Protect Your Tools With These Jobsite Security Tips
Here are some great tips to keep thieves from stealing your expensive tools and equipment from the jobsite.
Protect your tools and equipment
Tools are a construction pro's livelihood. Having just one expensive tool stolen can delay projects and creates unexpected, profit-erasing costs. Here are some great security tips to help keep your tools safe.
Make your mark
Marking up all of your tools makes it tough for thieves to resell your stolen property. It also prevents other workers on the site from accidentally mistaking your equipment for theirs. There are a bunch of different ways to makes sure that your tools are clearly YOUR TOOLS. Spray or brush bright paint onto your sawhorses, ladders, and other larger equipment. Use a Dremel with an engraving bit to carve your name into power tools, or melt your name into your tools with a solder gun (below).
Know what is yours
Register all your tools with the manufacturer you bought them from.They will keep your serial numbers on record, and it usually helps if there’s a warranty issue. At the very least take a photo of your serial number and file it away somewhere. Knowing serial numbers will also make it easier to recover your specific property when they discover a thief with a whole storage bin full of contraband.
This cool little alarm system is designed to protect expensive equipment like trucks, trailers, and heavy equipment. The DeWalt MobileLock is just a little bigger than a deck of cards. Stick it in an inconspicuous spot, and it will alert you if someone is driving and operating your machinery outside of work hours.
The MobileLock has a thirty-day battery life and is weather resistant. It's available online and at home centers for $330. One drawback of a GPS based system like MobileLock is that you have to pay a monthly data fee- but how much is it worth to you to recover an expensive piece of stolen equipment?
Foil trailer thieves
A trailer is like a huge shopping bag for crooks, a way to carry a bunch of stolen goods home in one fell swoop. Don't trust a tongue locking pin. All it takes is someone to back up with a 1-7/8" ball and they can drop the tongue on the ball and drive away. In order to be really secure you need to use a full lock on the tongue that either goes in the ball mount or around the lip and covers part of the ball mount.
Extra trailer protection
It pays to get an extra layer of protection by using a boot-style lock in addition to the coupler lock. There are many styles to choose from. We like the Trimax TCL75 Wheel Chock Lock because it doubles as a wheel chock that prevents the trailer from rolling. Just slide it onto the wheel and press in the lock cylinder.
Shine a light on 'em
Always keep an inside light on through the night if possible. Just like cockroaches, thieves scatter when exposed to light. If you have to leave your trailer parked in a bad location overnight, try to park under streetlights if possible. Pick up one of these motion activated solar powered lights. Temporarily mount it up high on the wall or the roof and shine it at entryways and equipment.
Milwaukee One Key
Small hand tools like drills and recip saws can be hard to keep track of. Sometimes you can’t be sure if something was stolen or just lost. ONE-KEY from Milwaukee makes it much easier to manage and keep track of all your power tools. ONE-KEY works by connecting compatible tools to an app right on your phone. From the app you can assign tools to specific workers and jobsites while also keeping a digital catalogue of your tools. The system will even remind you when a tool needs maintenance. If a tool goes missing you can track it right from the app. The list of tools that come with ONE-KEY technology is increasing and ONE-KEY has already been integrated into several of Milwaukee’s product lines.
Fake 'em out
Post security stickers on the trailer or house access points so they're visible. Who cares if you don't really have an actual security system, as long as it puts a little bit of doubt in the mind of a would-be thief? Fake cameras also work great and are a cheap investment. Buy the ones that have LED lights that blink so they look real. These here cost less than $20 for a 4-pack.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you leave your stuff inside onsite over night, never leave it out so it is visible through a window. Tuck generators, compressors and other expensive equipment in corners and closets. The more a potential thief can see, the more they’re going to want to get in. When working outside, consider hiding your work station behind a fence or other obstruction so any potential pilferers driving by don't get any bad ideas. The less tools seen, the better.
Okay, this might be taking it a bit far
Next, read our story on how to protect a house during a remodel.