Author Topic: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle  (Read 1547 times)

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Offline mackenzie

  • Posts: 227
Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« on: October 05, 2020, 01:56 PM »
I'd love to know how you secure your tools, especially on site.  It's typical in my neck of the woods to use big steel site boxes to secure tools.  Great when the site is occupied and boxes are visible but useless when it's out of hours and the boxes are in a basement and get emptied on a weekend, which happened on a site I was on.  They are also big and not convenient to transport regularly, especially for city projects.

I'm not a fan of insurance because it feels they are always trying to find a way not to pay out.  I'd rather stop the theft in the first place rather than deal with post theft issues.

I've been looking into lots of security products and found some interesting options, most are not site friendly though such as smoke screen systems, smart water forensic marking spray systems (tool marking might be an option though), xenon strobe lights and Skunklock.  I'd like ideas for a portable security solution; battery powered CCTV, GPS tracking, intruder alarm, locks, chains or safes?  I had wondered if something like a kevlar net was available which had fixing points to bolt the net down.  For example you could throw a bunch of tool boxes and perhaps materials under the net and fix down to say a concrete floor using proprietary fixings.  It would end up being highly portable and convenient for odd shaped items but such a product doesn't seem readily available and I'm not sure how kevlar would stand up to the types of tools etc which can be found quite easily on most sites.  The net could of course be wrapped round things and padlocked to itself instead of fixed down.

Keeping it simple, I always think is it better to simply deceive a would be thief and deliberately mislabel tool boxes?  Instead of using a label like toolbox 1 (Tool brand X), how about "drop cloths and chemicals", or "fixings".  Give them some reason to look else where.

I'd love to hear your experience, thoughts and ideas.  My personal interest is portable solutions but fixed security solutions focused on protecting tools might help others.

Thank you and looking forward to your replies

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3515
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 02:45 PM »
I can only speak of the measures installed for my home shop as i don't work on any site:

Festool DF500, Pro 5 LTDs in systainers -- Kept in a locked steel cabinet
Kapex -- Chained to the workbench
Hand tools -- Wall-mounted cabinets with a home-made locking device (hardly visible push-in pin)
SawStop PCS -- Nothing, 500 lbs, too heavy to be stolen!

Overhead wireless surveillance camera -- Monitored via my cellphone whenever wanted
Motion sensor alarm (two sensors) -- Turned on only when I step inside the house and the garage door is left over

Last resort -- Home insurance (Never been claimed).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 03:11 PM by ChuckM »

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 03:06 PM »
Hi,

the problem in Europe and I guess also in the UK is that, while "Mr.Thief, single" might still exist, most of these burglaries go to the account of (fairly) organized crime. They stakeout sites/homes and make their move when the chance is right. Of course, there's the odd chance it's a junkie looking for some quick money. Padlocks, "DIY/ home depot type market's"- safes, regular locks ... Nothing of that is a problem for them. Real time GPS tracking is an (fairly expensive) option, as are professional alarm systems.

Many larger construction sites in Germany use: https://www.bauwatch.de

If the police apprehends someone related to tool theft/ handling of stolen goods, it looks like this:

https://www.derwesten.de/staedte/essen/flohmarkt-essen-nrw-diebstahl-polizei-unglaubliche-entdeckung-anzeige-hehler-zufall-id217123625.html

(In this case a visitor of a second hand open air market/ flea-market found his stolen tools with a vendor ...)


The first rule of "safety" in regards to (private/shop) burglaries is, don't talk about your personal safety measures and never ever show them.

The net you describe is something that backpackers tend to use for "light security" against "grab and go" scenarios especially in trains, albeit they are steel, not kevlar. It's called "Pacsafe". -> https://int.pacsafe.com/collections/accessories-locks/products/120l-anti-theft-backpack-bag-protector

A good start for the home and shop are lights, strong locks that can't be pulled and doors with corresponding, I think they are called deadbolts?. And CCTV.

If you want a trouble free insurance experience, get an all-risk policy. (Expensive!)

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 128
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 03:25 PM »
For police reports and insurance claims, a comprehensive list of every item with serial numbers where applicable is very useful. (Cops may find your stolen items but without associated serial number they might not be able to retrieve them). A digital file with cell phone pics of serial numbers is quick way to store things.

Check your insurance to make sure it covers replacement cost. This will be fairly standard for US homeowners policies and vary wildly for commercial policies.


Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1345
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 05:06 PM »
#1 Insurance! Not having insurance could cost you everything. I know too many contractors, auto shops, and other types of businesses that have had their tools stolen.

A thief that wants what you got is pretty much unstoppable. You can deter thieves only so much. Personally I would never leave tools onsite. Instead organize everything to roll back into your van in a matter of minutes. Milwaukee Packout works well for this. Have a security wall between the cab and the back of the van, which also helps protect the driver in case of an accident. Additional outside locks on the van cargo doors help slow them down. No windows in the cargo area.

At home run video cameras and more important put signs up stating "video surveillance". We had a lot of cars coming up our private driveway past 6 "NO TRESPASSING" signs. Put up video signs and traffic all but stopped. Make sure the video cameras are noticeable. More cameras are better.

Alarm systems UGG! They works but I hate them. Most video cameras have the ability to setup alerts for movement. Nest for instance has a setup so that when you come home the movement alerts are turned off when your phone attaches to the wifi. Battery backups are very good to have. Otherwise a thief can kill the power and off the cameras go. Even with a battery backup they can kill the power, wait a couple days, then make their move. With video alerts as long as I have cell coverage, I can call the police if I see something suspicious. With cameras like Nest's I can talk to the people nearby too.

Engraving your tools lowers their resale value substantially. In a past life I was a Porsche Tech. The tool box next to mine was emptied, they stole computers, scanners, and a nice Porsche to haul it all away. My unlocked tool box with everything engraved wasn't touched.

Photograph all your tools with their serial numbers and stow the photos away. If fire is of concern, make sure to stow those photos in a second location. Making a video would work too. Not sure which is better.

So the theme is to keep your tools out of sight from thieves to begin with. If your home is not secure, find a secure shop.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 09:27 PM »
If you start spending a ton of money on securing tools, it defeats any point.  Spend 10k to protect 5k worth of tools?

Video and such, sure, you have the theft on video, will that get them back? probably not.

Not showing of your tools, or making them well know is the best security aspect, secure them to stop casual theft (folks see it sitting there, or unlocked door).

Document tools, have them on your homeowners.

If someone wants your stuff, they will take your stuff.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 10:05 PM »
Documentation is key as has been said. But add to that a thumbdrive with photos of everything (including the stuff you think is too heavy to move) including closeups showing serial numbers and any personal identification marks/numbers you may have etched on the tool.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3515
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 10:55 PM »


If someone wants your stuff, they will take your stuff.

Seriously determined folks are hard to keep at bay.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/7294401/bike-rack-theft-vancouver/amp/

The most expensive item in my shop is none of the woodworking machines but my luxury SUV. It is never locked when in the garage. Someone will get more money by stealing my car than all the tools and machines combined.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 11:03 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4262
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2020, 08:42 AM »
I start by never taking in anything that I'm not going to be using in a 2-4 hour increment of work, and everything goes home with me when I leave for the day.  Most of the time, I work alone, so it's seldom a concern.  My vehicle gets emptied into a locked and alarmed space when I get home.  Yes, it's all insured, but I prefer to preclude than to recover.  Only once has anyone tried to "rehome" part of my tools on a job site.  That person was caught in the act and will forever bear the scars resulting.   
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 476
Re: Tool Security Ideas - Site, Home & Vehicle
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2020, 03:09 PM »
If you start spending a ton of money on securing tools, it defeats any point.  Spend 10k to protect 5k worth of tools?

Video and such, sure, you have the theft on video, will that get them back? probably not.

Not showing of your tools, or making them well know is the best security aspect, secure them to stop casual theft (folks see it sitting there, or unlocked door).

Document tools, have them on your homeowners.

If someone wants your stuff, they will take your stuff.
unless they try to steal from me... ain’t happening. The issue isn’t tools getting stolen, in the past, the houses getting vandalized. Same level of protection, trying to hold onto your assets. (I fixed the problem and sold the houses.) It boils down to what extent do you want to protect your stuff? In the small towns neighbors and neighborhood watch groups can be effective. The police were excellent in the town to the point I could call them up daily and they would cruise by and check on the place(s).  In the middle of the night there’s less to do. This went on for 3 years straight. I had many discussions with the police about suspicious criminal activity. I would wake up throughout the night and patrol the neighborhood looking for miscreants and then call the police dispatch with a description of the individual and vehicle. it’s very effective.

1. Small jealous dog inside the house! outside the house too. Chihuahua, mini poodle 🐩, schnauzer, JRT. They bark at everything.
2.  angry Pitbull , mastiff, dobbie, GSD, Belgian Melanois, any mid dog-shelter size mutt.
3. Good neighbors that carry guns. I asked the one neighbor if he sees anything suspicious to call the cops. He said he doesn’t call the cops... then he lifted up his shirt. Ha. Watchful neighbors on good terms, are good home security.
4. Lights on at night... the more it looks like daylight. They won’t stick around.
5. Cover any job boxes with a sheet to keep the tool box from out of sight. Such as opening and closing the garage door. If you do woodworking in your garage thieves will see what you have, it’s a given. I’m moving my woodshop inside my house.
5. Security cameras. I currently have 8 cameras four inside and four facing outside through the windows.
6. Use a secured, monitored self-storage unit to house your tools and supplies
7. No trespassing signs. If they are on your property they can be arrested if their is signage. inside your house they can get held at gunpoint and potentially shot or bitten. The no trespassing sign puts the thief on notice.
8. Security doors on all doors front rear and side. Run 2x4 on the side garage entrance door to lag screw into studs.
9. Keep lights on Inside house and get a programmable bulb that turns on through an app. 
10. Never leave your house! Or pay someone trustworthy to stay in your house while your away.
11. Look for people apparently parked by your location seemingly doing nothing, texting or talking on the phone. For hours on end. Sometimes they walk the neighborhoods to try to learn the habits of your coming and goings?
12 thieves want to be in and out... they don’t want to get caught. Make your house a non-target, so they move onto another house.  a single women asked me once what she could do for home security. I told her to go to the thrift store and buy a pair of men’s work boots in a size 12 or larger and stick them by the back porch door.  Anyone trying to break in would realize there is a large man that lives there?
13.  Signs showing that the property is being recorded. You can purchase fake security cameras to stick outside. That is a good deterrent, better than nothing.
14. Move, sell the house or move the shop? Renters in some neighborhoods are the source of the problem? They need money for drugs so petty theft, retail theft and home burglaries is their side hustle.

The more deterrents and roadblocks you put up the more difficult it becomes for them to steal. I routinely walk/drive around looking for suspicious vehicles and take photos of licenses.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 01:43 PM by mkasdin »