Since equipment thefts tend to increase in December and January because machinery is left unattended more frequently than other times of the year, the National Equipment Register (NER) has provided a few tips aimed at theft prevention.
• Test to be sure that alarms and lighting are all operating properly.
• If you are getting a high number of false alarms, thieves may be testing your responsiveness; watch for vehicles “casing” your property.
• Test cameras in daylight and after dark- are the images capturing license plates, faces, etc?
• Make sure fences and gates provide a complete barrier to adjoining businesses and vacant land.
• Move light or highly targeted equipment into service bays or more secure areas of your site.
• Do not leave ANYTHING on a trailer. If you have to, block it with several other vehicles.
• Conduct a security survey of your site- walk around the property to see if there are vulnerable points of access or cover.
• Communicate with neighboring businesses, especially those which will be open during the holiday; raise their awareness so that thefts in progress are recognized, and be sure their staff have your emergency contact information.
• Designate someone to check up on yards and sites at different times during the holiday.
Should a break-in or theft occur, be prepared to respond:
- Beforehand, determine what police agency to report to and do so quickly when a theft or attempted break-in is discovered.
- Get information on what was stolen out to other companies and clients as soon as possible.
- Report any thefts to NER as soon as is practical, and contact NER on any equipment identification/Serial Number questions.
• Review your fleet inventory:
- Update new equipment.
- Physically verify serial numbers/PINs- is what’s on the machine PIN plate accurately recorded in your records?
- Update your NER fleet registration, and be sure your emergency contact details are accurate on NER.
NER’s full guide on protecting equipment from theft is available here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This was written by Equipment World’s staff, a sister publication of Total Landscape Care.