Tools are crucial to the livelihood of most tradesmen – they are also expensive to buy and prone to theft. As well as the obvious financial implications of tool theft, it can also have an impact on a tradesperson’s ability to continue to work until they are replaced.
So, what is the best way to protect your tools whilst storing them?
The first thing to consider when storing tools is the storage location. Most contractors need space to store their tools with many opting for using a work van as a convenient place to keep them, both whilst working on site and overnight. There is, however, an ever-growing rise in the instances of theft from vans – some estimates now state that a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK! It is easy for a thief to target a trader as their vans are usually pretty easy to identify. During the day, they generally work in people’s homes and gardens so may not always be able to keep a close eye on their vehicle.
Utilising a garage or lockable home storage shed is another option – however, this is another location which is often a target for thieves. There is also, often, competition for space from other items like bikes, garden furniture and sports equipment. For these and other reasons, managed self-storage away from the home has benefits when it comes to tool storage.
Security – one of the best reasons for utilising self-storage for your tools is security. The instances of theft from vans and garages is common. A garage or garden store is a fairly easy target for a thief. Opting to store your tools in a self-storage facility generally offers the benefit of 24 hour CCTV, security patrols and a locked compound with perimeter fencing.
Flexible Space – Self-storage offers the option of flexibility – there are usually a huge variety of different sizes of space available and you only need to pay for the space you actually need, when you need it.
Ease of access – Being able to store your tools and equipment in a dedicated storage space means that you can be better organised and set things out on a way which makes it easy to find things and get what you need quickly and efficiently. Most storage facilities have drive up units available which also makes it easy to store and retrieve bulky of heavy items.
Stock holding – If you have a dedicated storage space it offers you the opportunity to keep a certain amount of material stock or parts to hand. This can be great if you have over ordered, have useful materials left over from jobs or perhaps if you have to postpone a particular job but already have materials. Having somewhere clean and dry to store materials is a huge bonus and helps to prevent waste.
An indoor space to work – Some storage facilities can even double up as inside workspace, ideal for being able to continue on wet days or for jobs which need to be prepared off site. It can also double up as a place to store necessary paperwork and run the administrative aspect to your business.
Comprehensive Insurance – When you take storage in a self-storage facility you can separately insure those items with specific storage insurance. Insurance of this type is taken out for the total replacement value of those items which are stored. Of course, if you are using storage at home from tools you are likely to be covered for items under home insurance, however, storage insurance also takes into account risks specifically related to storage which home cover may not.
How to keep your tools in good shape whilst they are stored
- Clean them and dry them before you put them away. Making sure that tools are cleaned before storage means that they will stay in better condition, especially if they are stored for a long period between uses. Be sure to get rid of any moisture which may be lurking to avoid problems with damp, mould and mildew. Cleaning also gives you the opportunity to test and check for damage.
- Protect metal and moving parts – Use a metal protection spray on metal parts of tools to protect from rust and prevent moving parts from seizing up
- Organise your space – Use racking, shelving, storage boxes and bins to keep things organised so that they are easy to find and access. This also makes it easier to see what you have and keep on top of stock.
- Make use of the walls – Hanging things from the walls can be a good way of saving floor space as well as keeping things within easy reach.
- Check them regularly – If you are storing items in the longer term, or you have tools which you don’t use that often, a regular check is a good idea to make sure that everything is working as it should and that there is no damage occurring as a result of being in storage.
- Keep an inventory – making sure you know what you have in your storage space is essential from an insurance point of view. Keeping an inventory of what you have will make things easier to claim in the event of loss or damage. It is also a good way to assess the value of what you have in storage to ensure your storage insurance is set at an adequate level.
If you are considering self storage for your business, have a look at the information on our website regarding suitable storage types. You can also get an idea of the amount of space you require and even search a directory of storage providers in your area and get a quote for storage insurance.