How to stop thieves getting away with your tools
22 February 2017
How to stop thieves getting away with your tools
If you’re a tradesperson, your tools are the backbone of your business. You don’t want to lose them, do you?
Having your tools stolen can have a damaging effect on your livelihood. But every day around New Zealand hard working tradies have their tools nicked. And replacing tools and equipment is both costly and inconvenient. It interrupts your business and cash flow and it’s incredibly frustrating.
Here are a few things you can do to help to protect your tools from thieving scumbags.


Lock your tools up and out of sight

Obvious right? But you’d be surprised how many trusting tradies leave their tools unsecured in their ute or van. An easy target for opportunist thieves.
Secure all toolboxes to the tray of your ute with solid locks on the lids or doors, or keep them locked inside your van.  Any large equipment that cannot fit in a toolbox should be locked to your vehicle.
Always lock your vehicle, even if you’re working nearby or just away for a couple of minutes. At night, park your vehicle inside if possible or at least off the street.
As well as locking your vehicle try and keep your more valuable tools and equipment out of sight. 

ID and list your tools

If you're working with other tradespeople, clearly label your tools so other workers won't accidentally take them. 
It’s a good idea to have your name or initials engraved on your tools - if your tools do get stolen and the police locate them at a later date, you'll be able to correctly identify and prove which ones are yours. 
It is also a good idea to keep a comprehensive record of each and every tool, from your most expensive power tools through to every little drill bit and screwdriver. It’s amazing how quickly these things add up, and if you get cleaned out you want to make sure that everything is accounted for, especially if you have insurance.
Ideally, you should also do a stocktake of your tools against this list every month or so just to keep track.

Get insurance for your tools

Keeping your tools secure and out of sight is sometimes not enough. You may still get cleaned out by a determined thief.  That’s where insurance comes in to cover their replacement so that you can continue working without too much disruption.
Insurance companies will generally want to see some form of evidence of ownership when paying claims, so in addition to your list try to keep copies of receipts, owner manuals or original packaging materials. Be sure to read your insurance policy documents carefully to determine what you are covered for and what information the insurance company will need from you.
Your tools impact your ability to earn an income as a tradesperson, so it is worth making the effort to keep them safe.
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