By Suzi Conner, Certified Self Storage Manager
Choosing a lock for your self storage unit should not be taken lightly. You think that your property is safe because there is a fence around the property and the property has cameras. Those are security features that the storage company provides and they are a great deterrent for most negative activity. However, you can never be too safe or too precautious when it comes to your valuables. The lock you choose is just as important as the other features on site.
Take time to choose a lock that is a heavy duty and high quality. The lock you choose is the last defense you have to keep your items safe and secure while in storage – whether they are in your shed or out-building on your property or in your storage unit at our many locations.
There are so many choices of locks out there and with that goes a wide range of prices. When selecting a lock, there are a few things you want to ensure the lock provides:
- Is the lock you are looking at rust proof? Most storage units are drive up units and out in the elements year-round. This means you would pull up to the unit like you do your own garage door. If the lock rusts, it may not open for you and be stuck in the locked position.
- Can the lock be easily cut with bolt cutters? A standard pad lock can be, so avoid those. Criminals tend to be lazy and will go after the easiest way in and that means they will seek out simply padlocks because they know they can simply cut them off and gain access.
- Can the lock be broken with a hammer? Sounds like an odd question, but combination locks can be hit with a standard hammer and they will break quite easily. They are meant for much smaller storage spaces like your locker at the gym. They are never a good idea for a storage unit full of valuables.
- Is the lock recommended by the national Self Storage Association (SSA)? The only lock style that is basically endorsed by the SSA is called a disc lock. The are designed specifically for self storage, and cannot be easily cut or broken, and they are typically rust resistant. Not only are the high quality and recommended by the SSA, but if for some reason an intruder can break the lock and a theft occurs, your self storage insurance deductible is waived if you have opted for one of our third-party policies available for purchase in our rental office. If you have insurance coverage through your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, you need to check with your agent to see if they offer the same benefit.
Once you have decided on purchasing a disc lock, which is the only lock we offer for purchase in our retail shop inside the rental office, there are a few steps to take to keep it performing well over months and years of use. At every change of the season, spray inside the key hole and inside tumbler area with oil. This will keep the tumblers moving freely and prevent the lock from jamming or getting stuck.
If you have any questions about the disc locks we recommend and how you can purchase one, you can talk with your property manager or contact us for more information. And if you are ready to start using self storage for that fancy new disc lock you just purchased, you can rent a storage unit online today.