Even if your construction business is operating during the sweeping Stay At Home order as an essential business, your equipment and materials are at risk of theft as neighborhoods grow quiet in the evening and night hours. Replacing tools—even insured tools—does come at a cost, both financial as well as time and productivity lost. We’re expanding on our last job site security post with a few additional recommendations for both security and recovery of lost equipment.
Keep Good Records
When you think of serial numbers, often warranty claims comes to mind, but what about claiming recovered property or filing insurance claims? Instead of stopping with filling out the quick warranty card, keep a record—a spreadsheet or notebook—along with description of your equipment off-site, such as in the office or upload it to a private cloud folder. At the very least, snap a photo of the serial number and tool and upload that to a secure location.
Mark Your Property
When equipment is permanently marked it is harder to unload through pawn shops or on peer selling sites, greatly reducing the marketability and thereby the value. It’s easy to spray paint your company name or initials on foundation forms or scaffolding, but what do you do for small power tools? I’ve seen a lot of individuals write with a permanent marker, however this can be removed easily enough with acetone and other cleaning agents, but what cannot be removed is an engraving. Using a carving/engraving tool such as a Dremel, carve in your company name/initials permanently. It won’t take but a few minutes but can be a great deterrent for would-be thieves looking to make a quick buck.
Secure Large Items
Chains and padlocks can do wonders for things like Job-boxes, but may be too light-duty for a tractor, trailer, or generator. As the value goes up, the skill level and determination is typically greater, requiring a more sophisticated defense. Active security such as EquipmentShare and DeWalt MobileLock systems provide GPS tracking and movement alerts on larger pieces of equipment. Hide the tracker out of sight on your machines or trailers and know when they’re disturbed and where they’re headed.
Consider a trailer your job site’s shopping cart. Protect the trailer and you’ve likely also prevented a devastating loss to your business. Use wheel chock locks and comprehensive hitch locks to secure the trailer far greater than a simple padlock in the pin.
Security Through Obscurity
Many construction site thefts occur simply out of convenience. A resellable item is left visible and easy to grab, enticing an opportunistic individual, and it vanishes. Clamp down on the opportunities with a construction site fence and windscreen to obscure view of the job site. And as always, put your tools and costly materials in a secure location on the property, away from prying eyes altogether.