The short answer is maybe. Read on to learn more about the surprisingly nuanced topic of self storage with electricity. Storage unit facilities need electricity to power their facilities. So yes, the facilities themselves will have it. But you may be looking for an electrical outlet inside your own storage unit. Not all facilities offer this. In fact, many storage unit facilities do not provide outlets at all. But if you DO need to plug something in, you may not be totally out of luck. Let’s look at some valid reasons why customers seek out storage units with access to electrical outlets.
What’s covered in this article – click on a link to learn more:
- Why you may need storage with electricity
- Why facilities don’t offer electricity in storage units
- Why facilities don’t advertise electricity in storage units
- How to find storage with electricity
- Do storage units have lights
Why you may actually need a storage unit with electricity
Picture this. You are a small business owner who launched a t-shirt company during the pandemic. Your idea has taken off, and now your inventory is piling up in the corner of the living room, the upstairs hallway, and your home office. It may be time to consider a business storage unit to house some of your inventory and equipment! Industries like retail, hospitality, medical, construction, design, and real estate often take advantage of business storage units to keep materials organized and secure. However, keep in mind that you cannot run a business out of a storage unit because they are not zoned for business purposes.
As the summer months come to a close each year, many boat owners begin making preparations to store their boats during the winter months. They may opt for climate-controlled storage, particularly in areas with harsher winters. RV and car owners who wish to take their vehicles off the road for a period of time are also likely to choose the security of a storage unit. In some cases, they will need access to an outlet for charging purposes.
Why storage facilities may not offer storage with electricity
Even if you have a legitimate reason for seeking out a business or personal storage unit with electricity, you may run into some difficulty in locating one. Storage facility owners sometimes decide not to offer this service for several reasons:
To keep the prices of the storage units down
Adding amenities like electrical outlets, wifi, and climate-control add significant cost to the monthly rental of a storage unit. Since most clients are paying for storage on top of a monthly home rental or mortgage payment, keeping the price point as low as possible is an important consideration for facility owners.
To keep people from taking up occupancy in storage units
“Offering electricity in storage units could potentially encourage individuals to use these spaces as makeshift living quarters. This poses numerous safety and legal issues, as storage units are not designed or equipped to accommodate human habitation.”Donnie Rand, Marketing Coordinator at American Association of Owner Operators
Unfortunately, there are many examples of accidents caused by the unsafe use of a storage unit. David Clark, a personal injury trial lawyer and partner at The Clark Law Office, is aware of several fires started by electrical failures.
“In 2017, an electrical short caused a fire at a self-storage facility in Lower Valley, El Paso. Another electrical fire in 2016 caused $200k worth of damage to a self-storage facility in Florida,”David Clark, a personal injury trial lawyer and partner at The Clark Law Office
Costly fires like these serve as a cautionary tale for storage unit managers, who are often very hesitant to allow renters to use electricity even if the facility can provide it.
Why a storage facility may not advertise offering storage units with outlets
The fire in El Paso started in the middle of the night. It may not have been immediately detected for this reason. The damage was estimated at $165,000, and affected roughly sixty percent of the units. This is the nightmare scenario for any storage unit manager. A fire of any kind is a major liability, and managers are on high alert for red flags that could put the facility in peril.
For that reason, storage facilities may not share on the company website that electricity is available in some circumstances. It is the manager’s responsibility to vet out any renter that is planning to use the unit for illicit purposes both for their safety, and the safety of the belongings in each of the facility’s units. Renters may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and should always speak directly to the manager to inquire about renting a storage unit with electricity.
How to find storage units with electricity
Even if a storage unit facility’s website does not advertise storage with electrical outlets, look for clues that it may be available. If the facility advertises these features, it may be a good indication that storage units with power are in fact available under certain circumstances:
- Climate-controlled units
- Recently constructed storage facility
- Indoor storage
- Business storage solutions
When you speak to the facility manager to inquire about storage with power, the key is to be clear about your intended use of the unit. Be as direct as possible, and try to introduce yourself in person if possible.
Do storage units have lights?
If your interest in storage units with electricity is generated by concerns over lighting, the solution may be easier than you think. It is understandable that you are hoping to have lighting inside your storage unit, as it will make finding and organizing your belongings much easier. Even if the storage unit doesn’t have power outlets, some have lights in the unit. This amenity may be easier to find during your online search, but if you truly need an outlet, now you have some suggestions on finding a storage unit that meets your requirements!