Running a warehouse is a difficult job. You have to handle scheduling, personnel management, maintenance, forklift fleet optimization, safety, and other complex tasks. But one of the most important parts of your operation is warehouse security. Specifically, it is important to protect your equipment that you have at your facility from the possibility of theft.
Forklifts can cost tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds are reported stolen every single year. If you want to keep that from happening to you, then follow our warehouse security and forklift tips for equipment theft prevention.
Secure your equipment storage area
The first step towards adequate warehouse security and preventing forklift theft is making them difficult to access. When storing your equipment overnight or for the weekend, ensure the area you place it in is either a locked section of your warehouse, if stored inside, or within a fence that’s at least eight feet tall, if stored outside. If using fencing, we recommend adding razor or barbed wire at the top. Whether storing inside or outside, it’s best that the area has only one way in and out, and that you conduct routine inspections to check for damage. Forklift steering wheels and drive wheels can also be locked with chains or boots.
Put up warning signs
Another key part of warehouse security and equipment theft prevention is putting up signs saying “no trespassing” that also outline the fines or penalties associated with coming onto your site or into your facility without permission. Set up lighting along the entire fence or warehouse, so the work or storage area is brightly lit at night.
Add security systems
In addition to physical security and barriers, an important part of warehouse security is adding cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. You should regularly inspect these systems to make sure they are working properly. With modern systems, you should be able to monitor them from your phone or other mobile device to check in on your facility. Fleet management software and GPS can also help you keep track of your forklifts and with equipment theft prevention and recovery.
Maintain tight records
If your forklift is stolen despite your warehouse security precautions, having well maintained records will make it easier to recover it. Providing law enforcement with information on your inventory and individual machines will help them work faster, and put you back to work sooner. It’s important to keep the following:
- Detailed inventory of all your machines, including year, manufacturer, model number, and serial number
- Up to date photos of all your equipment
- Records of all modifications, like changing the paint color
Register your equipment on a national database that works with law enforcement, such as the National Equipment Register (NER): www.ner.net.
Insure all your machines
All your forklifts and other equipment need to be properly insured for their total value, so that you can recoup the full amount if they are stolen and not recovered. At JIT, we can help you accurately value your new equipment.
Perform comprehensive background checks on employees
It’s sad to say, but a lot of equipment theft involves a current or former employee who knows about your warehouse security measures. A critical part of theft prevention is to conduct thorough background checks not only of forklift operators but also of other workers in your facility before hiring them.
If you have any questions about warehouse security, equipment theft prevention, or other forklift tips, contact the JIT team today!