An Access Control Checklist for Your Self Storage Facility

Posted by Poppy Behrens on Sep 12, 2017 12:00:00 AM

There are a number of security and access control products available to self storage owners and operators today, and knowing which to select can be difficult. This access control checklist will help you cultivate the perfect security solution for your new site or help you expand or retrofit an existing site.


  • Simply put, you need durable, weather tested, UL listed keypads with thick metal enclosures that are properly grounded and sealed during installation. Keypads at all gate entry points and exits are ideal.  Exit keypads are very important because they are the only means for tracking how long your tenants are onsite.  This helps you ensure people aren’t sleeping in units.  A two keypad system is the bare-minimum for any self-storage access control system.
  • Flexibility is important. The best keypads have inputs for proximity card readers, credit card readers, finger print scanners, and more.
  • PayXpress enabled keypads allow tenants to pay at the gate after hours or pay past due bills anytime.


  • Video surveillance cameras are another must have. Cameras make people feel safe, and that alone is a compelling reason to install security cameras at your site. IP cameras are ideal for self-storage because they have the best resolution and zooming capabilities for the price.  Most IP cameras are cloud enabled which allows you to view your feed from any web browser or mobile app.
  • Thermal cameras and temperature monitoring cameras are great add-ons for premium facilities with wine storage or boat and RV lots.
  • Consider pin hole camera in your entry and exit keypads so you’ll have an up-close view of everyone entering and exiting the facility. Having pin hole cameras in your keypads gives you a close of view of tenants alongside their access history so you are better equipped to deal with internal theft should it arise.

Gates & Fencing

  • The best type of gate for your site will depend on the space constraints and physical layout of your facility. Slide gates, barrier arms, swing gates, and vertical pivot gates are a few of the more common types in self-storage today.

Door Alarms & Electronic Locks

  • Think of these as two sides of the same coin because they achieve the same goal: securing and monitoring every storage unit door. Your customers want to know your facility is safe, but more importantly, they want to know that their unit is safe.  Individual door security products help prevent theft from tailgating and help increase the value of each unit at your site. Alarms and electronic locks can increase revenue as well because you can charge higher rental rates for alarmed units.


Control Hardware and Security Software

  • Your system needs to integrate with your property management software to give you real-time reports and create access codes for new tenants. Ideally your controller and software allow for mobile gate entry, custom reporting, and pay-at-the-gate features.  Be sure to ask those questions when researching systems.

Mobile Apps for Easy Entry and Management

  • Mobile apps for gate entry are an unbeatable tool for your access control system and your marketing efforts. Millennials and younger tenants love apps, but your customers of all ages love convenience.  These apps are like a garage door opener for your gate and other doors, and are also a great way to make your site more handicap friendly. The one you choose is important, and you’ll want to be sure you select a mobile gate entry app that works with your access control system so you’ll have a log of all access activity.

Site Graphics

  • Site Graphics are a great way to show off your facility and security features to anyone that walks in your office. Let your security be a marketing tool for your facility by putting your security features on display with site graphics.

Elevator Keypads & Controls

  • These are a bit lesser known, but elevator keypads are rising in prominence as more and more multi-level facilities are built. Elevator controls ensure tenants only have access to their unit floor, reducing the risk of customer theft.


For more information about access control solutions and technology for the self storage industry, visit: