How to keep your van safe
Your van and tools are crucial to the day-to-day operation of your business as a tradesperson, not only have you invested loads of money into building your tool collection, but losing them will cost you even more money when you can’t work.
The obvious solution to preventing these crimes sits with the government and their attempts to reduce theft and crime across the country, so ultimately there isn’t a lot the trade community can do to make criminals want to reform their lives. But while there are people out there scouring for vans to steal and steal from, we’ve decided to put together a list of our recommended products and tips for reducing the likelihood of your property being damaged or stolen.
Top products for van and tool protection
From dash cams to vaults, there are a number of products on the market that can be used to modify your van for increased security - we’ve listed some of the most popular below.
- Dash cam - dash cams are becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason. Installing one in your vehicle doesn’t just help you prove an accident wasn’t your fault, but it can also provide vital evidence in case of break-ins. Many on the market now operate even when the engine isn’t running, and are motion activated so they’ll start recording at night if anyone’s nearby.
- GPS tracker - if your van is stolen, a GPS tracker can be the key to the police tracking it down and returning it to you. While it may be damaged, at least you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing where it is and that the thieves have been caught.
- Window foil / grilles - windows are one of the weakest points of a vehicle, and usually advertise all of the expensive goods that you have stored inside. Using window foils not only hides the contents, but also prevents the window from smashing. Fitting window grilles makes it harder for thieves to break through and even plastic ones act as a deterrent.
- Van Vault - unfortunately criminals may be successful in breaking into your van, and often they’ll make off with all of your tools without actually stealing the vehicle itself. An extra layer of protection will keep your tools secure if this does happen, especially if you often keep them in your van overnight. Van Vault offer a wide range of tool vaults in different shapes and sizes to keep your tools safe.
- Silent alarms - silent alarms alert you with either a text or phone call if there’s any unusual activity around your van. This way you can contact the police and catch the thief in the act without them knowing.
- Lockable fuel cap - with the price of petrol and diesel constantly rising, it’s a prime target for thieves and it’s easily accessible from any vehicle - you may have even had some stolen without noticing. Lockable fuel caps are a great solution to prevent something so valuable being stolen, simply replace your current cap to keep access to your fuel on your keychain.
- Protection plates - protection plates make it more difficult to break into your van, as they’re secured over the door locks (often the weakest part of the door), strengthening the existing lock which can otherwise be broken by taking a screwdriver to the weak spots.
- Disklok - traditional steering wheel locks can put potential thieves off of stealing your van, but it’s also possible that they’ll attempt to remove the lock, damaging your steering wheel in the process. The Disklok fits over the entire steering wheel, preventing any theft or damage.
Tips for keeping your van secure
Keep a record of everything
If the worst happens and your van does get broken into or stolen, dealing with insurance companies can make the situation so much more stressful. Making sure you have a record of the contents of your van can make the process faster, and less painful. Take regular photos of your van and it’s contents and keep a record of your tools, their serial numbers and make and models to help your claim.
Advertise your van’s security
If you’ve gone to the trouble and expense of making your van safe and secure, don’t keep it a secret. It can still cost you if a thief tries to break in, even if they’re unsuccessful. Stickers that advertise that you have security measures in place and don’t keep tools in your vehicle overnight are a great deterrent for would-be thieves.
Find your vans weak spots
No you don’t have to try to break into your van yourself, researching the model online will show you what others found to be it’s weakest spots. Once you have this information you can be more efficient with which areas you decide to add extra security to.