Contractor Tool Theft Checklist

Protect Your Business from Vulnerabilities

Tool Theft, Damage and Vandalism: How Contractors Can Prepare for and Prevent On-the-Job Crime 

We don’t need to tell you how expensive contractor tools, equipment and materials can be for a commercial or residential project. Your business and employees could own thousands or millions of dollars in investments on a job site. 

And when away from that site, your tools and materials are left vulnerable to theft, damage and vandalism from third parties. There are, however, many practical steps contractors can take to secure their belongings, and prevent theft and vandalism from taking place. 

Though some security measures may seem obvious, or sound costly, they will ultimately save you money in the long run by not having to replace damaged or stolen equipment. To minimize risk as much as possible, prepare your job site with reliable security protections and train your employees on safety precautions that should be put in place. And, to ensure the protection of you and your business from unavoidable loss, add an additional layer of security with protective insurance coverages.  

Prepare Your Job Site

Many commercial job sites are already equipped with security cameras and security personnel. If your team is completing a job at a commercial site, request the following:

  • Ask for security personnel to include your worksite in their walk-throughs to check for suspicious activity. 
  • Ensure security cameras are installed near your worksite. 
  • Make sure the area is well-lit at night. This can deter potential theft threats. 
  • Agree that large equipment should be covered and turned off.
  • Ensure small equipment can be stored away safely and locked up, or taken back to your business’ main office.
  • Post ‘Do Not Enter’ signage around the worksite to deter potential vandals from entering. 
  • Install fencing or other barriers around the worksite to prevent potential vandals from breaking and entering your site.

Thanks to tech advancements, contractors also have the option to invest in relatively affordable tracking devices or keyless entry systems to minimize threats. Tracking devices can then be attached to equipment, which may minimize the loss for your business. 

Educate and Prepare Your Employees 

In addition to securing your worksite, your team of contractors must also be on the same page for preventing theft and vandalism to your tools, equipment and materials. There are simple ways you can help your employees keep track of equipment at your job site, including regular inventory checks and implementing new technology solutions.

If you or your employees anticipate a delivery of materials or machinery to the site, specify that you would like them delivered during the morning or afternoon while someone is present to receive and sign for any packages. Deliveries made in the evening or overnight can, at times, be left without signature or supervision, which may increase your risk of theft. 

Implement regular inventory checks among your staff to check and double check the count of your tools, equipment and materials each day. For these tasks, consider using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or project management software (PMS). These can help you easily identify and keep track of your materials onsite, and account for any damages or items missing. 

Prepare Your Business with the Right Insurance Coverage

Many insurance coverages exist to protect your business and property in the event of crime, including theft and vandalism. 

Consider investing in property insurance , which can cover any equipment or tools owned by your business in the event of theft, vandalism, fires, smoke damage and more. Additionally, consider backing this coverage up with loss of earning insurance or business interruption coverage . These coverages will protect your business’ earnings if you’re unable to operate for a period of time as a result of theft. 

You may also be eligible for builder’s risk insurance, which protects those aiding in the construction and renovation of structures. This can help prevent and cover the costs of vandalism and theft to the construction site, larger equipment that cannot be stored elsewhere and more. 

You should also consider purchasing data breach insurance.  In our digital era, many thieves turn to digital platforms to steal information, such as social security numbers, bank account information and more. While not threatening physical tools, these incidents can severely hurt your business’ finances. 

Finally, contractors equipment insurance is also a must-have for plumbing, HVAC and electric contractors. It protects small and large tools and equipment, but also protective clothing worn by your staff, and borrowed equipment. 

Though you may think your business is safe from theft and vandalism, nearly every business has its own vulnerabilities. Protect your tools and equipment with different security measures and insurance coverages that will protect your business from a permanent loss. 

Download: Job Site Inventory Checklist (PDF)>>>