With almost 15,000 storage doors, we see a LOT of locks at Sentinel!
In self-storage, our customers place their OWN lock on their storage unit door and they keep the key. While it may seem like a small detail during a big move, a good quality lock is an important final component. The lock not only secures your door, but ensures reliable access to your storage unit.
As with most products, locks can vary in quality. A “dollar store” lock may seem like a cost saving decision, but you get what you pay for, so consider what you’re risking. Cheap locks are susceptible to having the keys not turn well, or even break inside of them. If you have an outdoor access storage unit, your lock will be exposed to the elements. Rain, snow, sleet and freezing temperatures can not only damage a lock, but can freeze the tumbler system inside so your key will not turn to open it. A hardened steel shackle (the U shaped part of the lock), lots of pin changes, and a hardened body are qualities of a good lock. What dollar value do you put on your time if the lock does not open when you are accessing?
A good quality lock will be reliable and open smoothly when you access your unit. Like many of our customers, you may be accessing your unit when our office is closed. (Access is 6am-11pm, 365 days a year to allow you to drop by anytime to add to or take out items.) Then there is the security aspect. Experienced storage operators, like Sentinel, take security very seriously, with many features in place: individual door alarms that work with electronic access systems, cameras, quality concrete and steel construction, well lit,commercial grade fencing and, at some facilities, managers live on site.
Even so, bad guys occasionally try and break into units. A good quality lock is a deterrent to someone looking for a quick “cut and grab” opportunity.