Tailgating (also known as piggybacking) is a problem that is becoming increasingly more common in the self-storage industry! So, what exactly is tailgating? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition for tailgating is “to drive too closely behind another vehicle”. However, in this industry it refers to someone tailing a tenant into the facility by following their vehicle closely enough that the gate cannot close between them. At first glance tailgating seems like the harmless offense of someone that is too slothful to put in their own gate code, but upon further inspection piggybacking can seriously harm your business if the offender has unfavorable intentions. Some results of this adverse activity include property damage, theft, tenants moving out without paying, and a loss of business due to tenants feeling unsafe.
So, the question remains, how can you prevent this calamity? There are three main precautions that you can take to protect yourself, your tenants, and your business!
- Have a gate system that allows you to have a keypad on exit. This acts as a deterrent for people who may think that tailgating is a good idea, because they will not be able to exit the facility. In addition, if someone does tailgate in, and they get stuck in the facility they will be caught when they call for help.
- Have a good security system with cameras.. This also acts as a barrier for tailgaters, because they will fear being caught. Furthermore, having the ability to look at video with license plate numbers if there is an incident, serves as extra protection for you to figure out who the perpetrator was and seek restitution.
- Ask your tenants to be vigilant when entering and exiting the facility. Finally, this is the simplest of the prevention techniques discussed and also one of the most important. As facility owners, there are a lot of things that you tell your tenants as they are moving into their units; asking for help protecting their belongings should be on that list. Simply saying “if you notice a car close behind you please stop just inside the gate and allow it to close before proceeding”, can prevent many incidents. Not all of your tenants will be willing to help, but you will be grateful for those that were!
Of course, these are not the only ways to protect your facility from harm. However, these simple first steps can help prevent a gargantuan headache later!