Self Storage Lockers can be a Hazard to Your Preps

self storage lockers

When I first retired, I worked for a large company and among the buildings I was responsible for, was a Self Storage Locker.  Now it was not located in the best part of town and there were always problems. Now I hear and read of some preppers using self storage lockers to store their preps.

Because I was responsible for the staff and what went on there, I used to hear about all the problems.  Here is a list of reasons, why you should not store your preps in self storage lockers.

First let’s talk about temperature; the vast majority of them are not temperature controlled. So depending on where you live, your preps will be subject to high heat in the summer and possibly freezing temperatures in the winter.

self storage lockers
The inside ones are easy to break into.

Burglaries, they occur all the time.  Crooks figure out many ways of ripping you off.  For example, you put a big high quality lock on yours.  They see it and decide you have something of value to protect.  They ignore your lock and break into your neighbor’s unit which has a cheap lock.  It is then easy to enter your unit through the interior wall.

Another way is to enter by cutting your lock.  They then empty the unit and put a new lock on.  The burglary is not discovered until you come and check your locker.  They are long gone and probably the surveillance tapes, if there are any have been erased and reused.

Crooks sometimes rent lockers with false id and then tunnel into the adjoining units. This also lets them hang out and surveil other lockers. These are just some of the ways that you can be ripped off in a self storage locker.

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Another problem you have to worry about is exposure to hazardous materials.  Drug dealers rent them and sometimes set up meth labs in them or use them to dump their hazardous waste.  They then finally quit paying their bill and the chemicals are discover a month or so later.   By then the whole area can be contaminated.

In addition, because of the crime, you occasionally have police prowling around to see what is going on.  I know all the ads claim that they are secure, alarmed and have surveillance cameras.  Ours did, but it never stopped the crooks and there were very few that ever got caught. As for the security gates, they come over the walls, they watch for other peoples codes, they follow others through the gates, they rent lockers with false id’s.

Another problem is the manager if he is good and pays attention to what is going on, he often sees what you are storing in your units. A bad manager is even worse he may be working with the crooks.

These are not good places for you to store your valuable preps.



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5 thoughts on “Self Storage Lockers can be a Hazard to Your Preps”

  1. Howard,
    Most of what you say is true, but on the most part the same can be said about your home or where ever you store your extra preps.
    A very quick bio of me. Last year I auctioned defaulted storage lockers at 51 locations selling over 500 units and my wife & I have bought at several storage auctions conducted by storage managers. I have been selling defaulted storage for over 25 years.
    When storing your items at a public storage facility you must do your Intel. work. Ask if the manager lives on-site. Ask about security cameras, environmental controlled units, access hours and so forth.
    Most of the concerns you raised can be mitigated by you and proper intelligence.
    In the past 5 years I have auctioned 3 units I would consider “Prepper” units. 2 were estate auctions where the family didn’t want to go through all the “JUNK”. The other was a forfeiture and there is your biggest problem is the monthly rental bill. It soon becomes more than the stuff is worth to buy new. That monthly bill takes money away from your budget to buy more preps.

    1. That’s the reason we don’t buy many preps, just enough to get thru a bad hurricane. Y2k was a farce and many friends donated preps to the local food bank and sold off other items. Several I know passed away and heirs tossed the preps to incl storage unit stuff. We have an average sized house and do not want clutter and go thru same thing as we did before y2k. It’s just not worth it. If people need storage units, then it’s time to downsize and un clutter your house. Temporary storage is fine if youre trying to move and want t o clear the house to sell it, or have a business inventory.

  2. While waiting for a friend picking through her storage unit..
    This was a few years ago I walked up and down the lanes.

    I found 7 units I knew I could get into with just 2 to 3 minutes of
    fiddling with the locks.
    The worst ones were the tubular bike locks with the 5 big bright plastic
    number dials.
    I mentioned this to her and she didn’t believe me so I showed her.
    The one closest to hers took me less than 2 minutes to figure out the combination buy putting pressure on the lock the way you would
    normally pull it open and very slowly turning
    the dials until you felt then fall into place.

    Key locks like the older masters and many others: scissors, pop can
    and possibly pliers to hold the metal and careful manipulation can
    get those open.
    you can even find the info on YouTube.

  3. All of you have good points but the main factors are your lock, your neighbors locks, and your trust in other people. But also the stuff inside your locker.

  4. I had one for years while building my cabin. Like everything else in real estate the secret is location, location, location. Mine sat between a rural convenience store and a campground and I had none of the problems this apparent city guy describes. If I had nothing better, I would spend the $30 a month for somewhere to store a set of free bunk beds, a $13 barrel of water, & other misc. junk that might be helpful along an evacuation route. Preppers are the only people I know so terrified of losing something they choose to have nothing. Perhaps this is like the precious metals critics. Those who cannot afford a storage unit as one of many redundant caches that may be compromised rationalize that they are useless anyway.

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