1. Track Your Tools
The first step in securing your tools is keeping a record of what you have. A master record should exist and be kept on file at your facility’s main location. You should record the tool type, the make and model and any other information that can help identify it. For power tools, it is best to include the tool’s unique serial number in your tracking information.
Many contractors also suggest using a sign-out sheet for their tools. This helps track who is in possession of a tool during the day, and where it is going. Don’t know where that blue impact driver went? Simply go and check the log to see who was the last to have it. This also shows your employees that you take the care of your tools seriously.
2. Security Solutions
Many stolen tools are taken during off-hours. This is especially common in construction sites or similar open-air job sites. Job site security becomes a larger issue when you are notable to keep your tools inside a secured building. Many contractors leave their tools on site in a locked trailer, but these can be easily broken into.
Many companies are offering security solutions to help keep track of your tools and their use. Grainger offers KeepStock Secure® that not only helps you manage your inventory but controls access and use. KeepStock Secure* provides dispensing machines to control product distribution and allows facilities to customize products based on your business’ most used items. Know who used which items and when, and provide 24/7 access to your workers without the need for a store clerk or store room manager.
3. Personalize Your Property
Personalizing your tools is another way to prevent theft. Stealing is often a crime of convenience and it is easier to take something that isn’t unique or easy to identify. Some contractors choose to paint their tools a bright, distinct color, like neon orange or pink, to make them obvious and easy to identify.
Other contractors will also etch a name or number into their tools. Engraving or etching your name into your tools can work well as a preventative to thieves who have an interest in selling your stolen tools. A tool can easily be painted over, but an engraving is a lot more difficult to remove. This is especially true when the engraving is deep or in more than one place. Tools that are difficult to hide or easy to identify are less desirable, so they are less likely to be stolen from your job site.
4. Speaking from Experience
The longer you’ve been in the game, the more you know about how to protect your things. Experienced contractors have some personal recommendations on what has worked for them. One suggestion for adding job site security is not allowing parking on or near the site itself. It is not uncommon for more than one crew or company to be working at the same site together, especially if it is a large-scale job that requires different types of work. If theft is often a crime of convenience, remove the convenience. It is a lot more difficult to steal an item you have to walk a half a mile with.
Being aware of where you are putting your tools down can also add to job site security. Make sure your crew is trained to put tools back in the toolbox or work truck when not in use, rather than just setting them down. This can also help decrease the likelihood of dropped objects that could be a potential hazard.
5. Security for Your Things
Tools are a contractor’s most precious instruments. They are expensive to buy and without them no work can get done. Preventing stolen tools isn’t just protecting the tool itself, but the money you make using them every day. Increased awareness and job site security can help protect that investment and keep you on track.
* Grainger KeepStock solutions are subject to customer eligibility and agreements.
The product statements contained herein are intended for informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. W. W. Grainger, Inc. does not guarantee the result of product operation or assume any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of such products.