Subscriber Discussion

Cameras For Self Storage Facilities

Can anyone suggest anything? For a building like this:

I worked on a few of these projects. They have an interesting mix of constraints:

  • If every overhead door is covered, they are happy. These businesses 'sell' security of stored items, so they always have a performance expectation that requires hundreds of cameras, even for a small/medium sized facility. ...and, they almost never have money for hundreds of cameras. This is design crisis #1.
  • Access to storage areas are typically controlled by code or keyed gates. Even then, many facilities want 'License Plate' camera shots that confirm who enters/leaves the facility.
  • Night-time is seldom evenly lit. Typically, there are a decent number of high-intensity lights, but this results in a slew of really intense 'hot spots' followed by gaps that are 'pitch black.' Good WDR is almost a given.
  • Commonly, everything is covered in concrete. Everyone wants WiFi to prevent trenching, in the hopes it saves them money.
  • Retention times often exceed 90 days. If 'Unit Renter X' claims that a priceless heirloom was stolen from the unit, the facility generally likes to have plenty of video storage that shows no one entered the unit aside from 'Renter X'. One facility I work on wanted two years, and they paid for it!

With that said, we almost always recommended a 'budget camera line' like Vivotek or ACTi, used a lot of Ubiquiti Radios, and generally a VMS like Milestone Essential (or Exacq) on a COTS server. In several cases, the facility liked a PVM directly shown in the rental office as proof video surveillance was in use and operating.

This is design crisis #1.

lol... I have noticed that they tout high security yet have crappy surveillance systems.

I did a demo for a self storage unit that looks eerily similar to the one pictured (minus the weeds being all over the ground).

It always comes down to cost with these guys because they rarely have the funding necessary to get a top of the line system. I feel like its mainly just to show their customers "Hey, we got some cameras here your stuff is protected"


Currently, the two facilities have absolutely no protection, no gates, no cameras and probably no alarm system either. It's wide open to anyone! Maybe I should start by offering him gate operators?? What IP camera can capture license plates at an entrance/exit gate? Then, perhaps just two low light IP cameras for the asphalted lots (one on each side of the building). I doubt he'd want to secure each individual storage unit via video surveillance. A loud alarm system would probably more efficient than cameras to deter theft, especially since the owner of the facilities live next door.

What does COTS stand for?

Wow! "Greenfield" opportunity here...

COTS - Commercial, Off the Shelf, meaning a workstation or small server is purchased from the mass market and then VMS software is installed. (Not a specialty NVR or appliance)

Start by asking the management what they consider biggest security threat is. Trespassers? Thieves? Vagrants? Customers?

In general, find the biggest pain point, address that beyond expectation, and you'll be that facility's 'go-to security provider' for a long time to come.

If you get a blank stare, and they truly do not have fences or gates, start there. We released a primer on Security Fences that might help the discussion.

Hey guys. I realize this string is pretty old now. However... I am in the processing of redeveloping an old industrial building into an indoor climate controlled self storage facility in Buffalo, NY. I want a quality camera system (not just show for customers) that would also be appropriate in terms of the level of technology for this type of project. I will likely need around 60-70 cameras all together, of which maybe 6-7 will be outdoors. I have used Nest cams in the past, but other than that I am new to surveillance. I have been doing some reading on the important criteria to be aware of in selecting. Some views will be narrow angle for looking down corridors, and other areas will require a wider angle. I have a good amount of flexibility in terms of budget for the camera system, so I am able to afford a good system. However, i am just wrestling a bit in terms of ideal camera resultions for this application, frames per second, focal lengths, and other key criteria (there are so many) that maybe I haven't even yet considered. I am looking for good clean smooth images. The guidance that is available for the beginner looking to educate himself enough to make a reasonably sound decision is pretty limited. Any guidance of the "right" approach, right system, best cameras, other considerations, for an indoor self storage setting, would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance. Dan

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: I Want A Quality 60 - 70 Camera System For An Indoor Climate Controlled Self Storage Facility - Any Guidance On Right Approach, Considerations And Best Cameras?