Looking after your tools: security tips

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Looking after your tools: security tips

It seems that the more you use something, the more likely you are to lose it. When your business requires you to transport and use essential tools at various worksites, they become especially vulnerable to loss and theft. Luckily, there are some easy and inexpensive precautions you can take to avoid falling victim to loss or theft of your business' equipmenti.

Storing securely in a vehicle

Many tradespeople store essential equipment in their vehicle. It's important to ensure vehicle security to avoid theft.

Tradespeople often use a vehicle - a car, van, ute or even truck - to get to and from jobs, and it's likely that you'll store at least some equipment in it. If you are leaving your tools in a vehicle overnight, on the weekend, or while attending to a job, there are two types of theft you need to worry about: theft of the vehicle containing your tools, or a break-in theft of the equipment inside.

Keep your vehicle in a locked garage when possible, lock your vehicle when unattended, and secure any tools that are left inside with visible locks. Keep tools in the vehicle out of sight, so that opportunistic thieves are not tempted. If you use a car, it is recommended that you store tools in the locked bootii.

An extra deterrent that you might consider is a fixed security grille or guard installed on the rear windows of your business vehicle. If you use a ute, it's well worth investing in a sturdy, lockable ute toolbox that you bolt down onto the vehicle's tray. Both visible and secure, these measures for equipment storage will discourage thieves from targeting your vehicle containing essential work tools.

Missing in action

When at a worksite, ensure tools not being used immediately are stored in a secure container that is kept locked and in sight. Be vigilant by putting away tools as soon as they are no longer needed. From both a loss and safety perspective, never leave tools unattended at a worksite.

Labelling/engraving your tools makes it easier for you to keep track of your possessions on a worksite where there are other contractors and tradesmen. By recording the serial numbers of each piece of equipment, a lost tool can be returned much easier if it does go missing.

Extra precautions

In an organised and labelled toolbox, a missing tool is obvious and can prevent loss.

Being vigilant pays off when it comes to equipment that's essential to your trade. A large, visible lock on your toolbox or storage container will be a further deterrent for thieves.

Another idea is to keep an inventory of all your equipment and specify certain storage places for different tools; that way it's easy to spot if you're missing something. Labelling sections of your toolbox for certain tools, or even fitting out your van with shelves or storage containers that specify their contents will make it easier for you to know what's missing if it goes walkabout.

Simple to do, these steps can prevent interruption to your business and avoid expenditure that would have to go on tool replacement.

Our top 5 top tips

Insurance is another way to reduce burdens of time and money that go with having your business' tools lost or stolen. With small business insurance from Allianz, your business' equipment can be covered in the event of loss or theft and you can get cover for interruption to your business. See what we can do for your small business in the trades industry or get a small business quote online in just minutes~.

~We do not provide advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision please consider our product disclosure statement.
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i Australian Federal Police, 2012, Media release: Builders warned to protect tools, released 19 December 2012, http://www.police.act.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/act/2012/december/builders-warned-to-protect-tools.aspx

ii Victoria Police, 2007, Community Safety: Prevention of motor vehicle theft, http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=9562