How Can Tradesmen Keep Their Tools Safer?

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How Can Tradesmen Keep Their Tools Safe?

Tool theft in the UK has been on the increase in the last year, with a value of approximately £30,000,000 in equipment stolen. Thieves have become more sophisticated, stealing anything from a few tools to a whole van. Many of the tools are usually stolen from construction sites, equipment lock ups and tradesmen’s vans.

Apart form trade skills and experience, tools are one of the most important asset a tradesman owns. To begin with they cost a lot to buy, and without them a tradesman can’t earn any income. Replacing them can be very expensive so keeping them safe is a must. Even if you are in a position financially to replace stolen tools, the time taken to do so is inconvenient and may result in loss of income. So here are a few ideas to help protect your tools from theft.



Most of the time your tools will be in your van, so the first step is to make your van secure. You can increase your vans security by investing in additional safety locks to make it harder for potential thieves – these can range from deadlocks to slam-locks to plate locks.

It also goes without saying that the van should be fitted with an immobiliser if it does not come with one installed. Make sure you have a fully functional alarm installed, preferably one that is wireless, and remember to install a small CCTV camera in the van to keep watch.


On Site:

When you are on-site, try to make sure that you keep your van parked in a busy area. Only take out the tools you need for a particular task, keeping the rest of your tools in your van. If you have to store tools on site, make sure they are kept in a secure toolbox and placed in a safe designated place.


At Home:

Don’t leave your tools in your van overnight, because they will be vulnerable. Try to take them out when you arrive home and put them in a secure place till you need them. If you have to leave them in the van overnight, then make sure they are locked up in a secure tool storage box and kept out of sight.

Place a warning sticker on the van to deter potential thieves that says “no tools stored in van overnight”. You can also cover all the van windows so no one can see what’s inside the van. Be sure to check that all your van doors and windows are locked before you leave it, and try to keep it parked in a secured garage overnight. If that’s not possible, then make sure it is parked in a well lit busy area.


Other Ways To Protect Your Tools & Equipment From Tool Theft:

There are a few other things that can be done to protect your tools and equipment. First of all, mark all your tools with a UV pen or have them engraved. This can help in two ways, by serving as a deterrent, and by helping to identify any tools. Another way is to put a list of all your tools on a national valuables and property register, and also mark them as registered.

Finally take out motor insurance to cover your van, and tool insurance to cover your tools. Get to know the terms of your policies, so that you know you are storing your van and tools in line with what is expected. Keep an inventory list of all your tools including photos, and receipts, in case you need to make a claim.


By becoming a bit more proactive, you can take steps to reduce the chances of your equipment getting stolen. Many of thefts are opportunistic, in that they tend to go for the easy targets, so any thing you can do to make your tools less attractive to thieves will help keep them safer.



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