risk management: tip of the week

Security & Crime Prevention Planning

Creating and maintaining a comprehensive security plan for your property can result in a number of benefits for your operation. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the potential to reduce criminal activity at the facility, but maintaining a secure facility also provides benefits that make good business sense.

Here are some factors to consider regarding security. This list is by no means all-inclusive, so be sure the consult your insurance agent, attorney, or a risk management consultant for advice relevant to your particular operation.

  • Premises Inspections – Inspections of the premises should be conducted and documented multiple times each day to include lighting, locks, fences, gates, signage, and surveillance equipment.
  • Lighting – Be sure your facility has the proper lighting as may be required by local or other laws or ordinances. Darkness is an asset to criminals and increases the risk of injury, so adequate lighting throughout the operation is critical. Inspect light fixtures, bulbs and automatic switches or timers daily to ensure proper operation.
  • Locks – Establish a schedule for making visual checks of tenants’ locks throughout the day. Electronic door locks are becoming more prominent in the industry and can enhance the safety of both customers and employees.
  • Fencing – Fencing should be in good repair and suitable for its intended purpose. Inspect fences regularly and make repairs as quickly as possible.
  • Security Gates – Custom gate codes and tenant entry via smartphone apps have enhanced security. Be sure to have gates and keypads inspected regularly by a licensed expert, make daily visual inspections, and perform repairs as quickly as possible.
  • Online Lease and Payment – Online payment not only enhances efficiency but also is a more secure method of transacting business.
  • Signage – Post signs throughout the property to alert tenants to security and operational issues including gate operation, facility rules and regulations, evacuation routes, and fire extinguisher locations.
  • Surveillance Equipment – Surveillance equipment should be inspected regularly and maintained in optimal working order to include cameras, motion-activated recording to a digital file, door alarms for individual units, automated alert notifications, and remote-monitoring options.
  • Consider consulting with an industry security provider or risk management consultant to conduct an annual audit of your security efforts. That expertise combined with the advice of your insurance agent and attorney can help you establish a comprehensive security plan for your self-storage business.

    For more tips, sign up for the quarterly e-Risk Management newsletter. It's free!

    Make it a safe day!

    Mike Schofield
    President & CEO