A few weeks ago, we covered the topic of job site safety. This is the problem companies face when dealing with tool theft losses. This week, let's take a look at some solutions that can help you prevent tool theft on the job site. They can also help you recover stolen tools if you have been a victim in the past.
This is one of the most basic tool anti-theft methods and is the most widely used. By engraving the identifying information on it, the thief knows that anyone else who sees it can identify it. Painting it a bright color will help it stand out when others try to take it.
- Pros: Acts as a deterrent. Engraving can help recover stolen tools. It's easy to identify your tools if someone else picks them up.
- Cons: Paint may peel and engraving may be scratched or covered up.
Install game camera
A game camera will set you back about $100 at your local outdoor store. It can run higher for more features and higher resolutions. These cameras take pictures when motion is detected and can work at night without traditional flash. While the photos are unlikely to deter tool theft, it could provide evidence to authorities and help convict the thieves. Most cameras store images on an SD card that plugs into your computer.
Just make sure you mount it high enough that thieves can't easily pull it off. Ideally, you can place your game cam where it might not be seen by would-be thieves. Make sure all tools are within the camera's field of view.
- Pros : Provides photo evidence of crimes and thieves. Photos are motion triggered 24/7 and stored to the onboard SD card. These operate as "set and forget" devices.
- Cons: These gane cameras don't really deter theft. The camera can be removed if the location is known. With some less expensive cameras, the resolution can be sketchy and it's hard to see details.
Tool trailers are a very popular choice for professionals who carry a lot of gear to the job site. Tool theft can be prevented at a higher level if you take precautions.
First, you'll need a strong hook lock and a "hockey puck" style lock on the door. These are the most tamper resistant locks on the market. When you're carrying over $10,000 worth of work capacity, they're well worth the extra bucks.
If you must leave your tool trailer on the job site, park it where it can be easily seen from the road. If possible, make sure there is a light source nearby and lean the door against a wall or building. This prevents would-be thieves from using the door, whether they have the lock open or not.
- Pros: You lock the tool in a design that is difficult to move. You can protect many tools at once.
- Cons: Using an inferior lock will not prevent tool theft. A thief who gets in has access to everything. A trailer can be an expensive investment.
A company called MobileLock is working with DeWalt on a worksite safety system. These systems work almost exactly like your home security system. The goal is to prevent tool theft through proactive monitoring and alerting. They include motion sensors, GPS transmitters with cellular data transmission, door and window sensors, anti-tamper and audible alarms.
They can send alerts to your email, mobile phone, and secure call center. In addition to equipment costs, monitoring services cost less than $20 per mobile lock unit per month for monitoring services. Best of all, the system can be controlled via text anywhere there is a cell phone signal.
- Pros: This method works well for home/office style security monitoring. Within the same system, you can use a number of different methods to prevent tool theft. You can control these systems from anywhere via text message or app.
- Cons: Between equipment and monitoring, buying a security system can be expensive. Depending on how many units you need, the cost can add up quickly. If you neglect to charge and maintain the battery, the system may malfunction.
Without a doubt, the best way to prevent tool theft is to bring it home. There is always an inherent risk in leaving tools on the job site. Thieves may steal them at night or on weekends. Unloading/loading tools every day can be a pain. However, that's a small price to pay when talking about a device that will make you paycheck to paycheck.
- Pros: Nothing to steal on site.
- Cons : You do need to load and unload every weekday.
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Connecting a 53ft Trailer to a Security System's Deafening, Blinding Flashbang – Joshua W.
Will leave more tool security suggestions below and we will consider adding them to our article.