DO'S AND DON'TS
When considering storage options, ask yourself:
IS THIS REALLY SELF-STORAGE?
There are a lot of storage providers who advertise themselves as 'self-storage.' You should use our video as a measure of what a self-storage facility should look like. Avoid builder's yards, non-air-conditioned shipping containers, wooden crates, converted barns and sheds. You may pay less but your risk may be very high from vermin mice and pest infestation, dampness, flooding and crime. High-quality self-storage is held to the high standards of the Self Storage Association, so if your provider doesn't have that certification you may be at risk. If you care enough to pay to store your goods then you will want your property back in the condition you left it.
Think smart. Don't sacrifice peace of mind for the price.
HOW SECURE ARE THESE PREMISES FOR MY POSSESSIONS?
Firstly, does the facility have control of its own gate and perimeter fence? If a storage provider shares access with other companies or even a home, what measures are taken to ensure authorised access only? The businesses at a shared-gate facility will have different opening hours and if the gate is open who is taking responsibility for locking it? You need to know that the storage facility is staffed when the gates are open. This is a particular risk for outdoor shipping containers when cars/vans/lorries can simply drive up to a unit, cut the lock and take your goods and this has happened in Belfast.
At House and Stock, we have invested in keeping your property as safe as can be. We have our own perimeter fence and the building is staffed during opening hours. We have monitored security alarms, CCTV, exterior steel & roller security doors and internal secured doors. Vehicles do not have access to our units so we retain several layers of protection between your belongings and the outside world.
HOW DO I GET ACCESS TO MY BELONGINGS?
Ideally, you want convenient access but you still want a level of security. Forget open-door policies, if anyone can walk in off the street then you don't want to store your goods there. Key code access on its own is also risky. Codes can be published online or circulated around. How often are the codes changed? If a self-storage facility is offering 24/7 access or after-dark access, then double check it is staffed during these hours and extra security measures are in place should an incident occur. Unless staff/security are on site during opening hours, your belongings are at increased risk and you don't want this type of access.
At House and Stock, we are open 7 days a week and you have access during opening hours and staff will always be present. Fob access is best as fobs can be disabled by us at any time. An access record is kept and if we need we can identify who and when the property was accessed. Un-returned fobs are simply deactivated.
HOW SUITABLE IS THE FACILITY FOR MY VALUED PROPERTY?
Have you checked that there is a clean air policy? No cars near units, no petrol items permitted. Cars driving up to units means your belongings will smell of exhaust fumes.
The biggest threat to goods is from dampness. Externally stored shipping containers are exposed to temperature fluctuations and this leads to internal condensation. Converted barns, garages and outdoor sheds are also prone to dampness. At House and Stock, we monitor the air humidity daily. We operate a clean dry air policy.
Converted barns and sheds can be prone to vermin intrusion. At House and Stock, our perimeters are secure and we keep the facility vacuumed and tidy. We want to store your goods in a similar way to how they would be stored in your home.
ARE MY GOODS INSURED?
You should always have insurance for your goods and your self-storage provider should recommend this to you and be in a position to also supply the cover you need. Home insurance rarely covers self-storage. As the value of each person's goods will vary we sell insurance coverage separately to match the value of your property.
DOES THIS OPERATOR MEET THE STANDARDS SET BY THE SELF-STORAGE ASSOCIATION (UK)?
You should always check for SSA certification. The SSA hold their members to high standards, not just in the quality of the units they provide, but also in the quality of staffing, service, standardised paperwork and facility management.
House and Stock are arguably the leading providers of self-storage in Northern Ireland. We run a state-of-the-art facility but at a very affordable price. Watch our video and visit us to see the difference for yourself. You won't be disappointed!