Shipping containers are renowned for their strong construction and perceived impenetrability. However, just because they’re made of steel and have limited access points, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely safe. In fact, because they’re known to hold valuable goods, this can make them greater targets for criminals.
To make it as difficult as possible for would-be thieves to break into your storage container, or converted container office or retail space, here’s a guide to securing your shipping container.
Make access difficult
Shipping containers don’t generally come with a heavy-duty security lock like your front door, but you can definitely make it a lot more difficult for unwanted visitors to get in.
The first piece of hardware to invest in is a padlock for the doors. When deciding what kind of padlock you need for your container it’s advisable to choose one that is specially designed for shipping containers. Lighter-duty padlocks can be substandard quality, which makes it easier for them to be cut. To deter thieves, invest in a heavy-duty padlock that’s specially designed for the job.
Ideally, you want one that’s resistant to bolt cutters, hammers, and drills, and is also highly corrosion-resistant, like one of our NZBOX padlocks. These padlocks are ideal for shipping containers, with a shackle that fits most standard container hasps. They’re also perfectly sized to fit in a container lockbox.
Another benefit of a specialist shipping-grade padlock is that they come with a limited number of keys. If you need more, you’ll need to present evidence that the padlock belongs to you, in the form of a code card. This makes it nearly impossible for criminals to get a spare key cut without you becoming aware and you’ll be able to keep a close track of the keys in circulation.
Make it difficult to access the lock
To make your container even more secure, and your tamper-resistant padlock practically untouchable, it’s also a good idea to fit a lockbox to your container door. The lockbox hides the padlock from view and, as your padlock is only accessible from below the lockbox, this makes tampering even more difficult.
If your container doesn’t come with a lockbox when you purchase it, you can have one welded or bolted on for you.
Make your shipping containers difficult to move
If you have multiple shipping containers stacked on top of each other and want to make sure they stay together, you can secure them using a twistlock. Twistlocks will help keep the containers fixed together but give you the flexibility to separate them if needed. Once they’re back in position, just re-activate the twist lock and you’re good to go.
Securing your shipping containers using twist locks also provides protection in the event of high winds or earthquakes, helping ensure they can’t topple.
Other ways of securing your shipping container
As well as lockboxes and padlocks, there are other ways to ensure your shipping containers stay as secure as possible.
If you have a shipping container that has been converted into an office or retail space, for example, you’ll often find that bars have been fitted to the windows to reduce the risk of someone breaking them and entering your container. If there weren’t bars when you purchased the container, or you’ve converted the space yourself, it’s worthwhile getting some installed.
Converted containers are also often designed with a personnel door alongside the main container end doors. This means you can fit an inner bolt lock to the main doors, securing them from the inside and leaving just one door accessible from the outside. You can then concentrate all your security efforts on this single door.
Fit an alarm and surveillance system
While an alarm may not stop someone from breaking into your shipping container, it can be a deterrent if would-be thieves know there’s one installed, or it goes off while they’re trying to break in. Depending on where the shipping container is located, it may also be worthwhile ensuring the alarm notifies you, or your security firm.
You could even take your container security to the next level by installing cameras. Again, these act as an effective deterrent and could help you apprehend any perpetrators.
Need advice on securing a shipping container?
Whether you’re protecting valuable personal belongings, the tools of your trade, or your work or retail space, there are a number of options to keep your shipping container secure. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your requirements and get advice.