A self defence approach to storing your stuff

Nobody likes the feeling of having their valuables stolen, least of all through a break-in. A holdup or robbery is stressful, but in most cases, you see your assailant and can come to closure over the loss of your stuff. You understand that fighting to retain possession could risk your health and life, and it’s easy to understand the reasons for why you let it go.

A break-in feels much more personal, invasive and incomplete. Who did this? Why? Why choose me? So many unanswerable questions. The recent Ottawa Police blotter on a man who has tens of charges pending is interesting: http://bit.ly/2gCiapC. He seems to have targeted storage lockers, which is quite clever. The frequency of checking on a locker is much lower than the likelihood of you returning home every day. Therefore, less chance for the burglar to get caught, and by the time you realize something is missing, the trail has cooled significantly.

Having said that, if we take a holistic, self defence-as-a-lifestyle mindset, there are a few things you can do to protect a small part of your kingdom from burglary:

  1. Choose Carefully: When you pick a storage site, don’t go on price alone. Can you get an indoor locker inside an access-controlled facility? Are there security cameras? Where are they placed? How many hours per day is the site manned? DO they have intrusion alarms for unmanned or non-covered areas? What’s the response policy to a break in?

  2. Don’t be cheap: Buy a proper, tamper-resistant disc lock which exposes minimum attack surface on the shackle. Normal combo locks and key padlocks are easy to smash and snip. Disc locks are more robust and frustrating to would-be attackers.

  3. Think strategically: If you plan to use your storage unit for anything valuable, irreplaceable or very private (documents, client files, jewelry, etc.,), obtain a sturdy locking cabinet or safe for the interior of the unit. You can also consider, depending on the value of your contents, putting a portable intrusion system with a GSM module in the locker. If the door is opened without you deactivating the system, it can text or call you immediately advising of the opening. A motion-activated camera with DVR (lock the DVR in the cabinet!) could help you identify someone who manages to successfully breach the layers of security.

Many of these measures can be used in the home and workplace as well, and although they may not be applicable or of interest to you, it’s worth thinking about the many ways in which you can protect yourself and family from different types of threats.

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