Your van is crucial to your livelihood as a builder or merchant, but with tool theft on the rise, it's important that you know how to protect your vehicle and the equipment inside.

Mark Barclay from GSF Car Parts discusses the weak spots in your work van that make it vulnerable to theft and how to avoid them.

Van break-ins are on the rise, and while you might be worried about the vehicle itself, when you carry around tools and equipment they are also at threat according to the Office of National Statistics.

The rise in vehicle thefts where these items were stolen has shown a statistically significant difference when compared with figures from 2017, which means it's more important than ever to guard your livelihood.

Here, I will be outlining the weak spots that thieves look for in your work van's security system and what you can do to prevent break-ins.

Your tools are on show

Thieves aren't just bothered about the vehicle itself, but rather the expensive equipment and tools that are inside. And, one major error that tradespeople make is to leave these things on show for opportunistic thieves to see.

Investing in a secure-locking tool vault can keep your tools out of the eyesight of thieves and can add an extra layer of protection should they find their way into your van. Many of these criminals will use the cover of night to break into your vehicle, so it's important that you remove all tools and equipment out of it overnight.

You don't have alarms

Alarms are likely to be one of the biggest deterrents for thieves, as these will draw attention to the crime at hand and raise the likelihood of the criminal being caught. No matter how small a feature you think they might be, alarms can be spotted a mile off by a thief, so it's important that you make use of these in your van.

Most notably, your van should be fitted with an alarm that'll make a sound when there is forced entry while it is locked. However, silent alarms that can be sent to your smartphone can also add an additional layer of protection and allow you to alert police while the crime takes place, rather than after.

You're not using a wheel clamp

Similar to a steering lock, a wheel clamp can prevent movement of your vehicle. These stop your wheel from being able to turn 360-degrees without damaging it. They also cover the wheel nuts that thieves could attempt to remove if they want to change the whole wheel and steal your entire vehicle and its contents.

You're parking in the wrong areas

When you're working on building sites and other construction areas, it can be difficult to find a parking spot that is close enough to your job. But, taking care when parking your van can certainly reduce your vulnerability to break ins and tool theft.

You should always aim to park in well-lit, safe areas that aren't too far from the site or your home, so you will be able to hear any alarms going off. If you do have to leave tools or equipment in your van overnight, try parking with your van door against a wall to limit access.