Are you a tradesperson that has recently started a business? Do you own expensive assets or equipment vital in performing duties for your clients? For more hands-on and physical businesses, the upfront cost of equipment can be very high and reach the thousands.
You must implement adequate security measures to prevent the theft of some of your most valuable assets. Insurance can assist in these situations, but we know that prevention is usually better than a cure. Let us look at some solutions or ways you can prevent and minimize the instances of your valuables getting stolen on the job site.
Label Or Engrave Your Equipment
Labeling is a simple precaution you can take and something you hopefully already do; it is seemingly basic but is very effective in deterring potential thieves. If someone were planning on selling equipment, having tools engraved would make this challenging as most people wouldn’t buy it, or it could also raise alarm bells.
Also, if you were to track down the thief, having your details on the tools would be an effortless way to identify the items. So as a general rule, when you purchase new equipment, ensure that you put your name on it and label it appropriately.
Don’t Leave Tools in Your Vehicle Overnight
The majority of theft happens during midnight hours, and this almost always involves items getting stolen from vehicles. It is, unfortunately, way too familiar for tradespersons to get their cars broken into and items stolen during the night. Yes, you can exercise caution and lock your tools in your car, but it still is effortless for thieves to break a window and take your assets.
We recommend that you take everything inside the house once you arrive home. It may take some effort or even be annoying to take items in and out every day, but this is the best way to avoid theft from your vehicles. So from experience, it is better to trade the minor annoyance for true peace of mind.
Locking Up Your Tools in a Trailer
Following on from the last point, being able to lock up your tools in a secure trailer is an even better way to secure your inventory. This is because, unlike vehicles, trailers generally don’t have windows that are easily broken into.
You can purchase trailers specifically designed for tools or tradespeople or if you find a trailer that is sturdy enough on its own you can use this to secure your assets. But the main purpose is that the trailer doesn’t have any weak entry points that can be broken into, so ensure you use a sturdy lock and the walls are solid.
Installing a Security System
Some companies provide solutions to theft by offering security system products. These work similarly to security systems used for residential homes. The goal is to prevent theft through active monitoring and alarms. They typically include things such as motion sensors, GPS transmitters with cellular data transmission, door and window sensors, tamper prevention, and audible alarms.
The newer models have more sophisticated features, such as the ability to send alerts to your email, cell phone, and security centers. Another great feature of these devices is the ability to be controlled anywhere in the world with your mobile phone as long as it is connected to the cellular network.
These are great for home/office style security monitoring, it may be more difficult if you’re worksite changes from place to place and has outdoor components. Another potential disadvantage is the cost, as systems that are more complex and able to handle larger plots of land can become extremely costly.
One much more tech-savvy solution is to purchase GPS tracking units for your tools. This will allow you to quickly and easily track down your assets if they are stolen. There are many providers with a variety of different solutions to this problem. It all comes down to attaching long-range, low-power GPS tracking chips onto each piece of equipment you wish to keep an eye on.
These chips come with associated applications that you run on your smartphone and will allow you to receive real-time location updates; just ensure that you purchase the correct item. Tracking devices that are Bluetooth-powered won’t be able to pick up long-range signals as these are for tracking misplaced keys rather than stolen items.
The only disadvantage to this method is that it would be rather tedious to use GPS tracking on every item you have. Therefore, you will probably have to choose some of the most valuable items with GPS tracking.
Other High-Tech Solutions
Just as GPS tracking has exploded into the mainstream as a viable way to track down stolen items, there are many unique ways we can protect our assets coming out today. Most of these methods include Bluetooth/digital functionality and are usually paired with our smartphones. Just now we have some emerging technologies that can solve our problems.
These include things such as smart padlocks. Smart padlocks work like traditional padlocks but instead of having to remember a code these can be opened using your mobile device. Also, digital inventories are helpful to keep track of your items in a high-tech manner, leaving the guesswork out of stock-taking your assets.
One more advanced item that we love is the tool crib vending machine. This machine is well suited to large worksites where you have hundreds of staff and need to distribute equipment securely. It can be problematic when taking large numbers of PPE, tools, and equipment for distribution as there is just too large of a number to track accurately. This vending machine solves the issue in an automated manner by securely vending individual items to workers, saving you time and money.
I would recommend you keep up to date with these emerging technologies so you can potentially find some superior long-term solutions to the issues mentioned.