Protecting your tools

19 April 2018

Protecting your tools and equipment

As one of the recommended brokers to the NCCA we are often asked for advice on how our clients can keep their tools and equipment, which are stored in a vehicle, safe from theft

The highest risk period is night time and many insurers will not even consider giving cover.

Whether or not you have chosen to insure your equipment, it makes sense to takes all the steps possible to prevent a loss.

The Metropolitan Police recommends you take the following steps to prevent thefts from vehicles:

  1. Always lock it

Fuelling up or popping back into your house to get a forgotten item are perfect examples of how easy it is to turn your back for a moment and forget that your vehicle is unsecured. Get into the habit of locking your vehicle even if you’re only going to be away from it for a moment.

  1. Close windows and the sun roof to prevent ‘fishing’

Leaving windows and the sunroof open on a vehicle invites fishing for items through the gap by hand or with, say, a bent coat hanger, which could also be used to unlock a door for thieves to get in to the vehicle. Thieves are ingenious. Don’t give them the opportunity.

  1. Secure your number plates with tamper-resistant screws

The easiest way to change the identity of a stolen vehicle or avoid speeding tickets and parking tickets is to fit stolen number plates. Using security screws to attach your vehicle’s number plates makes it harder for thieves to steal your number plate.

  1. Fit locking, anti-tamper wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels

Stolen wheels are valuable: either as parts or for their scrap value. Using locking wheel nuts reduces the risk of your vehicle’s wheels being stolen. Besides, your vehicle will always look better on wheels than on a pile of bricks.

  1. Secure anything that’s on the outside of your vehicle

Any item left on the roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure, but still, don’t leave items in them if you can avoid it. For further information and advice, visit Sold Secure.

  1. Take it with you or hide it

Your mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than the cost of the stolen item. Obviously wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle.

  1. Hide electrical items and leave no clues

Leaving sat nav mounts, suction cup marks on windows or cables on view gives it away that you have left a sat nav, smartphone or other device in your car. Even if they can’t see the sat nav or iPad they might still break in to see if it’s stored in the car, out of sight.

  1. Take your documents with you

Having a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents available could let a thief pretend to be the owner. Which means they could sell it on quite easily. Never leave any documents in the vehicle.

  1. Park in well-lit and busier areas

It can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle. Parking in well lit areas and busy streets increases the chances of a thief being seen, so they’ll probably steer clear.

  1. Choose your car park wisely

If possible, always try to park in well-lit and staffed car parks or those with a Park Mark safer parking award. To find one, simply check out Park Mark.

There are also other steps you can take to protect your vehicle including:

  • Using a property marking solution like Selecta DNA. This may deter thieves as this concerned with being unable to sell on your property as it is identified as stolen.
  • Installing van deadlocks – These are additional locks which can be, in most cases, easily fitted to most vans and give added physical protection.
  • Installing van security boxes – These will provide extra security should a thief enter your van. These should be ideally bolted on to the van itself, rather than be portable.
  • Installing a tracker – You could consider putting a tracker on your vehicle in case it is stolen. This will greatly enhance your chance of recovery.
  1. Advertise that no tools are left in the van overnight

Simple signs which can be transposed onto your van or fleet of vehicles, advertising the fact that no tools are left in the vehicle overnight, could be enough to deter a would be thief.

The best way to protect your equipment form theft in vehicles is to not leave any item in an unattended vehicle. We understand, however, that this is not always possible.

Many insurers will also give equipment cover whilst in vans if the vehicle is kept in a garage or locked compound.

At Besure we understand everyone’s needs are individual so for a thorough review of your insurances please get in touch.

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