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In the world of self-storage, there’s nothing more important than ensuring the safety and security of your prized possessions. Whether they’re stored in a facility or a convenient portable storage container just yards away from your home, peace of mind is paramount. Unfortunately, storage unit theft is a legitimate concern, regardless of where you live.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution to safeguard your belongings: investing in a high-quality storage unit lock. If you’re uncertain about which is the best storage lock to choose, this comprehensive guide on the various types of self-storage unit locks will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to select the best lock to keep your belongings safe.
Understanding Self-Storage Unit Security
In storage facilities, protecting client valuables is the number one concern. The safety of stored items is prioritized through security measures such as gated entry points, 24/7 video surveillance, guards and well-lit grounds and buildings. In addition to these safety measures, a reliable and sturdy lock is a must. A high-quality lock is an added layer of protection, acting as a deterrent to thieves.
When it comes to choosing a lock, different self-storage facilities may have different requirements or recommendations. Make sure you adhere to the facility’s security standards by investing in the proper lock to ensure the safety of your belongings.
Types of Locks for Self-Storage Units
While certain storage facilities offer locks for purchase, others may require you to obtain your own. When searching for the ideal lock for your self-storage unit, you’ll find three primary types: padlocks, disc locks, and cylinder locks. To make an informed decision, let’s examine and compare the advantages offered by each type.
Best Padlock for Storage Unit
Padlocks are versatile, easy to use and can be used on most storage units. They are typically made of steel, brass, zinc alloy or aluminum and are the most affordable locks to use on a storage locker. Padlocks are constructed with a simple u-shaped shackle that snaps into place to secure the device in a hasp.
Chris Seabrook, owner of Asguard Locksmiths and a highly experienced Locksmithing Specialist with 20 years in the industry, says to look for a padlock with a shackle made of thick metal, like steel, which is the most durable. However, a closed-shackle padlock is a more secure option, as it has a shackle with very little exposure once the lock is closed. It’s shrouded by the lock casing with only a small section visible, making it much harder to use cutters to cut through the metal.
Disc Lock For Storage Units
Unlike padlocks, disc locks cannot be removed with bolt cutters, which is why they have become another storage industry favorite. The disc lock has a round body and shrouded shackle that make it notoriously difficult to tamper with. These locks are compatible with most storage unit latches, and as most disc locks are made with stainless steel, it makes them perfect for outdoor units. Disc locks are more expensive than padlocks, but the extra security they provide can be worth it.
Seabrook recommends the ABUS 24/70 Disc lock for its security and durability. “What impressed me the most was the padlock’s resistance to tampering,” he said. “I remember one time I found some scratch marks on the shackle, indicating that someone had attempted to break the lock, but its solid construction, including a hardened steel shackle and disc-shaped design, provided a strong defense against cutting and sawing attempts. It packs a one-two punch thanks to its premium construction and reasonable price. Overall, we haven’t come across a better value for the money.”
Cylinder Lock For Storage Units
Often, a storage unit will come equipped with a cylinder lock. This type of lock differs from padlocks and disc locks in that it is built right into the storage unit itself, you just need a key. The specially designed key turns a cylinder attached to a cam which then releases the lock. Cylinder locks are considered top of the line locks as they are drill proof and difficult to pick.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Storage Unit Locks
Security Level: Having a secure lock is obviously the number one priority. Do your research and choose a quality lock that comes recommended by industry professionals and has been tested or certified by security organizations. Also, ensure the lock is resistant to cutting, drilling and lock-picking.
Compatibility: Before purchasing a lock, check with the storage facility or company to ensure it’s compatible with the storage unit’s latch or locking mechanism. You’ll want to consider things like shape, size and material. Additionally, it’s essential that you’re aware of any specific lock requirements or restrictions.
Durability: Although durability is an essential feature of all quality storage locks, it’s especially important for outdoor storage. Choose a lock with durable, weather-resistant features that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Many locks come with protective covers or coatings to enhance durability.
Practice Good Self-Storage Security Habits
Investing in a high-quality storage unit lock is an essential step towards safeguarding your belongings, yet it’s only part of a comprehensive security strategy. Here are some additional measures to ensure optimal protection for your possessions:
- Don’t share your storage unit key or lock combination with anyone you don’t completely trust.
- Double check that you’ve locked your storage unit securely after each visit.
- Inspect your storage unit lock on a regular basis and replace it when necessary.
- Lubricate your storage lock to keep it functioning smoothly and reliably.
In conclusion, selecting the right lock for your self-storage unit is of utmost importance. Padlocks are affordable, easy to use and come in several materials and designs. Disc locks are usually made of stainless steel and are compatible with most storage unit latches, making them the industry go-to lock. Cylinder locks are best for storing valuable items as they are both drill-proof and impossible to pick. In general, remember to prioritize security, adhere to the facility’s guidelines and rules, and rest easy knowing your possessions are well-protected.