Van security is a top priority for tradespeople. As the market for second-hand tools increases, tool theft continues to rise at a rapid pace. The size and type of van is often irrelevant as thieves tend to be ruthless and opportunistic, making the back of any van rich pickings for greedy gangs. If you’re keeping tools in your van and want to avoid losing thousands of pounds worth of expensive tools, or worse still, your whole van and your livelihood along with it, read on. We offer some steps that will help deter perpetrators and keep your van and tools safe.
Consider your parking spot with caution
Do not make it easy for thieves to operate. Avoid unlit, secluded areas and try to park in a space that has CCTV in operation. A van parked on its own, in a dark road off the beaten track, is going to be a much easier target than one under a street-light, on a busy main road, or in a car park with 24-hour security cameras.
The same thinking should be applied to your driveway. If you park your van on your driveway most nights, think about installing motion-sensor lighting, but if you do have a garage large enough to hold your van, you should ensure you lock it away every night. It is much harder to break into a secure outbuilding than just breaking into a vehicle.
It might be hassle, but actually removing your tools at the end of each working day and leaving nothing valuable in the van could save you thousands of pounds as well as the trouble of replacing all the tools you have collected and grown to love over the years. An opportunist thief will not be put off solely by a ‘no tools left in van overnight’ sign, it is best to remove them completely each night, just in case.
Prevent the ‘peel and steal’ technique
If you are unfamiliar to the ‘peel and steal’ method, it is where a thief applies pressure to a van door with their knees, before ‘peeling’ the door down from the top. Being conscious of where and how you park will really help prevent thieves being successful with this method. To protect your side door, park your van next to a wall. If you have rear doors, reverse park against a building. If you have staff that drive your company vehicles, make sure they are aware of simple security measures like this. The extra effort in parking more securely is worth it.
Protect your key fob
You may have heard of thieves hacking key fobs to break into vehicles without leaving any signs of damage. This method makes it particularly difficult to trace the perpetrator. The device that thieves use to hack fobs communicates with the legitimate key fob to unlock (or even start up) the car. It is sometimes called the ‘relay’ method, as it involves two thieves, one will intercept the signal from the owner’s key fob, while the other criminal uses the hacking device to replicate the signal and open the van door. Even worse, the hacking devices are cheap and easy for thieves to get their hands on online.
Thankfully, there is now a great little pouch called a ‘Faraday Sleeve’ that can protect your van from these kind of attacks. They basically block the radio transmissions and are easy to get hold of.
Basic but effective checks
It is always a good idea to go over the basics. So, test your alarm on a regular basis to make sure it works properly, fit a security camera to monitor your property if your van rests their overnight. Check locks and consider fitting extra locks. Always check your van is locked, even when you are working on site and coming and going to your van throughout the day – keep your van locked in between visits.
Never leave your windows open or have valuables such as money or phones on display. Never leave your keys in the van unattended, even if just popping into a shop for a few seconds – most insurers will not cover you from theft if these are the circumstances. You might consider getting a lockable toolbox that can be fixed to the floor of your van. These boxes can prove a real pain for opportunistic thieves as does a lockable clamp that fixes a ladder to a roof rack.
Mark your property
Use special paint, markers, engraving or an ultraviolet pen to clearly mark your tools as your property. Registering your tools with a system like Immobilise will make it easier for the police to track stolen property and to identify them as belonging to you if they manage to retrieve them.
Check your insurance
If you own your own van and your tools are not covered as part of your van insurance policy, it would be wise to consider it as soon as possible. Read your policy carefully to check for any clauses that might prevent a pay-out.
When hiring a van from Ace Rent A Van you’ll be protected from high costs with our low insurance excess. The excess on all our standard vans is set at £500. If you. You will only need to bring a few pieces of information in order to hire a van with us. Do not hesitate to give us a call if you need convenient and affordable van hire.