Protrade examines the products that are available to help prevent tool theft – and locate tools should they be stolen.
It may be worth considering speccing your van in a way that ensures it is fitted with additional locks. For example, Ford offers anti-tamper door locks across its Transit range, whilst other automotive manufacturers offer optional perimeter alarm systems.
For those that have already purchased a van and aren’t in a position to take advantage of optional extras, you might want to consider having dead bolts fitted by a garage; although this means you may be without your vehicle for a couple of days.
Fitting a diskus van lock kit yourself at home may also be a beneficial alternative – or an extra layer of security. They are designed with solid metal locking cases which almost completely prevent successful attacks on the integrated diskus padlock. They can be used on most double wing doors, without a rebate.
Although a steering lock may not prevent thieves breaking in, they sometimes act as a deterrent. They also offer a physical way to prevent robbers from driving away with your vehicle – an easy solution for an extra level of security.
Tool management software solutions
These asset management systems not only offer complete tool control to maximise the performance of your assets, but can also conduct audits to let you know the quantity and location of your tools. This information and data is available in real-time and available at your fingertips as many of them are available with an app for iPhones.
The tracking facility helps locate lost or stolen tools and even allows you to ‘lock them down’, making them unusable to any other person. Other features allow users to schedule maintenance. For example, Milwaukee’s ONE KEY allows users to scan items in bulk for audit purposes and manage vendors. Storing data such as serial numbers of your tools in a secure place will also help police identify your property if they were to be stolen; making insurance claims easier too.
Lockable tool chests are a popular option amongst tradesmen. They can be bolted to the van floor and are available in a variety of sizes to suit your vehicle or portfolio of tools. They tend to be constructed from thick steel and are often powder coated with an anti-corrosive undercoat with enhanced deadlocks.
Insurance and registration
Immobilise is a fantastic, free-to-use website that operates in conjunction with the UK police forces to help combat theft of any valuable items. It’s a simple matter of creating an account and registering your items – once registered, any recovered items will be tracked back to the rightful owner by use of serial numbers. More often than not, the retailer you purchase your products from should also offer a service which ensures serial numbers are logged, registered and stored on a secure database.
It goes without saying that you should insure your property – tools aren’t cheap. The average tool theft claim value is circa £1,500 and an incident of theft could really set your business’ finances back if you aren’t insured. It’s always worth checking the small print of your insurance, too. Aspects like where you park your van overnight or the security of it could void the insurance if you haven’t declared the correct information.