Posts Tagged ‘security’

Choosing A Self-Storage Facility in Vancouver

June 10th, 2011

Self-storage facilities – you can find them at almost every highway exit but you should know that not all storage facilities are created equal.

There are a host of reasons why people need a storage facility; seasonal storage, home based business inventory, moving, or possession date conflicts. Finding the right storage facility to fit your needs can be challenging.

Here are some pointers on asking the right questions and taking the time to make the right choice for your storage needs. If you forget all else remember to never book a unit without visiting the site first.

VISIT THE LOCATION – IS THE FACILITY WELL CARED FOR

Are the grounds well cared for, is the facility clean and well maintained. Is the building dry and free of mildew. The physical condition of the storage building should be an indicator of how well run the establishment is.

Look for old damage, burnt and unchanged lights, overflowing garbage cans as well as the condition of the washrooms. Don’t be scared off by Rodent bait boxes as this may be a positive indicator of the facility proactively dealing with potential rodents or pests.

Double check that the facility prohibits the storage of food goods, perishables, as well as flammable and other chemicals. Are smoke detectors, fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinklers in place.

SECURITY

Personal security, do you feel safe while at the unit. Does the facility provide you with a safe environment to work in especially when you may be alone or present after hours.

Does your individual unit have lighting inside. Are fences surrounding the facility intact and in good condition. Are there motion sensor activated lights, panic alarms and landlines for immediate assistance. Check to see if you receive cell coverage while in your unit.

Physical security, there should be Key coded access cards or security code panels to ensure that only employees or other customers have access to the facility.

There should be cameras mounted throughout the facility and preferably monitored by on scene staff. Best case scenario 24 hr security conducting patrols and monitoring the cameras.

Make sure that the facility you are considering has an alarm system in place for the facility and your individual unit. A cement wall unit will offer additional security from fire and intrusion. Ensure that the wall is floor to ceiling. Walls made of sheet metal or wallboard can be easily cut through.

with exterior access offer immediate convenience but are not always the best security. Storage spaces within a building add to security, especially if they are electronically monitored.

INSURANCE

Is insurance provided? Few self-storage facilities include insurance in the rental fee. If you choose to select insurance through the facility keep in mind that the usually offered basic insurance may not sufficiently cover your contents. Better to check with your insurance agent to see if your existing policy covers your goods while kept in storage.

If your homeowner policy does not carry over you may want to get a few quotes on renters insurance. This insurance is relatively cheap and ensures that you are properly covered should anything happen. In preparing for your insurance you may wish to photograph or catalogue the items you are placing in the storage unit.

HIDDEN COSTS-CONTRACTS

Read all documentation closely. Double-check costs, fees, conditions and terms of the agreement. Ask what insurance options are available for damage and theft.

Since your storage needs are not permanent pay particular attention to the cancellation requirements. Are you expected to buy their own locks at minibar prices. Are there fees for additional heating requirements in winter Months or for use of the loading bays, loading dollies and equipment.

CONVENIENCE, AMENITIES AND SERVICE

Access, most facilities offer fairly regular hours while others provide the convenience of 24/7. These may been a bit pricier but if you keep odd hours or need to access your unit at off hours it may be worth the added cost.

Climate control, most newer central facilities provide this feature. If you are storing antiques, artwork or important documents, humidity and climate control should be considered.

Use of equipment, a reputable facility should offer the free use of hand trucks, carts and dollies to help you get your items to storage. Some facilities even offer the use of a moving truck, free of charge.

Make sure your delivery vehicle can comfortably park, load and unload at the storage building. Consider whether you need to accommodate a large moving truck, a rental truck, or your own vehicle. Are the loading areas covered and within a gated area of the facility.

Is the facility properly staffed. Are your questions sufficiently answered and addressed in a timely manner. The staff should be professional and knowledgeable. Is the billing and processing modern and efficient.

IS IT GREEN?

Does the storage facility promote sustainability, are there recycling initiatives and collection centers in place. Does the facility promote the rental of reusable moving crates and bins and eco-friendly packing alternatives.

BBB

Check the reputation of the facility the Better Business Bureau maintains records of filed complaints, and your local chamber of commerce can give references.

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