It's not as though self-storage units are under constant threat from fire, but this isn't to suggest that there's no risk. Given the density of flammable materials stored at these facilities, such a fire can be devastating. Perhaps the only comfort after a storage unit fire is that the site housed peoples' possessions, rather than people themselves. Still, if you already rent a storage unit, or are in need of one, do you need to take steps to protect your items against fire?
Fire Safety Plan
There are certain things that you can accomplish to safeguard your possessions against a fire. Part of this involves choosing a facility that has a comprehensive fire safety plan—with the necessary infrastructure to enforce this plan. This can involve the use of fire suppression systems, such as an appropriate number of fire extinguishers strategically located throughout the facility. There could also be a sprinkler system installed in common areas, or even in the units themselves. Also, check to see that common areas and passages are kept free of clutter and obstructions. If you have any doubts or concerns, you're entitled to ask the facility about their fire safety plan.
Part of that fire safety plan will be to restrict what can actually be stored inside a unit. The storage of any flammable materials will be regulated, or more likely, prohibited. It's important that you follow these restrictions, as you don't want your error to potentially contribute to a fire.
Protecting Your Items
Despite the low risk of your items being damaged or destroyed in a fire, you need to take appropriate measures to minimise your exposure. For example, are your items insured while in storage? This is generally optional but is always wise. The storage facility may offer insurance themselves, underwritten by an established insurance provider. You can also take out private insurance. Your existing insurer should be able to add a specific storage policy to your existing home and contents policy for an additional charge. For any items that may have little cash value but significant sentimental value, additional steps should be taken. Invest in a small fireproof safe to be placed inside the unit. This won't have much capacity but can protect important documents and photographs from fire.
The potential threat of fire shouldn't be a huge concern for anyone renting a storage unit. But by doing the necessary (and minimal) preparation work, you can reduce any risk to a bare minimum.
For more information about storing your items in a storage unit, contact a local facility.