Are Shipping Containers Secure?
Security is one of the main issues surrounding choice of container when it’s primary purpose will be storage. Because of the shipping containers’ main construction, of CorTen steel panels and cross members, their purposeful design to carry extremely heavy loads, stack on top of each other, and resist the harshest environments like tornadoes and hurricanes; they are the one of the easiest ways to immediately keep a variety or large number of items safe at one time in a transportable pre-made container. Generally speaking, storing personal effects in a shipping container is one of the safest places you could ever place an item, however there are steps you can take to make the container impenetrable, as you can see from the points below.
A padlock would be the first port of call for safety, and the easiest to get on short notice. However, you will ‘get what you pay for’ in the way that if you buy a cheap flimsy padlock, it will be easier for a thief to get open. In reality if you pay a little extra for a heavy duty padlock – ideally with a shrouded steel casing, and shorter handle so thieves can’t remove it with bolt cutters, then you are more likely to keep your items inside untouched. The most suitable style of padlock for a shipping container is a ‘shutter’ padlock, as pictured.
There is a way of improving the security of your container even further and this is by the installation of a lockbox. Containers that are bought brand new these days, may already have a lockbox as standard issue. A lockbox is a steel plate assembled into a cover which fits over the lock. By covering the padlock with a lockbox, it creates a confined space around the padlock. This space is too small for a thief to manoeuvre a bolt cutter in, to try and cut the padlock. Lockboxes can sometimes be welded to the container’s body during manufacturing. However, lockboxes can easily be attached to your container yourself, if there isn’t one installed already. If you do take up the task yourself, you can either weld it to the body of the container, or attach it with bolts.
Exactly as described, inner bolts are used to lock the shipping container doors from the inside, similar to the design of a normal house dead bolt. The way they are positioned make them impossible to remove without first gaining access to the container through another door.
Usually placed on the right-hand side of a shipping container, these locks stop the door locking handles from turning – so even if someone was to cut a padlock, they still wouldn’t be able to gain access to you container, or your personal items. The great thing about these locks are they are usually portable, and therefore don’t need to be welded on.
An alarm system is a worthy investment for your container, to not only scare off would-be thieves but also warn yourself and others when someone may be trying to break in. A custom made alarm for shipping containers would probably be best, however with the large variety of alarms and accessories you can get these days, from motion detectors to close circuit tv monitoring, you can easily make any alarm work for you.