Using Access Control Activity Logs to Secure Your Self-Storage Facility
As a self-storage operator or manager, the duty to maintain security at your facility falls on your shoulders. That means preventing anyone from living inside of a unit, as well as maintaining vigilance against other crimes committed by intruders or amongst tenants.
Tracking down troublemakers at your facility feels like unraveling a mystery, but you’re not exactly Columbo. So where do you begin?
If you have an access control system, one place to start looking for clues is in your facility activity logs.
What’s an activity log?
An activity log is an automatically-generated record of keypad activity. With unique keycodes assigned to each tenant, you can see who is entering and exiting your facility and at what times.
A typical activity log will display the following information:
- Day/Time of the activity
- Description of the activity (Access granted / access denied)
- Access Point the person accessed or tried to access (front gate, Building 2 etc)
- Name of the accessor
- Delinquency status
Using your activity log to spot suspicious activity
Every activity log tells a story. Who’s coming and going from your facility? What are they up to?
For the most part, it is just your tenants coming and going to access their units as you would expect. Normal and legitimate tenant behavior follows a certain pattern, like coming during certain times of day and staying for less than an hour. Deviations from that pattern doesn’t necessarily mean a tenant is breaking bad, but unusual access activity warrants further investigation.
For example, a facility with separate keypads for entry and exit to the building shows that a certain tenant frequently enters at night and leaves early in the morning. This could be a sign that the tenant is living or sleeping in their unit. They might not be, but it’s still probably worth investigating further by watching video footage or visiting their unit during the times they are known to come and go.
Using your activity log to investigate other crimes
Another time you’ll want to have an activity log is in the event of a crime taking place at the facility. Whether a tenant is accusing another tenant of theft, a multiple-unit break in, an assault, or other crime has taken place, your activity log provides a list of known people at the facility during the time of the incident. This can help you and the police quickly identify suspects or witnesses.
Activity logs are also timestamped, which makes checking surveillance video footage a much easier process. You can cue the video up directly with the arrival of any tenants and review footage of their time at the facility to see if any of them might be the culprit. Even if not, it is still helpful to rule anyone out as quickly as possible.
Spotting red flags
In general it is a good practice to review your activity logs daily. This way it is easier to notice something out of the ordinary.
Repeated failed log-in attempts
This could signal that someone is probing your defenses and hoping to get lucky. If you have cameras set up, then you’ll be able to check footage to get a visual on whoever was trying to get into the facility. It could be a tenant who is having trouble remembering the code, or it could be a criminal looking to steal from your customers.
Multiple successful log-in attempts
On the flip side, imagine if you see that someone used their gate code to enter the facility, and the same gate code is used a few minutes later. That could mean the tenant shared their code with a family member to meet them at their unit, or it could mean someone watched them type in their code and used it to gain access. Either way, it warrants further investigation.
Just one more thing…
Activity logs provide valuable intelligence for your business. So how do you set up activity logs for your self-storage facility? If you use storEDGE or SiteLink for your facility management software, you can add Access Control by Storable, which automatically generates activity logs for every keypad interaction.