Norton Seal A row of safe storage units with roll-up doors and cylinder locks.

At Home

How to Find the Best Storage Unit for You

Cleaning up your home, garage or shed is no easy task. Reclaiming that valuable space, though, can be easily solved by renting a storage unit. Whether you’re storing valuable antiques or just seasonal lawn equipment, you’ll want to find a safe and secure space for your belongings.

Make sure the storage company you choose is dedicated to keeping your things safe. Here are some tips for picking a company you can trust.

Ask About Storage Unit Fire Prevention

Make sure the storage facility was built with fire-resistant materials. A storage facility fire can be disastrous for all renters, whether the fire engulfs their unit or not. Smoke and other chemicals released due to the fire can ruin belongings and pose further health risks to those who use the facility, too. And if you don’t have insurance to cover your belongings, you’ll be out the value of your stored items — or worse, you’ll lose possessions with lots of sentimental value. Get in touch with an American Family Insurance agent to see how you can add protection for your stored belongings to your policy.

Check the Facility’s Security

A well-run facility won’t leave any openings for thieves or vandals to steal or damage your belongings. Choose a company that has alarms, cameras and limited access hours or around-the-clock security.

A facility-wide security alarm is great, but individual unit alarms are better. Whether it’s the typical noisy alarm or a silent version that’ll alert staff and authorities, it’s an absolute necessity to keep your valuables safe and peace of mind intact.

The same goes for cameras. Most facilities will have a facility-wide system, but you can ask the company if they offer cameras for individual units — or if you can mount your own inside the unit. Even noticing a security camera can deter a criminal, so let them know you’re keeping a watchful eye on your stuff.

A true top-notch storage facility won’t leave any room for error in the protection of your stuff when it comes to in-and-out access, either. Many companies won’t allow anyone inside during non-business hours without the presence of a staff member. And while you might not be able to access your belongings at a moment’s notice, consider it another critical element of keeping your stuff safe!

Protect Your Belongings With Temperature Control

A facility should always maintain a temperature of 55-85 degrees to protect your belongings from extreme heat or cold. Check that the company also actively manages the humidity with dehumidifiers. Without humidity control, artwork can shrink and expand, mold can grow in electronics and furniture, and paper can be irreparably damaged.

Secure Your Storage Unit’s Doors and Locks

Double-check that the facility’s units have roll-up doors and locks. A heavy-duty metal roll-up door makes it easy for you to get your larger items in and out of the unit, and a durable lock is a great deterrent for a would-be thief. If the facility doesn’t supply a quality lock, look for one with a thick body, made of hardened steel and with as many interior security pins as possible (the more pins, the harder it will be for a burglar to pick your lock).

Get Details on the Roof

If water seeps into your storage unit and ruins some of your grandfather’s prized artwork and your antique furniture, you’re likely going to assume that damage yourself. Ask the facility’s staff for specifics on the roof: what is its age, if it has ever leaked and when it was last inspected.

No Hazardous Materials

It should go without saying, but you don’t want to store your valuables next to a locker filled with material that could harm you or your belongings. A facility that prohibits any sort of hazardous material and enforces its rules appropriately is a safe facility.

Once you’ve chosen a storage company, talk to your agent to learn more about how your policy can protect your items while in storage and protect your dreams for years to come.

How would you rate this article?

Related Topics: Home DIY , Owning A Home