Tuesday, 05 September 2017 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
Your commercial vehicle and the goods or tools stored inside can be a target for theft. As providers of commercial vehicle insurance we understand that your tools and equipment are vital for you to carry out your work and that any loss could become a huge financial set back to you or your business.
Follow our guide full of hints and tips to help you keep your van as secure as possible.
Don’t leave your vehicle unlocked and unattended
Whether you’re at work or on your driveway, leaving your van unlocked and unattended can make you a target for opportunistic thieves. Following a recent ONS survey it has been found that 43% of vehicle-related theft was by thieves entering the vehicle through an unlocked door. You should also keep in mind that leaving your vehicle unlocked could lead to your insurance policy becoming invalidated.
As above, you should never leave your vehicle’s windows down if it’s unattended, as this could be seen as an open invitation (excuse the pun) to any opportunistic thief to enter your vehicle.
Locks and alarms
As well as making sure your vehicle is locked every time it’s left unattended, you could also think about adding additional locks and alarms. This’ll make access to your vehicle even more difficult and time consuming for thieves.
Most new vehicles come with a range of security devices. However, if it’s an older model it might not be so secure, so additional security could be required. These can include:
A deadlock is a mechanical device fitted to a vehicle door, which is completely separate to the original lock. It operates by throwing a bolt into a receiver fitted to the opposing body section when operated by an external key. Due to not having a spring mechanism that can be forced open, deadlocks are extremely difficult to pick.
A slamlock integrates with the vehicles existing lock. If a slamlock is fitted it will automatically lock the van the door when it’s been closed. This lock will help prevent opportunistic thieves from getting access to your vehicle if it’s been left unattended.
Lock defending security plates
It’s possible to add drill-proof protection plates to your locks. These plates will shield your locks from screwdriver or drill attacks.
Install an alarm
Installing an alarm is a valuable deterrent and can help keep your vehicle secure. It’s important that you don’t advertise the type of alarm that has been installed as a thief might now how to disable it.
A tracking device does what it says on the tin. If your vehicle has been stolen it will enable you or a third-party to track its location.
When you leave your vehicle make sure you remove your ignition key and lock all windows and doors, even if you’re only popping into your house or paying for fuel. It only takes a matter of seconds for a thief to gain entry to your vehicle and drive off.
At home always ensure that keys are kept out of sight and never leave them near windows or doors.
Parking your vehicle
If you park your van at home try and use a garage if possible. You need to make sure that the vehicle and the garage are both locked.
If you don’t have access to a garage, low-cost security lights could act as an effective deterrent when parking on your driveway. To take things further with your security, you could install a CCTV system, which needn’t cost the earth.
When parking your vehicle away from home make sure that you park in a well lit area that is preferably not unattended. Always try and park amongst other vehicles, as thieves are more likely to target vehicles that are parked on their own.
Securing the contents of your vehicle
Do you use your van for work? Chances are you’ll most likely have a range of high cost equipment, goods or tools that are attractive to criminals. To best avoid your property being stolen, you should remove all items overnight. However, this sometimes isn’t practical, so there are a few alternative storage measures you could take.
You could use tool storage boxes to keep items in overnight; these boxes are fixed to the floor of the van. You could also use a notice saying that no tools are kept in the van overnight.
Another method to use would be to chain and padlock items inside your vehicle together; this will make life a lot trickier for any robber!