When Tiler, Shane Cully discovered his work van’s back window smashed and all his power tools taken, shock and anger were quickly followed by the financial burden of having to replace his stolen goods and repairing the damage.
“I was in the middle of a tiling job, looking to get the job finished with another job lined up to follow,” explains Shane. “Finding my tools stolen was not only going to be expensive and mess up my work schedule, but also risked my earnings for the month. These thieves are not just taking tools; they are taking away livelihoods.”
Shane now joins the thousands of trade professionals who have experienced tool theft during their careers.
According to An Garda Síochána, over €8m tools are stolen every year, with over half of all theft happening during the night. Building sites are easy targets for criminal activity, however, theft from vehicles and trespassing is also very common.
My Van Was Broken Into. Now What?
Following the discovery of his stolen tools that morning, Shane’s frustration and anger quickly turned to action. He needed to replace his tools fast so he could get the job he was working on finished.
“The thieves had taken all the high-value electrical items. I was expecting replacement to be expensive and not easy, as many of the items have been especially hard to get lately,” explains Shane.
“My first stop was to call into Onlinetradesmen to see what I could buy from Handyhardware. As an Onlinetradesmen member, I knew I could save money by using my Club Discount there.”
Thankfully, Shane was quickly kitted out and got back to work that same day. “The Handyhardware guys were really helpful. I got everything I needed plus the advice to standardise my tools across one brand, which now means I can use the same batteries across all my tools.”
The Cost? ”I was relieved when the total tool replacement bill, including my member discount, came to just under €1000. I genuinely thought I’d have to spend twice as much,” says Shane.
Shane’s Onlinetradesmen Club Discount saved him over €100 – which is the equivalent of 2 months’ membership.
“The Onlinetradesmen platform helps to keep my work pipeline full and the job I needed to finish was actually won via the service,” says Shane. “However, Onlinetradesmen is more than just the jobs and certainly came through for me when I needed it, saving me money and getting me back to work again.”
Tips To Avoid Tools Getting Stolen
Shane has since further secured his van and has also installed a safe box as extra security for his tools.
While it’s difficult to eliminate tool theft completely, there are several ways you can help reduce the risk of it happening as well as increase the possibility of tools being returned.
- Mark all tools with a unique identification number, photograph them and keep a record of it
- Store your tools in a secure area overnight
If working on a construction site, reduce theft risk by:
- Keeping area well-lit with security lighting
- Wherever possible use security locks and ground fixings
- Erect fences or hoardings to limit the visibility of site activity
- Control visitor access to the site.
- Set up CCTV if you are going to be on site for a prolonged period
- Install localised temporary security alarms
- Keep machinery well-lit part of the site with the keys removed and record engine numbers of chassis number, vehicle ID numbers etc.
- Report all thefts and suspicious activity on sites to An Garda Síochána.
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