Tool theft on the rise as the nights draw in
When the clocks change, the long winter evenings bring plenty of cosy nights at home. Unfortunately the darker evenings see a big rise in tool theft from cars and vans. This heavily contributes to a general increase in tool theft that’s seen the average cost of a claim rise by 54% in the last 2 years; to £2,685.
With thieves increasingly targeting higher-value tools, and resorting to drastic measures such as cutting the sides off vans to gain access to as many items as possible, it’s more important than ever to take steps to keep your valuable tools safe.
Keyless car theft has also been a big contributor to the rise. Thiefs use sophisticated tools to trick the lock mechanism on keyless vehicles. This tool detects the unique number locking combination and saves it. It can then be used to unlock the vehicle even if the real key is out of range.
Top tips for avoiding tool theft
As a trader or contractor, your tools are a vital part of your livelihood. What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of tool theft? Should you need to make a claim, you’ll need to be able to show your insurer that you’ve taken reasonable precautions to keep them safe. Here are our tips to keep your tools safe:
- Create an inventory. Write a list of exactly what tools you own, so you’ll easily be able to tell if any go missing. Assign a value to each one, this will make it easier to assess the amount you’ll need to claim.
- Identifying features. Consider having your tools engraved, identification marked in some other way or tagged using smart technology. This will help recover them should they be stolen. You can also register them with services such as Tool Trace.
- Park against a wall. If your van has a sliding door on the side, park this side against a wall. This makes it more difficult for thieves to cut into it. If your van opens from the back, reverse park so that the back of your van is near the wall. This will make the doors harder to open.
- Park in a well-lit area. Thieves are less likely to target your van if it’s in an area with plenty of street lighting. CCTV can also act as a deterrent. This can be either your own simple security system set up or official cameras out on the streets of town.
- Don’t keep tools in your van overnight – store them somewhere safe indoors at home or work. If you have nowhere else to keep them then invest in a secure box that’s properly fixed into your van. Don’t forget to put a sticker on the outside of your van saying that no tools are kept in it overnight.