Do Self Storage Units Have Electricity?

Are you out of space to accommodate your stuff? It might be time to look for a self-storage unit—a great way to store excess items and declutter your home. But you would probably expect basic features such as electricity. Now you wonder whether self-storage units have electricity or not. We’ve asked the experts, and here’s what they have to say.

Generally, self-storage units have no electricity supply or power outlet. However, a select few storage facilities do offer it.

So do why most self-storage units have no electricity? And is there any chance for you to get electrical access? Read further to find out.

self storage unit with open doors - Do Self Storage Units Have Electricity

Self-Storage Unit 101

A self-storage unit is coined from the word “self-service storage.” With this, you pay to keep items in a storage unit rather than have the company pick the stuff for you. You move your own belongings and are held responsible for taking care of them.

Why Is There No Electricity In A Self-Storage Unit?

The majority of self-storage units don’t have electricity or outlets due to the fact that most items stored there aren’t often used. People's intention for renting a unit is to keep things until they are needed at which point they can fetch them without having to use electricity.

Other reasons why a self-storage unit has no electricity are as follows:

To Dissuade People From Living In the Unit

Federal law forbids living in a self-storage unit. By making electricity unavailable, people would be discouraged to live in them.

Electricity and Rental Costs Are Relative

Most storage facilities would need to upgrade their electrical hardware to offer electricity. This comes at a hefty price tag which might be passed on to customers. Also, it would be a lot more complicated for electricity suppliers. So it’s less likely to be an option.

Can You Get Electricity In Your Storage Unit?

Self Storage Warehouse With Bicycle, Washing Machine And Other Household Equipments

Your request to get electricity might get granted by the facility if you do have a valid reason. You should probably try asking first.

Here are two reasonable uses for electrical access to a self-storage unit:

Running A Small Business

Some business owners operate their business from the comfort of their homes. As their business grows or acquires new devices and stock, they find themselves needing additional storage space.

Most store their supplies and materials in self-storage units where they come and go to get what they need like contractors or lawn services so electricity is an advantage.

Organizing Belongings

A lot of individuals care so much about cleanliness and organization, and electricity can be a key component to help them better organize their stuff. For instance, lighting helps illuminate the place so they can sort through items more clearly.

Never Raise Red Flags

Be honest and open. That’s what you should primarily do when requesting electrical access. Most managers' concern is that people would live in their units or leave something unplugged which could potentially spark a fire hazard. 

You can alleviate this concern with these measures:

  • Dress nicely when you visit the facility.
  • Take into account the office hours. Don’t drop by outside business hours unless it’s an emergency.
  • Ask the manager if an electrical permit might be required.
  • Let the manager know your schedule so they’d know when you will normally be on site.

What If The Manager Says No?

Do not get upset. As you might already all know, rules and regulations are directed by the owners and management, it’s not the manager’s decision to say no. They are just mandated to follow certain procedures.

Instead of getting angry, ask if they know of other self-storage with electricity within the area. Storage facilities typically have a record of competitors they can probably refer you to. You see, if you lose composure, they might mention you to other landlords who might not greet you with enthusiasm.

How To Find Self-Storage Facilities With Electricity

Storage facilities with blue doors. Opened door. Light inside

Before you go and find a storage facility with electricity, bear in mind that you must have valid reasons. Why do you need power in the first place? Also, you must be willing to help set the manager's concerns at ease.

When it comes to looking for a facility, consider self-storage units that cater to small businesses as there are chances of them offering electricity. Also, it’s better to ask the manager beforehand as some offer power as an add-on fee, but it’s not often advertised.

Can You Use A Generator In A Self-Storage Unit?

Storage facilities have limitations on what you can store in them, and that all boils down to safety. Items that people regard as “inherently dangerous” will most likely not be allowed inside the storage unit premises, that includes flammable materials (generator, propane gas, motor oil, etc.).

The other prohibited items include:

  • Pharmaceutical supplies: all medical supplies and equipment are accepted except for the ones with radioactive elements.
  • Perishable products: meat, produce, anything that spoils.
  • Plants: indoor or garden plants. 

Can You Live In A Self-Storage Unit?

Indoor storage unit with open door and household goods in a self storage facility.

The economy has been tough for most people, but be reminded that living in a storage unit is risky. Below are reasons why the government deemed it illegal:

1. Not Climate-controlled

A few storage units are climate-controlled but not to the level required to live in. Temperatures in the unit can swing from -86 °F to +86 °F, depending on the weather or season, which makes it hard for people to reside within a storage facility full time.

2.  Unsanitary

Access to washrooms and water is important to stay clean. Self-storage units cannot provide 24-hour access to sanitation or running water, which might lead to unsanitary if not filthy living conditions.

3. Uncomfortable

Your living condition is going to be seriously cramped. You're not likely to have a window, there's no air conditioning, and the unit will be a lot more confined than what you may be used to. You'll feel uncomfortable right off the bat.

4. Unsafe

Storage units were made to be opened from the outside, making it easier for you to get trapped, which is dangerous, particularly during extreme cold or a fire accident.

5.  Unhabitable

Self-storage units are not generally meant for accomodating people but for the security and safety of people’s belonging.

What Happens If You Live In A Self-Storage Unit?

If you're found living in a storage unit, you'll receive an eviction notice and you will have to pack up your stuff. You might also face fines or legal action depending on what authority deems fit.

Can You Sleep In A Self-Storage Unit?

Although you can certainly take a nap or sleep inside a storage unit, you cannot stay overnight. This is to prevent people from trying to use this venue as their own personal room!

senior male using his key to open a lock at his storage warehouse

In Closing

Most self-storage units have no electricity as it’s made to facilitate items seldom used, thus, electricity is never a concern. But if you have reasonable use to get access to it, it’s worth asking the on-site manager. If you get declined, see if they can refer you to self-storage facilities that offer electricity.