How safe is your stuff in storage?

How safe is your stuff in storage?

When you put your possessions into a storage facility you assume that they are going to be kept in a safe and secure environment.  It is important however to look at the security levels present in your chosen facility to ensure your possessions are kept safe.

Site security

There have been some instances of theft from self storage units so you should take a look at the security measures in place.   As self storage is such a booming industry with more and more of us needing extra space, there are facilities popping up all over the place to satisfy this demand.  These range from slick, professional set-ups with a nationwide network of locations to more rural, single site businesses where land that may have been previously unused or underused has been reimagined.  Here are some things you can look out for to assess the level of security.  A simple visual assessment will tell you how easy the area is to access – imagine how things look at night and think about how likely would someone be able to access the area unseen.    Is the facility protected by a secure perimeter fence which is high enough to deter potential thieves?  Is there a sturdy, locked gate?    Some other things which you can find out to assess the security at the site:  Is the perimeter also protected by CCTV cameras and video surveillance?  Is there an alarm system and how and when is the facility staffed?  How is access managed out of hours?  Are there regular security patrols?   

Get a sturdy lock

Aside from the security present at the site you can take measures yourself to make sure your possessions are safe in self storage.  Making sure that you add a sturdy lock to your container or unit is important, make sure you buy one that can’t be cut by bolt cutters.  An adequate lock is the first and best way or keeping your stuff safe.

Once you have satisfied yourself that the storage facility you have chosen is as secure as possible, you also need to look at the storage itself to make sure your stuff is also as safe as possible from damage whilst in storage. 

Environmental protection

If you are using an external metal storage container, make sure that it is as well sealed from the elements as possible – again, a simple visual assessment is often all that you need – are there any signs of moisture ingress or previous leaks inside the unit?  Do the doors fit and seal well?  Does the container look to be in good condition without rust or damage on the exterior?    

Make sure you are using the right kind of storage for your goods – for instance, we would not recommend storing items which are sensitive to temperature changes or prone to rust or mildew in an external storage container, especially over winter.  For more advice on different storage types and what they are most suitable for see our blog -

Making sure you pack and sack your belongings well is also important to minimise possible damage whilst in storage – see our tips and advice here

Make a list

Keep an independent record of what you are storing – creating a proper inventory of what is being stored.  Having good records will help in the event of theft to know what has been taken.  It will also help you to make sure that you have not under estimated the value of what you are storing – which brings us on to the final point…

You guessed it… Insurance!

If you follow all of the advice here to make sure that you are using a secure and well managed storage facility and you have taken care packing and protecting your possessions before you put them into storage you have done all you can to keep your stuff safe from damage.  For those events which fall outside of your control, you need to make sure that you have adequate storage insurance.  Storing your goods away from home will almost always not be covered under your home contents insurance and the storage facility itself is not insuring your possessions under its policy.   

Storage Insurance is designed to cover your possessions against the particular risks involved in self storage and is therefore properly designed cover for stored goods.  Remember, you should always have sufficient cover for the full replacement value of what you are storing.  Using a specialist storage insurance provider like Store Insure will add the final level of protection should the worst happen, giving you peace of mind.   Our standard policies now come with zero excess on claims and you can take out cover from 1 month to 18 months and from as little as £1,000 to £100,000. 

For more information on our policies – have a look at our website – for an immediate, online quote – visit

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Patrick Pellens

Author: Patrick Pellens

I started in the insurance industry in 2003 specialising in Personal Insurances such as Motor Bike, Car and Home Insurance.