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When placing items into a self storage unit, you will need to secure it with a lock. Choosing the right lock is an important decision that many people take too lightly. Grabbing the first lock you see at the hardware store, or the cheapest one, may leave your valuable belongings vulnerable to theft. To maximize the security of your self storage unit, take the time to do your homework and invest in a good, high-quality lock.
There are a number of different locks on the market from which to choose. Some offer better security than others.
Keyless – Keyless locks offer convenience that other types of locks can’t offer. There is no key required, so you don’t have to worry about losing your key. You can also give access to other people easily simply by giving them your code. However, some keyless locks are powered by battery, which could leave you without access to your storage unit when the battery dies. Many keyless locks are also easy to cut with bolt cutters or a hack saw. So while it is a high tech option, it isn’t always the most secure. Keyless locks are not recommended for outdoor use.
Combination locks – Similar to keyless locks, combination locks also offer many of the same conveniences, such as not requiring a key and allowing you to share your combination. But combination locks also have some drawbacks. They feature longer shackles that are easier to cut with bolt cutters. They can also be tampered with easily. Single dial combination locks tend to be more secure than multiple dial combination locks. If you decide to use a combination lock, look for one with about 64,000 possible combinations. Be aware that some insurance companies won’t cover property secured with combination locks because they offer such poor protection.
Padlocks – Padlocks are one of the most common types of locks. These locks have pins in the cylinder that are manipulated to a specific position so they can be opened by a specific key. Padlocks are often used to secure outdoor sheds and luggage. They are not, however, the best choice to secure a self storage unit. Padlocks can be rekeyed easily without removing them. They can also be picked relatively easily with lock pick tools or bump keys. In addition, they can be easily cut with bolt cutters or be broken or smashed. If you choose to use a padlock on your storage unit, be sure to keep a spare key in a safe place. Look for one with a 5-pin tumbler, a thick shackle, and a brass or stainless shell.
Disc locks – Disc locks are considered to be the industry standard and tend to offer the best protection. In fact, they are made specifically for securing self storage units. The closed-shackled design of a disc lock provides superior protection. They feature a curved shackle that encircles the entire lock and is enclosed between two metal cases to create a disc-shaped lock. These locks cannot be cut with bolt cutters because the hasp (the U-shaped part) is designed so that it cannot be reached. They also cannot be broken with a hammer. Since the components are all internal, it is nearly impossible for anyone to pick or tamper with a disc lock. In fact, the only way to remove a disc lock is to grind it off, which would take significant time and tools and would make a lot of noise, which makes it too risky for thieves. Disc locks are made of stainless steel which means they won’t rust if used outdoors. Some insurance companies even offer a zero deductible or lower premium if you use a disc lock to secure your storage unit.
Another factor to consider when choosing a lock is the size of the lock. Locks larger than 2-3/4” are too large to fit most standard latches. However, smaller locks are easier to remove by thieves. For the best security, you should choose the largest lock that will fit the latch on your unit.
In addition to choosing the right lock, you should also look for a self storage facility with security features. If you’re in the Topeka, Auburn, Silver Lake, or Tecumseh area, AAA Self Storage of Topeka offers several security measures to help protect your valuables. Our facility is a well-lit property with fencing and an onsite resident manager. In addition, we assign unique security codes for each tenant to access the security gate onto the property. AAA Self Storage of Topeka offers a variety of locks options to fit any budget as well as a wide range of self storage unit types and sizes to meet any need.