How To Keep Your Tools & Equipment Safe as a Tradesman
As a tradesman, your tools are make or break when it comes to your livelihood! Without your tools, you wouldn't be able to fulfil your work. That is unless you want to go back to the dark ages of using your hands for every part of your work! It's for this very reason that having your vital pieces of equipment stored safe, insured and kept out of harm's way is the best way forward. So, let's work out how to prevent any issues arising with your tools and equipment so that you *hopefully* don't need to claim on your Tool Insurance with Rhino.
If you hear of any tool thefts in your area, the chances are that it will happen again soon. Thefts are like London buses, nothing for ages and then three in one go. That's why staying vigilant and alert at all times is best - especially if your trade is branded on the side of your work van.
It may seem obvious, but it's vital that you only take the tools necessary to get that job completed when you are on the job. There's no point taking a cement mixer if you are only going to fit a new front door. Likewise, whilst you are on the job, it's best to keep your van and tools as close to the site as possible. Don't leave either of them unattended a couple of houses down, and better yet, make sure you check your kit regularly - that way, you can spot if something has gone walkabout.
Personalise Your Tools
We have mentioned this in our previous guide to tool insurance, but personalising your tools is smart. It makes them easy to identify should they go missing and even harder to sell if a thief tries this.
You could paint a mark on every item you have. Better yet, you could scribe your initials into each tool. There are also MI5 level tricks you can play, such as a highlighter pen that only shows up under UV light. Whatever it is, they will all benefit you when managing your tool safety.
Maintain An Updated Inventory Of Your Tools
Keeping a log of any tools you have could be the best thing you do. If you haven't got one, consider starting one ASAP. Also, if you buy any new pieces of equipment, get into a routine and add them straight to your tool inventory.
Think of it this way, if you don't have some proof of all the tools in your arsenal, how can an insurance company be expected to give an accurate assessment of the cost incurred should you lose any of them. Also, get into the routine of taking a quick snap on your mobile of each tool you have or when you get a new one. It's easy these days with all our high-tech phones!
Finally, make sure you keep the proof of purchase (receipts) altogether, so should something terrible happen, you can quickly find your info. Likewise, make sure you register any serial numbers that can link back to you and finally - make sure any details you keep aren't stored with your tools - so the log, receipts, mobile etc. - keep out of reach from those pesky criminals.
Find A Safe Spot
Never leave your tools even for a second when you are on the job. We all know the scenarios. You cannot manage every aspect of a building site - there could be multiple tradespeople on-site at any given moment. You may have no control over the premises security or entry points. With that said, you must keep one eye on your kit. Have them close by you at all times, be a tool stalker for all we care - just don't let those bad boys out of your sight.
Also, it's hard to do but try to plan ahead of the job and only take the tools you need. When you park up, get as close to the site as possible and try leaving your van next to a wall or, better yet, back up against something solid (so no one can open your doors). Do everything possible to put off those potential thieves.
Secure Your Van
As many tradesmen and women have Tool Insurance and various tools - it's often hard to take them in and out of your house after a hard days graft. That's why when leaving tools in your van, it's best to get that baby secured.
Thieves these days are more capable than ever to get into a vehicle and steal expensive pieces of equipment. We've heard countless stories of angle grinders taking out the locks, replicating a key fob, door peeling or the old fashioned way - smashing the windows. That's why getting your van in lockdown mode is the best thing to do. How can you do this? Read below now.
To make sure your van is primed and ready for safety, you should consider getting some, or all, of these items fitted to deter potential tool thieves:
- An alarm
- An immobiliser
- A bulkhead or mesh grille between the cab and load area
- Slam locks
- A lockable toolbox
When considering a van for your trade, try to avoid ones with a glazed rear window as this invites trouble. Consider vans with safety in mind. For that reason, we have written about some of the best vans that are also cheap to insure.
Don't Leave Tools In Your Van Overnight.
Although specific Tool Insurance policies offer overnight protection, this article is all about avoiding tool theft. It's best to take a little longer in your day to take out all of your expensive and downright essential tools, storing them in a safe place inside your home or premises. We want to try and make it practically impossible for anybody to steal your gear!
If you can't store everything away, consider the most valuable pieces and leave any in your van in a locked box or tied down to your van itself. Finally, you could consider the old trick of the 'no tools stored in this van overnight' sign. Or better yet, beware of the dog cause that will scare them off!
Don't Take Chances
It's all about getting into a routine and altering your behaviours. Sadly, it's the most laidback/ chilled tradespeople that can get hit. Whenever you leave your vehicle, get used to locking it immediately. Even if you go on a job around the corner, make sure the doors are locked, and windows shut properly.
Having the right and proper Tool Insurance policy in place can save your bacon if everything goes south. After you are sure that you have logged all of your tools, make sure that your insurer knows what you have in your equipment list, just in case something isn't covered.
We've heard countless stories of tradespeople stung by tool thieves and losing thousands of pounds. We don't want you to be in that situation, so please take that extra few minutes and make sure everything is safe. Your livelihood may depend on it.
Join Rhino Trade Insurance today.
With all that said, why not consider your next Tool Insurance policy with us? We are cheaper on average than most high-street insurers and offer the best policies with years of industry knowledge. What's even better, we are based right here in the UK, so if you have any issues or questions, you can get in touch with us immediately. Give us a call now or get a quote in under 60 seconds.