Having an integrated fully-functional security system is crucial to any business, and even more so in the self-storage industry. Unlike other commercial ventures, storage businesses must consider liabilities associated with failure to provide adequate security to their tenants. Theft, vandalism, arson and other property damage that result from poor security or an improperly maintained system can have a devastating impact on your business—not to mention disrupting the lives of dozens, or even hundreds, of tenants at a time.

 

If you have an integrated PTI security system at your facility, that’s a great first step. The next step is to perform routine maintenance to your system. Maintaining both your security software and hardware will help ensure your system works well every day for years—or decades—to come.

 

Security Hardware Maintenance

Keypads, Cameras, Gate Operators and Alarms

There are many things you can do on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure your security hardware remains in good working order. The following tips do not require any technical knowledge and can be done by self-storage owners and operators without the help of trained professionals; however, it is important to make sure you comply with the manufactures guidelines and don’t do anything that would void your warranty.

Check your housings. One very important thing you can do to maintain your outdoor security equipment is checking your keypad and video camera housings on a regular basis. Dirt and water can damage your security hardware, so it’s important to check your housings to make sure all enclosures remain sealed and water proof. The recommended frequency for checking enclosures is once a month.

Check for pests. We don’t always think about this one, but spiders and wasps frequently make homes on or around outdoor security equipment. Spider webs, wasp nests, and slug infestations can create moisture on your outdoor hardware that can ruin a circuit board in short order. These pests can also obstruct the field of view of your outdoor security cameras. During the spring and summer months, weekly inspections for pests are ideal.

Clear all debris and trim landscaping. This is especially important if your facility is in a wooded area or if you have shrubs, vines, or trees in the area. Pine straw, pine cones, leaves, sticks, tree limbs and other debris and collect on or around your keypad housing, gate operator, and other devices and can damage your equipment, collect moisture, and obstruct the field of view of your security cameras. Trimming your shrubbery and clearing any fallen debris helps ensure that your equipment isn’t damaged and functions properly. Check for debris on a weekly basis, and trim shrubs and vines on a monthly basis.

Clean your camera lenses and keypad buttons. This sounds simple, but cleaning your equipment goes a long. Cleaning your camera lenses on a weekly basis helps you capture, clear, high quality video footage. Both indoor and outdoor cameras can collect dust, but outdoor cameras are much more susceptible to collecting dirt and debris. Don’t forget to clean the lenses in your pinhole cameras in your keypads as well. Each days, dozens of customers and employees touch the keypads at your facility. Over time, your keypad buttons collect dirt and oil from repeated contact, and can start to stick if they’re not regularly cleaned.

Check your cables. Checking your cables helps you make sure all of your devices are being powered properly. Be sure all cables are properly connected and that your devices are receiving the correct amount of power. Here again, check for signs of pests and damaged wired from wear and tear.

Check your batteries. If you have wireless alarms or other devices that utilize battery power, check for signs of corrosion. If batteries are corroded, they should be replaced.

Clear ice and snow. Winter is coming, and it’s important to be sure snow and ice don’t build up on devices because it increases the chances of moisture damage. Some keypads and gate operators have heaters built in or the ability to add aftermarket heaters. Heaters are good options for security hardware maintenance in areas that frequently experience freezing temperatures. Any aftermarket devices should be installed by trained and certified professionals.

 

 

Security Software Maintenance

 

Remove outdated access codes. One of the most commonly overlooked security system maintenance measures is removing access codes when employees leave the company. This measure becomes even more critical if the employee is terminated or disgruntled. It’s also important to change access codes for delivery services, garbage collectors, and all other non-tenant access codes on a monthly basis. Employees of these companies and services may change, and you don’t want past employees to have access to your site. When renters move out, be sure their access codes are immediately expired, and avoid allowing basic or obvious codes like “123456.”

Update your software and system. Updating your software to the latest version is very important. Typically, both major and minor updates provide additional features and functionality. Updating your security software and automatically installing all system updates are simple, yet important, ways to help maintain your security system. Additionally, updated features and new technology that come from security software updates help to enhance your security system without a major overhaul.

 

 

If repeated on a regular basis, these steps will help keep your security system running at peak efficiency.