construction worker sat in a work van

How to secure your work van

Posted on 21st September 2021 by

Many workers rely on a van, from window cleaners and plumbers to construction contractors and delivery drivers. If you have a work van, you likely use this mode of transport to not just get from A to B, but also to store expensive items that are needed daily, including tools, equipment, products and more.

While it’s imperative that you have the right kind of business insurance to protect the vehicle and its contents, there are some further security measures that you can take to physically protect the van and what’s inside it.


How to secure a van

At Caunce O’Hara, we want your business to continue running smoothly, which means keeping all of your tools, equipment and products safe. Read on to find out how you can secure your work van and keep any valuables in your possession.


• Always check it’s locked

It can be easy to get out of your van after a long day at work and forget to lock it properly, or empty its contents and leave the back door open. Before leaving the van unattended, you should always ensure that it has been locked. If you regularly forget to shut the side door, you may think about installing slamlocks. These will lock the door as soon as you shut it, so you don’t need to worry that it might not be properly secured.


• Remove all tools and valuables at the end of the day

The best way to prevent your tools from being stolen is to remove them from the vehicle each day. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW)[1], tools are the fourth most common item stolen from vehicles and in over a quarter of cases, the value of the tools stolen is between £1,000 and £4,999. By taking them out of the vehicle, you’re reducing the chances of them being taken and having to claim back their value on your insurance.


• Install an alarm

Alarms can not only help to deter thieves, but they could alert you, a neighbour or a passer-by to a break in more quickly. Your van may already have an alarm, in which case you may consider having it upgraded, with additional perimeter detection, ignition detection and passenger glove box movement detection.

If you do choose to install modifications, such as additional alarms, it’s best to install those through Thatcham Security Certification, as these are rated very highly, go through rigorous testing and are the most recognised modifications in Britain.


• Use deterrent stickers

While it may seem obvious, it can be a good idea to let thieves know that there are no valuables in your van. Stickers can be attached to the window of your van that read ‘no tools are left in this van’ or ‘no valuables are left in this van overnight’.


• Install improved locking devices

Some locks can be picked or key fob programmes copied to gain access to your van, and so an improved locking system could be very beneficial and reduce the risk of your vehicle or its contents being stolen. We’ve already mentioned slamlocks, but deadlocks are a good option too.


How secure are van deadlocks?

A deadlock is an additional lock that can be installed on a van. They have a singular deadbolt that can be slid into place, using a key to move it externally. This means the lock cannot be moved from the inside, only from the outside and with the key, so even if a window was smashed to gain access, the door cannot be opened from the inside.

tradesman with his work van

How to prevent van theft

As well as protecting the items inside your van, you don’t want your vehicle to be stolen either. Therefore below, we’ve listed some of the ways you can protect the van itself.


• Block your van in

If you have a work van and another vehicle at home, you could use the second vehicle to block your van in, making it difficult or even impossible to steal without first moving the other car. This additional step could help to deter thieves as it makes their job much harder.

Alternatively, you could reverse the van in and park it in front of a wall so the backdoors are impossible to open without first moving it forward.


• Install CCTV and security lights

Security lights and cameras are further deterrents for thieves, because they make their job of stealing a bit harder. Therefore, you could keep your van safe by installing motion-activated security lights and CCTV cameras that record movement on your property.


• Use a wheel lock

An old fashioned method, but a good one, a wheel lock will prevent thieves from being able to properly control the vehicle.


Do steering wheel locks prevent theft?

Over the years, wheel locks have improved hugely. Whereas previously, they were easy to remove or cut through, the way they’re made now makes them much more difficult to remove.

While it may not be a good idea to use a wheel lock as a standalone security measure, they’re useful to have in tandem with other security measures, such as cameras and a good alarm system.

Van theft can certainly be avoided when you apply some of the measures we’ve included above. You should make sure that your insurance policy is active, correct and up to date so that, should anything happen, you can make a successful claim and get your business up and running again.

When you initially take out insurance for your business or your work vehicle, it’s important that you understand exactly what’s covered, whether tools and other valuables are included in transit, whether personal belongings are covered when they’re inside the van and whether a replacement vehicle can be provided if yours is stolen. Understanding this information is extremely helpful and could save you any future problems.


For a quote for your tradesperson insurance please call 0333 321 1403





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