Equipment theft is something every business owner worries about. But there are some simple ways to protect against it.
Make yourself less of a target by building a layered approach to security. Begin by knowing what you have, so it can be referenced if needed in the future:
- Write it down: Keep a record of the serial numbers on your equipment. That way you’ll also be able to identify it and have it returned if it’s recovered. Be sure to keep the records of the numbers in a secure place.
- Join a database: The National Equipment Register (www.ner.net) offers a free service called HELPtech to register any piece of mobile equipment. Almost all legitimate buyers of used equipment check the site to see if it was previously registered. If something doesn’t seem right, they often contact police.
Whether it’s at your business or a job site, proper storage of your equipment can go a long way towards protecting it. You’re looking to make it a less attractive target in hopes thieves will move on to easier pickings. Here are some simple suggestions:
- Clear your trailers: Remove any equipment from a trailer. If there’s nothing on it, there’s no reason for a thief to hook the trailer up and drive off.
- Create a traffic jam: Park large vehicles in a way to box in smaller equipment, preventing them from being driven out.
- Link items together: Take a chain and thread several machines together. Use a good quality lock.
- Light it up: Thieves love the cover of darkness. A brightly lit equipment area that’s visible to anyone passing by will help keep the bad guys away.
- Make your mark: Paint your equipment a unique color or have identifying decals. Thieves want equipment that’s not visibly linked to a business. It’s easier for them to sell.
Also consider anti-theft devices. You can buy wheel locks, control locks, and immobilizers that limit the functions of your vehicles and make them harder to drive away. As for higher-tech options, security systems with motion detection, cameras, and alarms are available. GPS devices and LoJack also give you the ability to track your equipment. But understand, they’re really only good for recovery and do little to prevent the theft in the first place.
While you’re considering the security you have, don’t forget about the security insurance provides if something is stolen. Review your insurance policies with a Hortica specialist. See if your investments are covered at replacement cost or actual cash value. Learn if you have rental coverage. Find out about business interruption policies. We’re ready to sit down with you and explain all the details to make sure you’re protected.
For more information on securing your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.
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