A good tip for finding the best security system at an RV Storage facility is to look at the gate access controls. Most storage operations use one of the following: a padlock, combination lock, a key pad, or a proximity card reader. Some may even offer a security guard for a personal identity check before allowing you to enter. Here are five of the best and worst.
Proximity Card Reader: It allows access by reading the embedded code inside the card. The entries and exits are documented, photographed, and can be monitored in live action. The code can be manipulated by the facility staff to manage customer access dates/hours. Additional cards can be issued for additional drivers within the household or to commercial customers that grant access to several employees. These additional cards can be managed and controlled as part of the customer’s account. The access card(s) can also be instantly turned off in the event of a security breach, customer abuse issues, or if the card has been lost or stolen. The card can be loaned and returned to the customer, but duplicates cannot made or issued. This is an extremely effective technology and used by many Police Departments and other secure facilities.
#2 SECOND BEST
Key Pad Entry: With the keypad, the facility manager can manage the dates/hours of access for the customer. Code entries are recorded and can be monitored in live action. Additional codes can be issued for additional drivers within the household or to commercial customers that grant access to several employees. These additional codes can be managed and controlled as part of the customer’s account. The code(s) can also be turned off in the event of a security breach, customer abuse issues, or if the code has been compromised. But, this method comes in second best because the biggest downside is that customers very often give their code away to multiple family members, friends and service personnel. This issue is grossly magnified every time an “additional User” gives the code away to his/her personal family members and friends. The result is that the facility is now accessible to a multitude of unknown Users. As time goes on, access to unknown Users becomes unmanageable for the facility staff to handle and the security is severely compromised.
#3 LESS THAN OPTIMAL
Security Guard: The success of using a security guard depends greatly on the integrity of the guard himself. A weak guard that doesn’t perform a proper customer check, or one that can easily be talked into letting someone in, defeats the purpose of having the guard. Most facilities don’t use the Security Guard method due to the fact that it usually inhibits longer access hours available to the customers and the Guard is not customer service trained to take rent payments or handle customer account issues. Most facilities will not pay for employees that cannot multi-task and generate income.
Padlock Entry: Customers have to promise not to make duplicates of the gate key or give out any duplicates. But, it is impossible to hold the customer to their promise. The number of keys copied and given out is impossible to monitor. Entries and exits are not recorded or seen because there is no staff on site. Staff cannot control customer access hours or deny access when necessary. Security is dependent on each customer faithfully closing and locking the gate upon exit, which often doesn’t happen. There is virtually no security, controls or monitoring. Padlocks only mean that thieves need to bring a pair of bolt cutters with them. Chances of staff catching and prosecuting an offender is highly unlikely. Usually there is little or no evidence to turn over to the Police.
#5 VERY WORST
Combination Lock: This poses the same problems as with the regular padlocks. But in addition, access is even harder for paying customers that don’t access the facility often enough to actually remember the combination. Facilities that use padlocks rarely have any staff on site, so customers can’t depend on help with the gate when they need it the most.