They say that life is one big risk, but when it comes to your possessions and paying for storage, you want to minimize that risk as much as possible so as to protect your belongings and to protect your investment. These days, most storage units are run on a professional basis, which means that most risks are mitigated and planned for in advance.
Assessing The Risk
Here at Storage Area, we take great pride in working with great storage providers who always strive to provide the best customer service with their storage units to every single one of their customers; but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t general risks when it comes to getting a storage unit. Here are the six most common risks that people in counter when they store their possessions in storage units.
1. Break-Ins and Theft
For most professionally run storage unit facilities, break-ins and theft are, thankfully, very rare occurrences. If you have things to store that are of particular value in a monetary sense, it is worth looking into your storage provider to ensure that they take security very seriously.
Each storage unit owner takes a different approach to security. Some will make sure that you have a padlocked door to your own unit but be relatively open otherwise. In contrast, others will have a sign-in/ sign-out system, CCTV installed, and perhaps even security on site to protect your belongings, and those of everyone else’s who has a storage unit within the facility.
2. Data Breaches
A slightly more common risk that is not often considered by most people is that of data security and how your data is protected from any security breaches. When renting a storage unit, you will inevitably be handing over some precious data to your storage unit facility owners.
Data such as your name, contact email address, contact telephone number, and perhaps even your physical address will be taken at a minimum, and some facilities may take even more details to verify your identity when you come to the facility. The major risk with handing over this much data to an unknown company is whether or not they can keep your data secure and safe.
Most professional storage unit facility providers have safeguards in place to ensure their systems are as protected as possible. This is a case of speaking with the storage facility owners to ask how they approach data security to ensure that data cannot be accessed by a third party for nefarious uses.
3. Chemicals and Dangerous Substances
Practically every storage unit facility in the USA banned the storage of dangerous chemicals and explosives in storage units. This ban has been implemented by most storage unit facility owners due to the risk of explosions, and other serious dangers to health and life that storing chemicals and dangerous substances in the wrong way can present.
This can be a particular problem for renters who are seeking to store items that may be considered dangerous, for example, reenactors who will be storing weapons that use black powder, as it may mean finding a storage unit that has these specific safeguards set in place to ensure that everyone is kept safe.
For everyone else who is not looking to store dangerous chemicals or substances, the risk is very minimal that you will come into contact with them. There is always a small risk that another storage unit rental may be breaking the rules and storing chemicals and substances that they shouldn’t be in the unit, which will put everyone else at risk.
4. Poorly Used Space
Poorly used space within a storage unit may not seem like much of a risk to begin with, but if you consider that you are spending money on this unit every single month and you are not making the best use of the space that you’re paying for, then suddenly this becomes a big risk to your finances.
For anyone who is really interested in the financial side of storage unit usage, this is actually a big risk.
5. Bad Storage Unit Owners and Users
Sadly the weakest link in most of the best-laid plans is generally a human being and poor decisions, and this is also true for storage unit owners and storage unit uses. You can never quite mitigate the risks of having a unit next to an individual who is is a bad storage unit user, either by storing things they shouldn’t be or by risking the security of everyone else’s units by leaving entry doors open and bringing unidentified people onto the premises, but there are ways that you can minimize this risk for yourself.
Always ask the storage unit provider themselves what their attitude to security is, is there a sign-in/sign-out system, CCTV, or on-site security? Also, ask them how they keep tabs on what people are storing in the unit and what they are doing with the units to ensure that your unit is not next to someone who has bad intentions either for you or for your possessions.
6. Shut Downs and Working Hours
Another risk along the continuity side of risk management is that of shutdown hours. While this might not be much of a risk, most of the time, if your unit is shut overnight and you need to get to something in the middle of the night, this can be a big issue.
Equally, if you are moving house, and you just so happened to be moving house over a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, and your unit is closed, this can mean that you risk spending more money on your unit than is necessary and not being able to get to your possessions when you need them.