Keep your tools safe – SMART Tool Group

Tradesman Has Tools Stolen - Evening Telegraph(Credit – Evening Telegraph)


What’s happening?

To every Tradesman your Tools are your livelihood, and without them, you cannot work or provide for your family. Therefore, it is a good idea to look into getting insurance, especially considering Tool and Van theft has been on a rapid rise since 2016. In 2016 the tool theft bill totalled over £94.5 million in the UK, which was an increase in 2015 of 30%.

Vans are broken into every 23 minutes in the UK, with Yorkshire and the Midlands tradesmen at higher levels of risk in than anywhere else in the country. The average tool theft cost to a tradesman is over £1,500 with some cases tools costing over £14,000, which they cannot replace. We understand how this can be extremely stressful and frustrating that some low lives are taking your tools, projects, jobs and money directly out of your pocket. A recent survey by Simply Business reported that 50% of its participants have had at least one time had their tools stolen from them with even more of them knowing a Tradesmen who have fallen victim to their tools being taken.

How do they do it?

Two common ways that we see an increase in are either they are using modern technology to intercept your key fob signal to your Van using a device. The other way is less expensive for the thieves as they grab hold of the top part of the van and press their body weight against it and bend the door out to give room for themselves to jump in.


#noVANber Campaign

Here are some past and existing campaigns that we have looked into. #noVanber was a Government Petition to get Tradesmen to sign up for the Government to introduce new legislation that would have stronger guidelines on the reselling of stolen tools.

What can be done to prevent tool theft?

Maybe build a theft protection device that will deliver a 1000-volt shock to your thieves? Well, it’s one LEGAL option to consider, and Ray has had many enquiries from you guys asking him how to build or to get this fitted in your vans.

Our top tips are

We hope that this blog will give you some ideas on how to protect your essential tradesmen tools and your VAN.

1)     Steering lock

Purchasing a Disklok over your vehicles steering wheel will help prevent thieves from driving off with your vehicle, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting one.

2)     Ladders

If your ladder is secure on the roof of your vehicle, that doesn’t mean they are safe from thieves. We would recommend taking this in at night or purchasing an additional clamp that will secure the roof rack to the ladder.

3)     Engraving your tools

When the police recover your property, they cannot identify who they belong to. By giving clear marks or information that relates them to you will increase the likelihood of them being returned to you if they are found.

4)     Take The Tools in at Night

These may be obvious, but still, a number of your do not do this, and we understand it requires effort and that you can’t take all your tools in at night.

5)     Separate safe

These come in a variety of different sizes to suit your van and your tools. They are fitted to your van so if you do leave tools in your van, storing them in a secure safe is a safer option.

6)     What you see they can see

Windows are an easy spot for Tool thieves to understand what is in your van for them to nick. Covers or tints or Grills would be a wise move to prevent them easily pricing up what tools you have.

7)     Insurance

Not only get insurance for your van but for your tools as well. Check over the policy you have for the valuables that are kept in the car to make sure you are covered.

8)     Dash Cams / CCTV / Alarms

Having CCTV on your house or garage can be expensive. It will film the criminals as they attempt to rob your tools, giving you time to call the police or to record them and present to the police. Alarms set on the vehicle can send an alert to your mobile phone. Finally, dashcams can record inside out and inside your vehicle as this gives another opportunity to capture the faces of your tool thieves. Dash cameras are inside the vehicle, how does that help me? The dash camera is becoming smarter with the ability to now connect and record to the cloud so even they take the dash camera, and it will be still recording when it has been touched.

9)     Photo evidence

Taking pictures of your tools will help police with their investigation and your insurance claim, as they can identify the worth and what type of tools you have stored in your vehicle.

10) Internal and External Locks

Installing your own internal and external locks for your vehicles’ door’s will add another layer of security to prevent them using a screwdriver or crowbar to bust open the gap between the door and the back of the van. An example would be Armaplate Sentinel which protects the vulnerable area with a stainless-steel plate which is bolted the door skin and then through a larger plat internally.
Armaplate Sentinel Panel

It’s sad to know that only 38% of stolen vans were recovered to their owners and the most popular Tradesman van, The Ford Transit which was reported as the ‘most stolen van in 2016’.

Have you used any of the tips above? Or do you have any suggestions that you currently use that other Tradesmen could do with knowing? Write them in the comments and will consider adding them to this article ????

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