Hopefully you received some exciting new tools from Santa for Christmas, or at least some universal vouchers to buy some with. But how many of us give enough consideration to protecting our precious tools from thieves?
According to research carried out by Simply Business, one in three tradespeople has been a victim of tool or van theft, with the average cost of the crime equating to just over £3,000, which is more than the average monthly salary.
Having your tools stolen can have a far-reaching impact, involving not just the loss of property and the money needed to replace it, but also the potential loss of work and reputation if a job is affected. With these risks in mind, it’s common sense to ensure you do everything in your power to protect your tools from opportunistic criminals who threaten your livelihood.
Here are some ways you can help to avoid becoming a victim of tool theft:
1. Theft-prevention storage
You can add another layer of security by keeping your tools locked inside a secure storage container. Whether you install them in your van, your garage or on-site, products like those made by Van Vault use robust materials and strong, complex locks which provide enough protection to prevent even the most determined thief.
These come in different sizes and specifications depending on what you need to store and where you need to store it. Read more about the Van Vault products we supply here.
2. Vehicle security
Vehicle windows are the easiest point of access for thieves, but there are a couple of things you can do to improve their security. Window tints and blanks shield the interior of your van from sight, making it less likely for a thief to gamble on a break-in, while grilles offer an extra layer of protection.
Another option is to fit your van doors with sliding deadbolts. These come in manual and more expensive electric versions and make a would-be thief’s job much harder. Alternatively, there are exterior locks and hasps which are cheaper and provide additional visual deterrence.
And of course make sure your work vehicle is fitted with an alarm, and signage to advertise it. The idea of drawing attention with an ear-splitting alarm may be enough to make a thief think twice.
3. Tool marking and tracking
GPS trackers can be applied to your tools to allow you to track their location. If a thief recognises it then the presence of a tracker might be enough to stop him trying to steal it, as it gives him the dilemma of either spending valuable time prising it off at the scene of the crime, or being tracked as he makes a getaway with the goods.
You can also mark your tools to make them less attractive. If a tool has been engraved or datatagged then it makes it far less valuable to a thief intending to sell it on.
4. Park smartly
Don’t think that simply locking your tools inside your work van will be enough to deter thieves; if they think they can get away with something valuable they won’t hesitate to take a crowbar to a door to gain entry.
Although finding an empty parking space can be enough of a challenge by itself, try to choose one that limits the points of entry for thieves by parking with the rear or side doors against a wall or railings. Also try to park in well-lit areas with CCTV coverage.
5. Don’t go blabbing on social media
Finally, while it may be tempting to share photos of your shiny new tools on social media, this is a good way to advertise them to any ne’er-do-wells. Even the best privacy settings can be scuppered by a contact who isn’t as careful with their data, so instead just be content to keep your tool pride to yourself – it’s safer!
Hopefully these tips will help you keep your tools safe, but if you’re still unsure of the best way to protect them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team. We’re available six days a week at our Redhill store, so drop us a line.