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How Secure Is Self Storage, Really?

Posted: 07 August 2023

16 August How Secure Is Self Storage Really Blog 3 2

Self storage facilities have become the modern-day sanctuaries for our excess belongings. These spaces hold our memories, prized possessions, and irreplaceable items while providing relief from the burden of clutter. However, in a world where danger lurks around every corner, the question of their safety is always in the back of our minds. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the safety of self storage facilities, uncovering common risks, prohibited items, and important security features to consider when renting a self storage in the UK.  

Are Storage Units Safe? 

Yes, storage units are widely considered the safest places to store your valuables. Unlike the old abandoned warehouses from the 80s, storage facilities today feature robust units and security measures to ensure your belongings are properly protected from threats like fires, floods, and burglary. 

You can find most storage units in highly secure indoor buildings with gated access, surveillance cameras, alarms, and security personnel. These facilities must have strict safety protocols in place, guaranteeing both you and your belongings protection on their premises. 

That said, storage facilities aren't invincible.

What Are the Biggest Risks at a Self Storage Facility?

fire alarm/ extinguisher/ security feature in a self storage unit.

Self storage units hold our most valuable possessions, sometimes for years. As a result, storage owners and staff need to be well-prepared against several risks. Here are some of the biggest threats to your belongings in self storage: 

1. Security Breaches 

In 2022, the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated 2.6 million incidents of theft. As storage facilities house many people's valuable belongings, they are a common target for theft and burglaries. 

To deal with this threat, storage facilities have robust security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, access control systems, and trained personnel. They have designed these security measures to deter criminals, detect any suspicious activity, and ensure that only authorised individuals have access to the facility. 

2. Fire Hazards

Another significant risk is fires. Storage facilities have strict rules to ensure no flammable items enter the premises, but that doesn’t mean to say a fire is impossible. Arson, smoking, and faulty electrical components can result in a fire breaking out. 

To mitigate this risk, storage facilities have proper fire prevention systems, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and well-maintained electrical systems. Regular inspections and staff training are also essential to identify and respond quickly to fire hazards.

3. Extreme Weather 

In the United Kingdom, bad weather is a natural part of life and something we all need to prepare for, especially self storage providers. The country experiences heavy rainfall, storms, and occasional extreme weather events that can cause flooding and severe water damage.

Storage facilities are designed to be structurally secure and protected from these extreme weather conditions. Storage units are also well-ventilated, clean, and dry, helping protect sensitive items from sudden temperature increases or humidity.

4. Pest Infestation

Storage facilities can be susceptible to pest infestations, including rodents, insects, or even mould. These unwanted visitors can damage or contaminate stored items, leading to a number of pesky problems. 

Regular pest control measures, cleanliness protocols, and proper ventilation at storage facilities help prevent infestations and keep the stored items safe.

While self storage facilities do take care to ensure none of these risks become a reality, unexpected events do happen. And in these unforeseen circumstances, self storage insurance can help cover the financial loss of your belongings. 

What Are the Most Important Safety Features at a Storage Facility?

CCTV surveillance camera monitors a self storage facility

The majority of people who use self storage in the UK rent the space to store items when moving between properties, while others use it to store belongings during university breaks or declutter homes they want to sell. As a result, storage units have become a second home for many, where they keep their most valuable possessions. 

If you’re looking into self storage, the easiest way to ensure the security of your items is to choose a facility you can trust. When it comes to safety at a storage facility, here are a few key features to keep an eye out for:

Security Cameras 

Most self storage facilities have CCTV surveillance cameras strategically placed throughout the premises to monitor all activity. These useful devices are excellent deterrents and can provide valuable evidence if any incidents occur.

Access Control Systems

Access control systems are another essential safety feature. They help regulate who can enter the storage facility, through electronic key cards, codes, or other secure methods. Access control systems ensure that only authorised individuals can enter the facility, reducing the risk of theft or damage to your belongings.

Well-Lit Areas

Decent lighting is not only important when storing your items, but it can also help deter criminals. Motion sensor lighting also enhances visibility, making it easier for security cameras to capture clear footage.

Fire Prevention Systems

Fire prevention systems are designed to detect and extinguish fires in their early stages, minimising damage. When visiting a storage facility, look out for fire extinguishers and alarms, and ask the staff what other safety measures they have in place in the event of a fire.

What Should You Not Leave in a Storage Unit?

Whether you're renovating your kitchen or starting a business, self storage can be a great solution for a variety of things. However, even the greatest solutions have their limits and there are items you can't leave in a storage unit.

Storage companies like Storage King have specific regulations and policies in place to ensure the safety of you, your belongings, other clients, and their staff. These regulations prohibit certain items in storage, including:

  • Living things such as animals and plants
  • Hazardous materials such as flammable liquids and explosives
  • Perishable items that could decompose, such as organic foodstuffs and plants
  • Unauthorised and illegal goods such as drugs and firearms

It's critical to familiarise yourself with this list before you begin storing your items, as failure to abide by these rules could breach your contract and insurance agreement.

How To Protect Items in Self Storage?

  1. Choose the Right Storage Unit: When selecting a self storage unit, opt for one that suits your needs. Consider factors like size, drive-up access, and security features. Try our Size Estimator to get an idea of the various unit sizes available. 

  2. Pack Smartly: Efficient packing is key. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts to protect fragile items. Label your boxes clearly to easily locate what you need later.

  3. Protect From Moisture: Moisture can be a crafty adversary. To safeguard your belongings, use moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets or desiccants.

  4. Cover Furniture and Delicate Items: Prevent dust and scratches by covering furniture with blankets or specially designed covers. For delicate items like mirrors or artwork, use bubble wrap or protective sleeves

  5. Use Secure Locks: Don't forget to bring a high-quality lock to secure your storage unit. You can buy sturdy, steel locks from our packaging shop in-store or online.

  6. Consider Insurance: Just in case the unexpected happens, it's wise to consider insurance coverage for your stored items. Check if your home insurance or renter's insurance already provides coverage, or better yet, get specialised storage insurance with your storage company.

  7. Maintain an Inventory: Keeping an inventory of your stored items can make a big difference. Take photos, make a list, or use an inventory management app. This way, you'll always know what you have stored and where. 

  8. Visit Regularly: While your items are safely stored away, it's still a good idea to visit occasionally. Check for any signs of damage, pest infestations, or changes in the storage environment. 


Storage King is a trusted and leading self storage provider throughout the UK. To learn more about secure self storage solutions, contact us at 0800 0852 954 or request a price online

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