When you’re on the tools, each piece of equipment is an important member of the team. Check out this guide to keeping your tools safe, from Hendy Car and Van Store.
Keeping everything safe can seem like a challenge. If you worry, you’re not alone. With more than 70 per cent of the trades worrying about theft, how can you protect your investment?
Never leave your van unlocked
This might seem obvious, but anyone can be temptation’s victim.
Your van is your on-the-go storeroom, housing all of your tools and equipment. When you’re just quickly popping around to the back of the house, don’t leave your van unlocked at the front.
In fact, you shouldn’t even leave your van unlocked when working beside it. It takes just a second of distraction, as you focus on a task, for someone to grab your belongings.
Leaving your van unlocked might seem convenient and could save seconds, but the risks are sure to outweigh the benefits.
Only take out what you need
It’s better to realise that one tool is missing, and take time to go back and get it than to carry everything you own to each job.
Though having all of your tools close at hand will certainly save you time, it means that any would-be thieves will feel like they’ve struck gold. They can grab anything and everything, seeking out those high-value items that you might not even be using.
Before you go on any job, think about the equipment that you’ll actually be likely to use.
Some pieces of equipment are everyday staples that you simply can’t do a job without. Others are more specialist tools, better left somewhere safe.
Buy a lockable metal toolbox
Lightweight plastic toolboxes are easy to carry away. They can also be easily broken open if someone wants to get to what’s inside.
Metal toolboxes are heavier, louder and harder to carry. Someone that’s passing by is less likely to attempt to lift them from under your nose.
A high-quality locking toolbox is an extra line of defence. Though it won’t deter the most skilled criminals, it’s a challenge for opportunistic thieves.
Mark your equipment
In case your equipment does go missing, make sure that it’s easily traced.
Mark your property with a UV pen, and keep a note of all serial numbers.
If someone finds your stolen property, you can prove that it’s yours quite easily. Simply tell the finder what you’ve written in UV pen, to show you’re the rightful owner.
Often, thieves abandon unwanted equipment or try to sell it on for a profit. If you believe that you’ve found the culprit, a simple UV pen can prove their guilt.
Make use of the Immobilise register
Immobilise is the UK’s National Property Register. More than 34 million valuable belongings have been registered by people like you.
The police use the Immobilise register to trace owners of recovered items. If an item is stolen, Immobilise can also send our alerts to shops that buy second-hand goods.
There are no restrictions about the types of equipment that you can register on Immobilise. Many builders use it to register not just their tools, but also their smartphones and laptops.
Buy security stickers
Would-be thieves won’t automatically know if you’ve marked and registered your property. To make them consider this possibility, add a sticker to your van window.
Sometimes, a simple sticker is all it takes to make someone stop and think. Are they happy to risk being caught stealing items that they can’t sell on?
In 2017 there were 22,749 van and tool thefts in the UK. Do everything you can to avoid being one of the statistics.