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Does the Self-Storage Company Have Any Liability if Your Items Are Stolen or Damaged?

Even with every possible protection in place, no one in this world can guarantee protection against disaster. We do all that we can at Cherokee Self Storage to keep the belongings of our tenants safe. We also ask that our tenants follow the rules we’ve created to maintain a safe environment. If theft, natural disaster, or an unexpected accident gets past even all of these precautions, will the storage company be liable?

In most cases, the answer depends on things like the quality of the storage facility and the rental agreement.

Let’s look at the quality of the facility first. A storage company is essentially a type of landlord. Like a landlord, a storage facility is responsible for creating a safe and secure environment for its tenants. That means providing good lighting for the property and maintaining its structures, including the units, any utilities, and the security fence. If these things are maintained properly, the self-storage company usually isn’t responsible for stolen or damaged items.

On the other hand, if a thief gets into the facility through a damaged section of the fence, the company may be liable for any items stolen due to this negligence.

The rental agreement also factors into whether or not a self-storage company is liable. Lots of storage companies will require that a renter shows proof of insurance over their items before signing a contract. The rental agreement is there to protect both the company and the tenant, and will lay out the rules for the space.

For instance, it will usually mention items that are not allowed in the units, such as flammable and hazardous items. Keeping these away from the facilities reduces the risk of damage to any items on the property. By signing the rental agreement, a tenant is accepting liability for damage or theft that occurs as a result of their own negligence or failure to follow the rules.

Although there are a few instances in which the self-storage company may be liable, it’s best to take coverage into your own hands. Even if a company doesn’t require you to have insurance, you should still consider protecting your items with special self-storage insurance, or checking to see that your current insurance policy will cover your things

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Should You Really Store Your Important Personal Documents in Self Storage?

We’ve written before about the many helpful uses of self-storage. One way that many people use it is to store boxes of documents off-site. It can clear up space in your home or office and leave you feeling more organized and less cluttered. But what about your personal documents? Here we’ll explore whether or not it’s a good idea to keep these documents in self-storage.

Self-storage is secure …

 In a well-maintained and high-quality storage facility like Cherokee Self Storage, you do have a lot of peace of mind regarding your storage unit. We take every possible precaution to protect your things, from having gated access with unique codes for each renter, to keeping surveillance cameras rolling 24/7.

As such, you can feel good about keeping most things in storage at Cherokee Self Storage — even documents. We often recommend storage as a great tool for organizing business or personal files away from your home or office. It can help clear up space, which is always nice.

But disasters still happen …

 Having second copies of the documents you keep in storage is always a good idea, whether those copies are digital or physical. Even though we do all we can to keep our facility safe from disaster and theft, these things still happen from time to time. This is important to consider when asking yourself whether you should keep your most important personal documents in storage. Anything that is irreplaceable, like a social security card or a birth certificate, is probably better to keep at home with you.

Bottom line: it’s up to you

Although it’s by no means illegal to keep your personal documents in self-storage, you might feel more in control of these things if they’re kept at home. We recommend buying a fire-proof safe for your tax records, passport, and other similar items.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose which storage option feels more secure. If you do decide that keeping these documents in a storage facility is safer than in your home, be sure to go with a climate-controlled unit that will protect them from extreme temperatures and humidity

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5 Things You Should Never Keep In Your Storage Unit

Although self-storage units can be good for anything from antique furniture to personal documents, there are some things you should never keep in a storage unit. Take a look at five items that are not meant for the world of self-storage.

Living things

Nothing that is alive should ever be housed in a self-storage unit — not a plant, not an animal, and definitely not you. The occasional TV show or movie will show a person crashing in their storage unit, but this is not acceptable in real life.

Storage units lack the resources that living things need to thrive — fresh air, sunlight, and water. Never keep an animal in a storage unit, not even for a night. Find a different home for your plants and animals.

 Liquids

Avoid keeping anything liquid or wet in your storage unit. If an item goes in after a wash and before it’s completely dry, it could cause mold and mildew. What’s even worse is that this mold and mildew can spread to other items and potentially ruin more of your belongings.

Hazardous materials

It may go without saying, but it’s worth repeating that hazardous materials are not safe to keep inside a storage unit. Not all hazardous materials are obvious. Some cleaning chemicals and fertilizers can be unsafe if they aren’t stored correctly. You should also avoid bringing batteries, guns and ammo, liquor, and fuels, including what’s left in a small motor.

Irreplaceable items

Climate controlled spaces at Cherokee Self Storage are designed to protect your items from fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Even so, it’s not always best to store your most precious, one-of-a-kind items in a unit away from your home. Something like a family heirloom could be safely kept in the right storage unit for the short term, but in the long term it’s safer to keep irreplaceable items at home with you.

Extremely personal documents

We’ve often expressed how useful a storage unit can be to store documents off-site and save room in your home and office. We still stand by that sentiment, with one exception: the most personal of documents. Anything that’s linked to your identity, such as a social security card, passport, or birth certificate, is best stored close to you at home.

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How Much Do You Know About the Storage Access Control?

There are a number of things in place at Cherokee Self Storage to help protect your storage unit from thieves and other suspicious behavior. It is our job to keep your belongings safe and secure while they’re under our roof, and we do everything we can to make that happen.

One of the key pieces to on-site security is storage access control. This gives you easy access to your unit while protecting all units from outsiders. Let’s take a closer look at how the storage access control adds an extra layer of protection to self-storage.

 Unique codes for each person

 When someone rents a storage unit from Cherokee Self Storage, they are given a unique access code to open the locked gate. By using a different access code for each person, we can grant access to a new renter just as quickly as we can revoke access from a previous renter.

It’s important for tenants to keep their access codes to themselves. This code is the key to the storage facility, and sharing it can create a security risk.

Gated access granted through codes

Each Cherokee Self Storage location is protected by a secure gated access. This is where the tenant’s code comes in. A renter will enter their unique code into the keypad. When a valid code is entered, it sends an electronic signal to the gate to open and provide access.

Once the gate is open, the tenant drives through and the gate closes behind them. All of our facilities offer convenient drive-up units, so that renteres can drive directly to their storage space.

Unlimited and independent access whenever needed

Tenants are welcome to visit their storage unit whenever they need to between our operating hours. We keep our facilities open from 6:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night. These dawn to dusk hours provide a large, safe, well-lit window of time during which renters can access their storage units freely using their access control code. Unless someone needs to access their unit outside of normal business hours, there is no need to make an appointment or ask for entry. The storage access control system manages approved entry and access on its own.

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Cherokee Self Storage: Keeping Your Stored Valuables Safe and Secure

If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to keep your valuables safe in storage at Cherokee Self Storage, the answer is yes. We take security very seriously at all of our facilities and have a number of measures in place to ensure that your items are safe in their units. Here is a closer look at what we do to keep your stored valuables protected.

Video surveillance

 When it comes to keeping an eye on our storage facilities, we don’t mess around. Our video surveillance systems are on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In keeping a constant lookout for suspicious activities on the property, our surveillance system adds peace of mind and protection.

 On-site manager

 Not only does an on-site manager provide an opportunity for personalized service and assistance when needed, but they serve as another layer of surveillance at the facility. Our on-site managers are trained to look out for any activity that seems suspicious.

 Regular maintenance

 Upkeep is essential in maintaining a secure storage facility for our customers. When choosing their target, thieves look for vulnerable places where damage might indicate a lack of surveillance, lighting, or protection. Our maintenance team ensures that all Cherokee Self Storage properties are always in great shape and that all protective tools are in working order.

 Dawn to dusk hours

 In order to better monitor appropriate access to storage units, our facilities maintain dawn to dusk hours. This gives our customers a wide window during which they can access their unit in the protection of daylight, and helps us distinguish any suspicious activity. If you need to access your unit outside of this window, just let us know and we can accommodate.

 Gated access

 All Cherokee Self Storage properties are accessed by a keypad. When you rent a unit through us, we will give you your own unique access code that will let you into the facility. Make sure that you keep this code to yourself. Don’t share it with anyone. This gated access prevents anyone without a unit from entering the property and helps reduce the possibility of theft.

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What is Illegal to Store in Self-Storage?

So, you’ve rented a storage unit and are ready to downsize and get organized. Before you start moving in, take a look at this list of things that are prohibited from storage units. Some of these may seem obvious (see illegal item number two), but others are worth mentioning. For your safety and the safety of others, follow the rules and keep these things out of your self-storage unit.

 Hazardous chemicals

 The possibility of hazardous materials spilling poses a risk to you, our maintenance team, and other customers. For this reason, it is illegal to keep such toxic and hazardous chemicals inside your storage unit.

 Illegal items

 Illegal items are illegal in a storage unit? Shocking, we know! It’s against the law to use storage units for items like street drugs, drug paraphernalia, and anything used to make street drugs.

 Live animals

 Not only could live animals cause damage to the items in your unit and others, but the unit itself could cause damage to the animal. It’s actually against animal cruelty laws to confine an animal to a place like a storage unit. There’s no light, no fresh air, and no natural water. Find a different home for an animal.

 Yourself

 Although it may be tempting to save on rent by moving into a storage unit for a while, this is not legally an option. No living thing — including a human — can be kept in a storage unit. For one thing, this type of living situation is not safe due to risks like fires and health concerns. It’s also an uncomfortable space to dwell in, and not zoned for residential purposes.

Anything flammable or combustible

 You cannot bring anything combustible into your self-storage unit. That creates too much of a risk for your items, and the items in all surrounding units. Prohibited items include fireworks, aerosol cans and other pressurized items, and fuel of any kind or amount. For instance, if you plan to store a lawnmower in your unit, you need to make sure you have removed the fuel from its motor before you bring it in.

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How to Choose the Best Storage Unit Size for Your Needs

Picking the perfect storage unit is harder than it sounds. It can be difficult to picture how your items will fit together, and you don’t want to risk them not fitting. But you also don’t want to end up paying for extra space you don’t need. To help you find the balance, we’re sharing a few tips for choosing the best unit size for your needs.

Figure out your main needs

 It may seem obvious, but the first thing you should do when you’re planning to get a storage unit is think about all the purposes it may serve. By giving this thorough consideration, you’ll avoid having to move all of your things into a larger storage unit down the road.

For instance, if you’re looking to get a storage unit for your business’s inventory, you may want to invest in some extra space now so you’ll have extra room to grow into. But, if you just want a place to store your furniture short term during a move or renovation, you can stick with a size that will fit your current items.

Figure out what exactly you’re current items are

Picking a storage unit that is the right size for your current belongings is easier said than done. Whether you’re storing your furniture or your business’s appliances, you’ll need to take a solid inventory of what you’ll be moving into the storage space. Make a list of boxes, furniture, and bulky items that you want to store, and measure them if possible. That will give you the most accurate idea of how much space you need to start.

Envision the unit with painter’s tape

If you need help figuring out whether your things will fit into a storage unit, painter’s tape can help. Measure the space of your unit in your driveway or yard, and mark it with painter’s tape. Then, you can move your items and boxes into space and see how they fit.

Bigger is better than smaller

 If you’re questioning whether you can fit your things into a smaller space, it’s probably best to size up. A little extra room can give you more flexibility, easier access to your belongings, and give you the space you need for safe and secure storage methods.

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How to Use Self Storage for Your Business Needs and Save on Commercial Rent

When you think of a storage unit, you might imagine using it as a place to keep extra furniture, or as a space to stage your things during a move. But have you ever thought of making a storage unit an integral part of your small business plan? We’re about to tell you three ways to use a storage unit for your business needs and save money in the process.

Use it to save your workspace for work

 No matter where you set up shop, a cluttered workspace is stressful — especially when you’re working from home. The line between work life and home life is hard enough to maintain without the literal overflow of files, tools, and other work items spilling into your living room or onto your dining room table.

A storage unit is a great solution to this problem. It allows you to declutter your workspace — whether that’s an office or your kitchen — for a low cost. You can use it to store documents, appliances, or whatever your business needs that doesn’t need to be within immediate reach.

 Use it as a cost-effective solution for commercial needs

If you want to save money on your business costs, but are in need of extra space for equipment, inventory, or files, a storage unit is your best friend. On average, it will cost you significantly less money to lease a storage unit than an office space of the same square footage. Because of this price difference, storage units are a great tool for businesses who are ready to grow but don’t want to spend the money on more office space.

 

Make it an affordable retail solution

 

Retailers know how challenging it can be to keep their inventory in order in a small back room, especially as the seasons change. Renting a larger store is an expensive solution for large inventory, and could cost more than it’s worth. A better option is to go with a storage unit. In a climate-controlled space from Cherokee Self Storage, you can keep your extra inventory protected off-site for a low monthly rate, allowing your brick and mortar store to remain neat and organized.

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Top 10 Reasons Why People Use Self Storage

There are a lot of reasons why you might decide to rent a storage unit. These top 10 motivations might shed light on how a storage unit could help make your life easier.

Moving
Many times, a move out date doesn’t line up perfectly with a move-in date. In these cases, a storage space can be a lifesaver, a place to keep all of your furniture while you make the transition.

Renovating
A storage unit is often a convenient place to keep your furniture and values as your home undergoes a renovation.

Change in relationship
Transitioning in and out of a personal relationship sometimes means moving into or out of your home. In these potentially stressful times, a storage unit is an easy solution to finding a temporary place for your stuff.

Downsizing

Whether you’re an empty nester or just someone who has recently moved into a smaller space, a storage unit will provide all the space you need for extra furniture while rearranging.

Gap year
Some young adults opt to take a gap year after high school, where they can enjoy time off for exploring the world before college. In these cases, a storage unit serves as the perfect home for furniture and personal belongings before college.

Expecting a baby
If you have a baby on the way, you might need to turn the spare bedroom into a nursery room over the next few months. A storage unit can keep your old furniture tucked away while you make the transition.

Studying or working abroad
If you’ve been presented with an exciting opportunity to work or study away from home, a storage unit is your solution to keeping your belongings safe while you’re gone.

Business needs
Often, businesses need a place to keep old files, samples, or inventory. Renting a climate-controlled storage unit is an affordable alternative to a business warehouse.

 

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Should You Buy Self Storage Insurance

If you have property tucked away in a secure storage unit, you might be wondering whether you need self-storage insurance. Just as renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance protect the belongings that are stored at your home, storage insurance is there to cover all the things that are in storage.

Although storage units like Cherokee Self Storage are protected in numerous ways, there are some disasters — natural or otherwise — that can’t be avoided. In the case of something major like a tornado, our gated access and video surveillance at Cherokee Self Storage can’t be of help.

For this reason, many people with possessions in self-storage choose to get storage insurance to protect against unexpected emergencies. Although other forms of insurance — like the aforementioned homeowner’s and renter’s insurance — can occasionally cover items in storage, it’s important to look over your plans and be certain you’re protected.

In certain, vulnerable cases, having that extra self-storage coverage might give you peace of mind. Here are a few circumstances when self-storage insurance may be worth it.

You’re storing in an area with extreme weather

 If your storage unit is located in a place that’s likely to face natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, or tornadoes, then storage insurance might be a good idea. As with any insurance, you’re investing in protection against something that may happen. The more probable it is that an area experiences a natural disaster, the more you need that extra coverage from self-storage insurance.

Keep in mind, however, that damage from flooding is not covered by renter’s, owner’s, or storage insurance. Flooding requires its own special insurance.

Burglaries are possible

Even with managers on site, surveillance cameras in action, and locked gated entrances, some burglars are fearless enough to try something anyway. If this should happen, you’ll be glad you have the storage insurance protecting your items.

 The items you’re storing have a large monetary worth

 If you’re using your storage unit to tuck away some high-priced items, then having the extra storage insurance is always comforting. As always, make sure that the items in your unit that you’re trying to cover are included in the storage policy.

 

 

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