Keeping Your Tools Safe
Unfortunately, preventing tool theft "comes with the territory" of being a tradesman. Quality tools are expensive, and being without the right equipment for any length of time can have knock-on effects on your business. A couple of years ago, Which? reported that over 51% of builders in the UK have had their tools stolen - many tradesmen were even assaulted by thieves during the attempt! Whether from your van or directly off a site, the problem of tool theft is an issue almost everyone in the industry must face at one time or another.
As the article from Which? details, the problem of tool theft in the UK is increasing. Recent times will not have helped the situation, with opportunists seeking new ways to make some cash in whatever ways they can. The costs are high to replace missing tools, but tradespeople and contractors are simply unable to finish a job without them.
Below, we've put together a few suggestions to help keep your tools safe:
Simple ways to deter thieves include the popular "No Tools are Kept in this Van Overnight" labels. However, other measures that could be successful might be CCTV - with clearly visible cameras outside your home, office or work-site. A cleverly placed dashcam, with a parking surveillance mode, is also an option and will save footage when motion or impact is detected. Even something like a wheel lock or steering lock will make your van look visibly more secure and hopefully deter potential criminals from making an attempt.
Bring your tools inside at night
This point may sound obvious, but we know how it is - you're tired after a long day, and it's understandable wanting to just park-up and head for the shower. However, that extra bit of effort needed to bring your tools inside with you could save a lot of money and hassle.
Installing extra locks in the van
More than one-fifth of tool-theft victims had their locks picked according to Which? - which is a pretty significant percentage! The cost of additional, more secure locks on your van could be a small price to pay compared to replacing your tools.
Another one that sounds simple but often trickier to do in reality. Whether out on a job or parking your van at the end of the day, try to be strategic about position and location. Most van-thefts experience side panels or doors being broken and pried open, so parking against a wall could prevent this from happening. Parking as close as possible to where you're working enables you to keep an eye on your vehicle and try to make use of street lighting or CCTV in the area.
It might sound like a lot of effort, but it could save you significant time and money should the worst happen. Tracking options range from simply applying company branding to your tools and registering serial numbers to implementing GPS tracking or forensic marking.
You must have seen this one coming. While not a security measure, tools insurance does give you peace of mind and will protect you financially if your tools are stolen. Despite all the steps to prevent thieves, unfortunately, tool theft is still a huge problem, and insurance helps cover the cost to your business to replace valuable equipment.
We work with tradespeople every day and understand the unique challenges of this industry. Hopefully, these suggestions help keep your tools secure and reduce the problem of tool theft. If you're interested in learning more about our tools insurance, give us a call on 0116 243 7904.