Contractor Tool Theft Checklist

Protect Your Business from 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 vulnerable to theft, damage and vandalism. However, there are 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’ll ultimately save you money in the long run. To minimize risk, prepare your job site with reliable security protections and train your employees to follow safety precautions. You should also take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business by adding 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.
  • Ask for security cameras to be installed near your worksite.
  • Ask for your worksite to be well-lighted at night - this can deter potential theft threats. 
  • Ask for an area where your large equipment can be covered and turned off.
  • Ask for an area where your small equipment can be stored away safely and locked up.
  • Ask for ‘Do Not Enter’ signs to be posted around the worksite.
  • Ask for fencing or other barriers to be installed around the worksite.

Thanks to advancements in technology, contractors also have the option of investing in relatively affordable tracking devices or keyless entry systems to minimize threats. 

Educate and Prepare Your Employees 

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

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

Each day, implement regular inventory checks among your staff to review the count of your tools, equipment and materials. 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 with loss of earning insurance or business interruption coverage. These policies will protect your business’ earnings if you’re unable to operate for a period of time as a result of theft. 

You may 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 and larger equipment that can’t be stored elsewhere. 

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 and bank account information. 

Finally, contractors’ equipment insurance is a must for plumbing, HVAC and electric contractors. It covers tools, equipment and protective clothing worn by your staff. 

Though you may think you’re safe from theft and vandalism, nearly every business has its own vulnerabilities. Protect your tools and equipment with different security measures and insurance coverages. 

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

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