the vast majority of cases these incidents have occurred in stores where customers have access to the building without a staff member present.
We do not want your things to become part of these sort of statistics.
These are the main risks of 24 hour access:
Without a staff member on site there is nobody to ensure that other customers do not create a fire hazard by smoking, using oil fired heaters or electrical items in their rooms or even arson. It only takes one unscrupulous customer out of 1000 (or a single intruder) to create a very big problem for all the others.
A store in Holland burnt down completely because a man was sleeping in his storage room using a candle for light. The candle started a fire that destroyed the entire store. The man could be seen on CCTV leaving the building as the fire started. He did not raise an alarm for fear of being caught. Locking the building down and preventing customer access when we are not present minimises these risks.
Our staff are all trained on how to act if there should be a fire and what they do within seconds of an alarm being raised can affect whether or not a fire can be tackled or not - and whether your things are protected. We do not expect our customers to be able to do the same if our staff are not present.
We have not been able to find an access control system that can prevent an unauthorised person following an authorised person through a door. We do not expect our customers to forcefully prevent an unauthorised person following them into the building out of hours.
We have not been able to find a system that prevents a customer from blocking a door open which could let unauthorised people in. Automatic doors can get stuck and that can mean a store being left unsecured for hours if a staff member is not present.
All the storage rooms are locked however someone within a store overnight and with the right tools could do a lot of damage or start a fire. Other stores have had incidents where the locks on multiple rooms have been smashed open overnight. CCTV captured everything but by then it was too late.
CCTV and security patrols can help find out about a problem but we would prefer to avoid it in the first place. We can secure the building to a far greater level of protection than is offered by your storage room lock.
In a large building it is comforting to know that there is a friendly face at reception whenever you (or anyone else) is there. If there should be a problem while you are in a lift it can be dealt with in minutes by trained staff rather than hours waiting for outside help if no staff are on site.
We have CCTV covering every corridor (not all companies have such extensive coverage) so we can keep an eye on things from reception and react instantly if necessary. No computer can do that.
We are open 7 days with staff on site for longer hours than many of our competitors. We will always be in the store whenever you are. The risks we are seeking to prevent are real and can easily affect all of our customers if not managed correctly.
Our customers find that our 7 day access and long opening hours coupled with a rigorous approach to security gives them the right balance of security and convenience. We hope you will too!