Locks for Self-Storage Units: What You Need to Know
Whether you’re in the process of moving and need to shelve some items away for a while, renovating a room in your current home or your home is undergoing restoration or remediation, self-storage units come in handy in that they’re able to house a sizeable amount of your belongings at an affordable price. But it’s important to keep in mind that these are your belongings – so you want to safeguard them just as you would your own home or property.
For starters, we recommended selecting a self-storage unit in a fenced in, well-lit area that also has security cameras to fend off wrongdoers. We’d also recommend looking for a site that is staffed 24/7 and that features an access gate so that only those with items stored in units on the grounds are able to get in and out. Finally, a climate controlled facility is also a bonus, especially if you’re stowing away items that may be sensitive to high or low temperatures.
But beyond all this, it’s also important to have the right lock for your self-storage unit – and if you’re under the impression that just any old lock will do, you’re wrong. This post will take a look at some of the most popular – and most effective – locks that you can outfit a self-storage unit with:
Keyed and Key-Less Locks
The key-less lock, or combination lock, and the padlock, or keyed lock, are two of the most popular lock types suitable for self-storage units. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the most lacking when it comes to actually effectively securing your unit. Needless to say, but this can be a big problem.
Combination locks are just that – locks that open when the right combination is entered into them, similar to how you likely opened your high school locker or how you lock up your bicycle when you’re riding in public. But think back to your college days for a moment – chances are you know of someone who had their bike stolen, even when it was supposedly securely fastened to the bike rack. That’s because combination locks can be easily manipulated. Hackers may be able to guess the code, but it’s more likely that a thief will just use a bolt cutter, hacksaw or some other tool to break the lock, presenting themselves with easy access to whatever it is that they want, whether it’s a bike or valuables in your self-storage unit.
Padlocks, or keyed locks, while different, share many of the same cons that combination locks do. But instead of bolt cutters or hack saws to bust through these key locks, would be thieves probably will just use a bump key. Bump keys enable thieves to pick a key lock quickly and easily. What’s more is that these bump keys can be purchased legally and easily – just cruise up to your local hardware store to see for yourself. If you really want to see how easy these types of keyed locks can be picked with a bump key or similar lock picking tool, just do a quick search on YouTube. It will make you rethink securing your self-storage unit with a padlock – that’s for sure.
Unlike the other two lock options we discussed here, the disc lock is much more burglar-proof. For starters, it can’t be snapped with bolt cutters because of the way in which they’re designed. What’s more is that other tools, like hammers and lock picks, are also largely ineffective. It can be manipulated and picked, yes, but it will take a considerable amount of time to do so compared to other types of locks. That’s notable considering that most thieves are looking for a quick, easy in and out. In fact, to manipulate a disc lock, most thieves turn to grinding it, which is messy, loud and time consuming.
Disc locks actually originated for the sole purpose of securing self-storage units. They’re typically made of stainless steel, so they are able to thrive in year-round weather. Perhaps the lone disadvantage of going the disc lock route is that these locks will cost you more than the padlock or the combination lock. But when it comes to your personal belongings, it’s better to spend a little bit more money upfront than have to spend a lot of money replacing your valuables later on.
In some instances, self-storage units may be able to be equipped with a cylinder lock, similar to the types of locks that you’d find on the front doors of many homes and businesses. Because they’re more integrated into the unit, bolt cutters are taken out of the question, which is beneficial when it comes to storage. However, not all self-storage units are equipped for this type of a lock – and for those that are, these locks can be very difficult to change.
The bottom line is that when it comes to protecting your items, whether it’s in the home or in a self-storage unit, you want something that’s going to provide security. And just as how you should complement your home locks with things like well-lit property and well-manicured landscaping to deter crooks, you should also ensure that self-storage units have thief-deterring features like gated entry, a fenced perimeter and security cameras.
For more information on the best locks for self-storage units and more suggestions for how to keep your personal belongings safe and secure regardless of where they are located, contact Great Valley Lockshop today by calling 610-644-5334 or request a free estimate.