Checklist: Theft prevention

Test lighting, cameras and alarm systems.

  • Be sure cameras capture usable images such as license plates in daylight and nighttime. Many thefts during the holidays occur in the early dawn hours.
  • Confirm that alarm companies have up-to-date emergency contact info and are aware the facility may be closed.

Check gates and fences to be sure the perimeter is secure to open land and to neighboring properties.

Communicate with neighboring businesses.

  • If they’re open, be sure they would recognize suspicious activity and act on it.
  • If they’re closed, be sure they are taking steps to secure their facility and that their cameras and alarms are working.

Tell local law enforcement if business is idle and theft is a significant issue. Local police may have additional recommendations relevant to your area.

Take extra precautions with high demand equipment like skid steers, mini loaders, brush chippers, towable welders and generators.

  • Do not store anything in an unsecured area.
  • Store machines in service bays.
  • Block machines with trailers or trucks in an area of the yard difficult to access.
  • Remove tires or other components to prevent machines being moved.

Collect all machines called off rent immediately.

Do not leave anything on a trailer or rollback truck.

Secure the keys to machines and vehicles in a safe.

Communicate with renters to be sure they are aware of their responsibility in securing machines on rent.

Take pictures of the yard, gates and equipment.

Check on the facility randomly. The presence of a vehicle and activity may interrupt a thief’s plans.

Take pictures of the yard, gates and equipment to compare from day to day to identify anything missing or tampered with.

Be sure the inventory is up to date so that if something is missing it can be identified quickly.

Use the down time to update your National Equipment Register (NER) inventory. Learn more about the NER and American Rental Association’s (ARA) partnership at

Report thefts immediately to police and NER.

Source: National Equipment Register

By Ashleigh Petersen
Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

Other articles by Ashleigh Petersen
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