The analysis was performed in response to a recent report on “Good Morning America” claiming that self-storage units are “easy prey” for thieves.
SpareFoot, the online marketplace for self-storage, examined 11,997 consumer reviews of 3,467 storage facilities. Overall, those facilities earned an average of four out of a possible five stars for security. A four-star rating indicates a facility is “very secure.” A five-star rating qualifies that facility as a “fortress.”
The reviews were submitted on SpareFoot’s network of websites from August 2011 through May 2013. The analysis looked at all customer reviews published during that period. On SpareFoot.com, consumers can check out renters’ reviews of security and other features at more than 6,500 U.S. self-storage facilities.
“Certainly, crime does occur at self-storage facilities, just as it does anywhere else. However, our analysis of thousands of consumer reviews clearly indicates that self-storage crime is not rampant, as the ‘Good Morning America’ piece would lead you to believe. By and large, self-storage facilities around the country are safe and secure,” said Chuck Gordon, CEO of SpareFoot.
Online surveys completed in 2012 found 90 percent of customers who had booked self-storage units through SpareFoot’s network rated a facility’s safety and security as “extremely important” or “very important.” Nearly 900 consumers participated in the surveys.
“That’s why owners and operators spend millions of dollars on safety and security measures like electronic gates, secure building access systems, security cameras, fences, lighting and more,” Gordon said.
About 50,000 self-storage facilities operate around the U.S.; 10 percent of U.S. households currently rent self-storage units, according to the Self Storage Association.
Here are three tips for making sure your belongings are protected at a self-storage facility.
1. Before you sign a lease, ask the facility about its security efforts. For instance, are security cameras installed around the property?
2. Be sure to use a sturdy lock for your storage unit. Don’t use standard or combination padlocks. Instead, opt for a closed-shackle padlock, disc lock or cylinder lock.
3. Ask your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company whether your belongings are covered while they’re being stored. If they’re not covered, it’s wise to buy self-storage insurance.
SpareFoot, based in Austin, TX, makes renting self-storage easy. Our free marketplace lets customers find and reserve storage units online. We have the largest inventory of storage units in the U.S., with a network of more than 6,500 facilities, ranging from mom-and-pop to publicly traded REIT. We reach millions of people who need storage through exclusive partnerships with brands like SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and Penske Truck Rental. SpareFoot brings consumers and facilities together to deliver the most convenient and enjoyable storage experience possible online, offline and via mobile.
For more information, visit www.sparefoot.com.
Newton O’Neill Communications
Lisa O’Neill, 512-494-6178