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Author Topic: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?  (Read 6592 times)

perdurabo

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Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« on: September 06, 2008, 07:14:34 AM »
I have some very rural property in central Texas where I have a private range and where I plan to build a house someday soon. I need a place out there to store things that's secure and out of the elements, but I cannot afford to have something like a metal building built. I was considering purchasing a used 20'x8' standard shipping/CONEX container, having it delivered out there and using it as extra storage space for tools, etc I might use out there (also some SHTF supplies as well). These containers can be bought anywhere from $1500-$2500 with various charges for delivery depending on where its coming from, so I figure its a pretty good deal. I have liability insurance on the property, but since its unimproved property, my insurance agent claims there's no way to get theft/fire insurance on contents items out there and that my homeowners insurance for my home that's nowhere near this property would not extend to it.

This will be going to my place WAY out in the boonies off a long dead end dirt road behind two chained/locked gates and is not visible from the road. However, my neighbor does tend to hire illegals now and then to do work on his property and where I plan to put the container is definitely visible from there. I can throw camo netting over it or something, but theres noplace thats accessible by a delivery truck that will be out of the way enough such that its not visible from my neighbors property. Now I know these things are for the most part air and water tight and they have a small flipover hasp to accommodate a standard padlock, but I need something thats a little more difficult to defeat. One guy who sells these things offers what he calls a "steel lockbox" which is essentially a steel box with the bottom end opened welded over the hasp on the door such that it can only be accessed from the bottom, but this limits me to locks that use a key from the bottom (the hard-to-cut discus and puck locks have their key access from the side) and I'm not sure how it works when there are TWO doors on a container (two boxes?). Anyway, he wants $100 to add this to the box, but I'm not so sure its worth it.

Another thing I've seen is something like this: http://www.snatchlatch.com. This is actually made by a local guy and is meant for locking enclosed trailers, but they mention something about shipping containers. Again, I'm unsure how well this would work.

I'm curious if something like this would be best:
http://citywidesecurity.stores.yahoo.net/muhaforhopul.html

Some kind of round puck lock with a round shrouded hasp that has no access whatsoever for bolt cutters, but I don't know how securely it could be attached to a shipping container door. Would it have to be welded? What could I do to discourage someone from using a cutting torch? Maybe put bluff signs on the outside saying that it contains chemicals, explosives or black powder (some have questioned the legality of this, but Im pretty sure this falls under protected speech, especially since its on my own private property)?

Since its so far out and well hidden, a thief that knew about the place could have lots of private time to get at the stuff and I know that if they are really determined to get in, they will get in. I just want to make sure its as difficult as possible for them to discourage the attempt.

What other options do I have for securing one of these? Any ideas?

wrldtlvr

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Re: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 07:23:06 AM »
Pour a slab with embedded anchors and attach the container to the slab with some ultrahard chain so the box can't be easily lifted. Do something similar with chain across the door. Ultimately you have to trade the cost of protection against the value of the contents and the odds that someone will break in.

george6488

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Re: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 07:54:38 AM »
I would lock the doors the best way possible AND have a heavy duty gate welded to the container so that it swings across the doors and takes the "puck" style padlock that you mention. I would have a lock box made that allows access to the lock but protects on all other sides.
The hinge side would have to equal to the challenge also but still allow YOU easy access.

Security is all about layers........the more layers of protection that you have the better off you will be.

Cutting torch........you are no match for a cutting torch with containers...1/2" plate walls would not stop a torch.

Get to know your neighbor alot better and maybe he will watch things for you.

The less people that know about your location..the better off you are.

Static

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Re: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 08:15:26 AM »
Quote
I know that if they are really determined to get in, they will get in. I just want to make sure its as difficult as possible for them to discourage the attempt.
That's the whole game right there. You CANNOT stop anybody that is determined, but you can discourage them. If it's too much effort, they'll move on. You have some good ideas yourself and when combined with what others have suggested, it will be about as secure as you can make it.


Quote
However, my neighbor does tend to hire illegals now and then to do work on his property and where I plan to put the container is definitely visible from there.
I'm assuming by illegal you mean immigrants. Just because they're in the country illegally doesn't mean they're criminals with their mind set on cleaning you out. More than likely they're just looking for a better life. Here in Canada, the sad news stories are when the government wants to deport some single mother because she entered illegally. She works two jobs to support her three kids who study hard and get straight A's in school. However, they cannot (or will not) deport someone who entered legally but is constantly on the cop's radar and ends up taking the life of an innocent person. Geez, I'm rambling again, aren't I?
I have all the answers . . . some of them are correct.

Circles

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Re: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2008, 09:39:25 AM »
You might look into buying a mobile-mini container.  They have built in locks & internal locking bars that are pretty hard to defeat.  Then do the poured slab thing mentioned above.

http://www.mobilemini.com/commercial/security.php

Doughball

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Re: Best way to secure a shipping/CONEX container?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 03:39:35 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would chime in because we have been dealing with security issues on these containers recently. We've seen a number of break-ins where people have cut through the wall of the container to get inside. A colleague of mine just lost $40,000 on a conex break-in.

I'm not sure if you care to have an alarm system but if you do, we recently tried a new product called "tomographic motion detection" that works great in these containers because no line of sight is required. The system can be installed behind obstructions within the container and the motion detection still works. Traditional sensors have been problematic in the past because they get blocked by the stuff inside the container and workers are always moving things in/out.

 

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