Guest Post – Keeping Your Van Safe

By admin - 29th November 2013

Ever had a van broken into? Or is it a constant worry for you tradesmen out there?

Our guest post this week deals with tips and advice on how to keep your vans and tools safe.

Take it away Kes!

Van Security Tips

Common sense dictates that expensive tools, materials and other pieces of equipment should be removed from a van at night. However there are instances when workers are out at a job where they may have to stay in a hotel and it would not be appropriate to take large, dirty tool boxes and pieces of building equipment into the establishment. It may also be the case that workers are involved in work on a remote piece of property, such as a farm building, and even though they’re out in the daylight, the isolation could make their van prone to attack. What are the best measures that can be employed to improve the security of your van?


Extra Locks

In order to increase the security on your van it is possible to install extra locks on the exterior. These include the following:

  • Slamlocks – These are similar to Yale locks, springing into action when the door of a van is shut with no need for further operation. This type of lock is especially useful in ensuring that the contents of a van stay safe whilst parked in a busy area where an opportunist thief could quickly steal something out of the back of a van. Even though slamlocks won’t stand up against a determined attack on a vehicle, they are an extra level of security when compared against the normal door locks.

  • DeadlocksThese heavy duty locks are the ultimate in van security. They require the operator to physically enable the lock after shutting the door with a key. They offer strong protection against even the most skilled of thieves and are very difficult to break. The only downside to using this kind of lock is that it can be a little inconvenient to keep securing the lock if workers have to frequently use the van to get tools and materials.

  • Catalytic Converter Cages – Thanks to the precious metals that are used in the construction of catalytic convertors, these parts can fetch very good prices even on the second hand spares market. It is now possible to buy special cages for your van’s catalytic converter that are attached to the vehicle’s chassis via special cables. Even though these aren’t completely immune to attacks, they will present such a challenge to most potential thieves that they will probably look for an easier target.

  • Reinforced LocksMany vans, especially the famous Ford Transit, have side doors that feature a large handled locking system. This is one of the most vulnerable points on the van and many professional van thieves will know how to quickly bypass such a lock. These locks can be reinforced using special plating to make them more robust and resistant to even sledgehammer attacks that’s attached to the bodywork via concealed fixings.

Essential In-Van Storage

It’s not just the exterior of your van that can be made stronger. There are also a number of solutions available that are able to significantly increase the security of tools placed inside the vehicle. The most commonly used are as follows:

  • Vehicle Storage Boxes – These are in effect a safe for tools that can be stored in the back of a van. They are usually constructed out of strong steel and have solid locking mechanisms that will resist even the most determined attackers. Vehicle storage boxes may even have special systems that allow power tools to be left on charge whilst still secured inside. For added security such boxes can even be fixed to the interior of the van, either with locks or permanent welds.

  • BulkheadsBulkheads are special metal plates that are fitted between the driver and passenger seats and the cargo compartment of a van. Not only do they help protect the van’s contents from thieves who attempt to access the back of the van through the front cabin, but they also protect the driver and passenger from being injured by the contents of the van in the event of a crash. They can be manufactured in a number of different styles and can even include Perspex in their construction to allow the driver to see through the rear window.

  • Grills – Just as bulkheads are used to protect the front end of a van, grills can be used to protect the rear windows of vans. Simply put, they’re bar systems that go across the windows and prevent thieves from entering the van if they break the windows. Such grills are usually supplied as steel bars or a metal mesh that blocks the entire window and is firmly fixed to the van.

Park Sensibly

This may seem like an obvious point, but the best way to stop opportunist thieves from breaking into your van is by not giving them the right kind of cover to attack the vehicle. If you park your van on dark, out of the way, back streets, then it’s much easier for a robber to gain entrance to it without anyone raising any concerns. By parking on clearly lit, well used streets you are likely to deter any potential robbers from breaking into your van or stealing parts from it. If possible always park your van where you have a clear line of sight to it, as a simple shout is usually enough to get rid of anyone who’s taking too close a look at its security measures.

Finally – Save Money on your Insurance

Most workmen have the contents of their van insured alongside the van itself. By using recognised security measures to protect the contents of your van, such as deadlocks and vehicle storage boxes, van owners should be able to negotiate a much more attractive rate on your insurance premium.

Thanks Kes!

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