What to know about protecting your belongings in storage

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — There are hundreds of storage units in the metro area that house everything from toys to cars. Theft can be a concern, especially if your facility doesn’t offer insurance.

Tommy Lopez tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers he was shocked to arrive at his storage facility, open the door and discover his property ransacked.

“My doors were swinging on my trailer; the doors were open and broken into,” he said.

Lopez says he lost thousands of dollars in sporting equipment, including a trawling motor and camping equipment. 

The facility’s management tells the Problem Solvers while they have a strong security system and resources that can help in a police investigation, supplemental insurance isn’t being offered at the time, but will be in the future.

Since not all storage facilities offer coverage, insurance experts Kim Alire of Risk Management Partners tells FOX31 homeowner’s personal property insurance covers stored items, but the limit may be lower than if the items were stored in your home. The amount of coverage can also depend on the reason for the loss. Anyone planning on storing items should check their policy first.

Commerce City police tell FOX31 anyone with a storage unit should take the below steps to secure their items:

Purchase a high-quality lock. Disc-style locks are more difficult to cut than a typical pad/shank type of lock.  

Do not share entry access codes with anyone you do not absolutely trust.

Cover the key pad when entering your security code so no one can see your passcode.

Do not copy keys or distribute them to anyone you do not trust.

Update your homeowner’s insurance to address theft at a storage unit. Many storage units require insurance and may pass that cost on to the consumer.

Document your valuables with photographs.

Inventory your valuables, including serial numbers whenever possible.

Avoid storing high-dollar valuables such as jewelry, money and firearms in a storage unit.

Inspect your individual unit often to ensure the locking mechanism is operational, the walls and ceilings are secure, and the doors are properly affixed to the unit.

Many storage unit facilities are located in isolated areas. Ensure the unit you choose is clean and well maintained, and that the business is well-lit at night to help deter criminals.

Ensure your storage facility is equipped with security cameras.

Be alert for suspicious activity in and around the facility. Call your local authorities to report suspicious activity. 

Conduct research on the particular area your storage unit is located in to determine if the area has had a problem with theft or burglaries. 

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