2021 research carried out by the Federation of Master Builders1 found that 83% of builders have had tools stolen at some point in their working life, costing them an average of £2500. No matter if you’re new to your trade or you’ve been in the business for years, it’s always worth looking at tried and tested ways to keep your van and tools secure.
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes, so let’s look at some of the simple things you can do to improve your van security. One of the biggest challenges facing van owners is that thieves are constantly finding new ways to break in. If your van doesn’t already have a GPS tracker fitted, consider investing in one. It won’t be able to prevent it from being stolen, but it does increase your chances of getting it back if it is taken.
Then there are your van’s locks to think about. If your van doesn’t already have deadlocks, they can be a worthwhile investment if you leave tools in your vehicle overnight. Deadlocks work separately to your van’s central locking system to add another layer of security.
Thieves will often attempt to drill their way around a van’s locks to gain entry, so some owners choose to place steel plates around the locks, just in case. Stoplocks can also be effective at keeping unwanted guests from your van, as they reduce the risk of thieves forcing the doors open with a crowbar.
Now, as thieves become more tech savvy, it’s a good time to turn to technology to secure your van. Installing a dash cam can put off would-be thieves from trying to break in, as it’ll be able to record activity in and outside of the vehicle. Look for a dashcam with the ability to detect movements close to your vehicle when it’s parked up, as these can be a great deterrent.
There are steps you can take to keep your tools secure in your van overnight, but it’s best to take any expensive items into the house with you overnight whenever you can. If you do need to leave a few tools at night, make sure you keep security in mind when parking.
It’s not always possible to get a parking spot for your van outside your own home, which can make leaving your tools overnight more of a worry. There are also alarms available that will alert you with a phone call or text message if anything suspicious is detected, so you’ll be able to enjoy greater peace of mind when your van’s parked out of sight.
It may sound simple, but when your diary’s full and life’s busy it’s easy to make a mistake that could prove costly. Always take a moment to think about where you park your van – especially if you’re leaving it overnight. If it’s not possible to leave your van on a driveway, choose a parking space in a residential area with plenty of lighting – preferably in sight of neighbouring homes.
There are some simple habits you can get into that may make life easier if you do experience tool theft. Mark your tools (and even the van itself for that matter) with a UV pen to help police identify the items as yours if they fall into the wrong hands.
We have longstanding relationships with some of the largest companies in the market, including Aviva, AXA, Ageas, LV and NIG, to offer van insurance.
Why not provide your renewal date and our specialist team can help you get a quote at the right time.
Alison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.
Date: March 17, 2022