In my recent StorageFront blogs, I have given you recommendations for real world security from my article 7 Components of The Best Self-Storage Security, and what I would recommend for anyone who happens to live on the Star Wars planet, Tatooine. Now, let’s see what sort of security would be best for storage facilities in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
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Not everyone can afford a vault at Gringotts, which is why enchanted self-storage is a growing market. Middle-class wizarding families need to store valuables, too, and not all families are lucky enough to have vaults passed down through the generations.
While your storage facility is probably in the middle of a muggle area far from Diagon Alley or Godric’s Hollow, you can still provide top magical security. Without it, your customer’s storage units could be at high risk for for theft. These measures should keep burglars from apparating into customers’ storage units or flying in on broomsticks over your gates.
We recommend hiring the Ministry of Magic to set up your long-term security enhancements. Other security firms are less reputable, often run by wizards who failed in their studies, or by former death-eaters. While we do not want to disparage the former followers of He-who must-not… Sorry, force of habit. The man is dead! Voldemort’s former followers. Just keep in mind that you should have security you know you can trust.
Best made of marble or brick, walls should stand between 16 and 20 feet high. Gates should rise as high as the wall and be elaborately molded from iron with an intricate puzzle lock that can be opened only by employees who know the first ten to twelve moves of the puzzle. Be sure to introduce the lock to each new worker as he or she gets hired.
In Muggle areas, the muggle-repelling charm is a must for the walls all around your facility. With their interest diverted, they won’t notice the unusually high walls or other security measures you may take.
Rumor has it that rogue wizards dug their way out from under Gringotts a number of years back with the gouging spell. As such, we highly recommend protecting walls, roofs, floors, and the very ground underneath your facility with the imperturbable charm. This has the added benefit of keeping out the noises of the surrounding muggledom.
If a break-in has ever happened in your facility, you may feel angry and frustrated enough to bring in dementors to guard the grounds. Remember though that the Ministry has made the use of dementors illegal and has even managed to remove them from Azkaban. Expecto Patronum!
In all seriousness, we recommend hiring free elves to guard your facility. They are bright, loyal, and responsive to their employers moods and attitudes. They are as powerful as most wizards but are generally fair, and have great memory. You can trust an elf’s description of a would-be thief should one get away, but a great elf worker can detain most burglars until an Auror can arrive. Once a thief is captured, he will be held in the Ministry until his trial. If found guilty, he will spend an appropriate sentence in Azkaban Prison.
A thief flying in on a broom is still a risk, though a minimal one. First, most thieves don’t want to be so conspicuous. Second, a free elf can take down a single broom easily.
The anti-disapparation jinx has kept the unwanted out of Azkaban, Gringotts, and Hogwarts for centuries, and can keep thieves out of your grounds as well. We highly recommend this for any storage facility to keep burglars from popping in. Also, insist on the intruder charm. This will sound the alarm, so to speak, whenever someone does manage to get onto the grounds during closed hours. It can be configured to alert you, the owner or manager, wherever you may be, or to call guards directly to the point of intrusion.
Lighting and Additional Security
For the sake of customers who visit at night, before closing hours, be sure to set up lumos points along the walls and inside the halls. Of course, you will also want to light all offices this way, as the light is clearer than that of candles.
One creative way that some business owners, not only in storage, have begun providing lighting in their offices in recent years is through paintings. Now, you would not want to hang paintings on the hallway walls of a storage facility, as they would be the first thing a thief would take. However, you might consider murals on the walls. The people depicted in the painting can hold torches or lanterns that light up as customers enter the halls. These painting characters also provide an extra level of security as they can slip into a painting in the office or near a guard to report suspicious activity.
What Will it Cost?
Setting up such security, depending on the size of your facility, can cost 2,000 Galleons or more, in addition to the ongoing salaries for the free elves. Just keep in mind that the better your security, the more attractive your facility will be to customers who eschew Gringotts for its high prices.
What’s Right for Your Location?
Clearly, we believe that you would do best to follow all our recommendations to the Ministry of Magic. We are in no way affiliated with the Ministry. We simply want to recommend the best. Those of you born into muggle families probably realize that there is more business competition in the muggle world, and the monopolies held by the Ministry and Gringotts are beginning to see some competition. Perhaps in another ten years our recommendations will change.
For now, go off and make sure your storage facility is secure and affordable. You are the change in the wizarding world!
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This is the last of our series on securing storage facilities. In my three StorageFront blogs to date, I have given our recommendations on setting up strong, real-world security for storage facilities, and taken you on a hypothetical journey on how a facility owner might implement security on the Star Wars world of Tatooine and in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
While I’m wrapping up this series, look for more fantasy and science fiction related content here on StorageFront in the future!