With tool theft on the rise, van security is a top priority for tradespeople, and if you’re keeping your tools in your van, it’s important that you take steps to keep them safe.
Whether you’re looking for van security products or just some top tips to maintain the safety of your vehicle, we’ve compiled a guide to the most important considerations when it comes to vans and tool theft.
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Van security – top tips
There are some easy steps you can take to help protect the security of your van - here are our top tips to get you started:
Don’t forget the basics
It might sound obvious, but it’s sometimes easy to forget: make sure that all of your van’s doors and windows are locked when you’re outside the vehicle, even if it’s just for a minute. You might just be nipping out, but as thieves become more sophisticated, it can take them barely any time to make off with your valuables.
This can be particularly easy to overlook in summer, so make sure that you’re taking the correct basic precautions.
Grills and tints
Windows are often a pain point for van theft, as they tend to be the weakest part of the vehicle. To help avoid this, you could consider fitting grills or tints. You might also want to think about tinted window foils to help prevent break-ins - we’ve got more on that below.
Inside the van itself, make sure that tools and other objects are properly secured. Consider using padlocks or specialist locking devices to make your tools as difficult as possible to remove from the vehicle.
Understand lock types
On the subject of locks, it’s worthwhile doing some research into different types of lock to work out which is right for you. If you want to go high-tech, you should also look at the advanced alarm systems now on the market.
Look out for alarms that are rated Thatcham CAT 1 – these are the highest-rated alarm systems currently available, as determined by the Thatcham Research group.
Think about parking
When you’re parking your van, even for short periods, you should think carefully about where you stop. Parking with the rear or side doors against a wall or very sturdy railings will help to ensure that they can’t be prised open.
Where possible, make sure you park in well-lit areas with lots of foot traffic, and ideally with CCTV cameras in sight.
Top 5 best van security products
It pays to invest in some top van security products, whether they’re for securing the vehicle itself or protecting its contents. Here are five of the best:
The rear doors of your van are one of the most important entry points that need to be protected. The Stoplock is a great and affordable way of doing this. The device links the two rear doors together, making it much more difficult for thieves to pull them apart.
It’s worth noting that the Stoplock needs to be drilled into the doors themselves, so you may require a professional installer to get started.
Ideally you wouldn’t keep your tools in your van when you’re not also in it, but sometimes this is unavoidable, especially if you’re on a job.
Van Vault is a van security company that offers a range of solutions for protecting different tool types. They produce van safes - or ‘vaults’ - in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for different objects, including one specifically for copper piping stored on the roof.
Windows are another key point of risk, especially if there are objects visible through them. Luckily, it’s easy to fit window foil to help prevent theft. These devices fit over the inside and outside of your windows, and help to prevent them from smashing.
Dashcams are becoming increasingly popular as a tool in the event of road accidents, but they also have uses for preventing theft and keeping tools safe in a van.
Many dashcams have a special mode that senses movement around your vehicle even when it’s parked, and records them approaching. This can be extremely useful in the unfortunate event that your van is broken into, and can often be invaluable in catching the perpetrators.
The Disklok is now a highly recognisable product. It fits over the steering wheel, and is locked by the driver in order to immobilise the vehicle. The Disklok comes in a range of sizes for different steering wheels, and it’s recommended by Thatcham - the research group we mentioned above.
And finally, think about insuring your tools
Even the most careful van owners can still come a cropper when it comes to security. However hard you try, you might still fall victim to theft. In these cases, it’s vital that you’re insured so that you can get your business back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Tool insurance should be a key consideration for every tradesman. Whether you own your tools or are hiring them in, this insurance can cover the cost of replacing stolen or damaged items.