Experts provide tips for residents with storage units

WICHITA, Kansas – After the latest burglary at a self-storage facility over the weekend, officials are providing tips to ensure people do all they can to protect their valuables.

In the latest incident, 17 storage units were burglarized before 10 Saturday morning at Public Storage on South Tyler Road, police said.

One of the biggest recommendations is for customers to make sure they have insurance coverage for the items.

“They’re going to want to get insurance for anything else to prevent anything in the future, because if somebody has been in there, they know what they have,” Troy Spader, general manager at Whitehead Insurance, said. “They have an idea of what’s in that area and there’s a good chance they could come back.”

Storage unit insurance policies are available for purchase online, but many customers either use policies offered by the storage facility, or have coverage from their homeowners or renters insurance policy, but those can all have coverage limits.

“A lot of those policies, only until recently only covered about 10 percent of products off-premises, but now, they cover much more, so you do have a way to cover your things that are in storage,” Spader said.

Preliminary data from the Wichita police department shows burglaries at storage facilities are down slightly from last year, according to WPD Lt. Dan East.

Police encourage people with storage units to be vigilant about protecting their valuables.

“Typically, people try to go through and find items of value that are small and easier to carry, like any typical property crime,” Sgt. Ed Brower said.

Other recommendations include verifying if the facility has video surveillance, as well as how people gain entry to the facility and what types of locking mechanisms are available for the individual units.

Certain policies can also require add-ons depending on what you store in your storage unit, Spader said.

“I recommend an inventory,” he said. “What I did personally was took my cell phone and took pictures of everything I own, and documented it in the personal home inventory from the Kansas Insurance Department.”

That inventory list, although meant for home use, can also be effective for documenting items in a storage unit. It is available here.

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