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Thread: How do you prevent theft/break-ins at your shop?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bloomington, IL
    My solution - all equipment is 500+ lbs pretty much and a few 1000+ lbs. Also my wife is a lead tech at a central station and we get GE systems to demo!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kingston, Ontario
    Security System
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #18
    The basic stuff works best.

    1: Light. Motion lights help as people don;t like to be seen.

    2: A basic loud alarm. One that ahs a remote to arm and disarm. Just don;t do to many false alarms or nobody will ever come.

    3: Don't leave your shop open and/or show it off. As already said people go for easy places and if they know you have alot of small stuff worth money then you are now on their path.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Monroe, MI
    Pretty much whenever I sell something I Craigslist I move it from my shop up to the attached garage. We also have stickers from our alarm company on most windows and doors and there is a VERY loud siren inside the shop that would certainly fray the nerves of most common criminals. That's what I worry about being in a rural area.

    But if someone really wants your stuff they are going to get it and there's not much you can do besides taking reasonable precautions and having good insurance.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    East Virginia
    In addition to all the good advice others have offered...

    If you like to shoot, consider installing a berm on the property and engaging in a little target practice from time to time.

    Can't hurt if the tweakers know you like to shoot...also makes a heck of an impression if you catch somebody on the property at 1 a.m. by turning a flashlight onto the back of his head and quietly telling him to "stop" from 8 feet away with a 12 gauge!

  6. turn the lights off when not there.

    Lock the place.

    Don't leave tell tale signs of what's inside laying around the place.

    Think about visibility at the various entry points like windows and doors. If there's a nice private spot where a window or door can be pried open with no exposure to any one watching put bars on that access point or a steel door in a steel frame.

    Install better locks. Ask your locksmith what the Department of State uses.

    Buy or build a safe that's so heavy no one will take it and put your valuable stuff in that.

    Put a couple of highly aggressive turf oriented dogs on a run around the shop all the time.

    Or you could do what I do: Pay for good insurance.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    My woodworking shop is in the basement, so if anybody shows up who can carry my General 650 up the stairs, well, that's somebody I'd hold the door open for so he doesn't break that on the way out.

    My garage is full of vintage motorcycles, and related tools and shop equipment.

    Fortunately I live in an urban area where the potential thieves would be looking for more current, saleable stuff.

    That said I lock the door, don't leave it open when I'm in there to reduce the "curb appeal" of the garage contents.

    Like Cliff, I also have good insurance, and pay extra to have the tools/machinery covered.

    Being Canadian, I don't have the defend yourself with the gun option, and in my opinion it's not worth being shot to save a router, that's what stores and insurance policies are for.

    So, take reasonable precautions, have a good insurance plan, and let them take what they want, after all, they're just possesions.

    Regards, Rod.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Mansfield MA
    See my avatar. 'nuff said! [on a more somber note - that's an old pic....we've since lost both Rudy and Chase....]

    Seriously though....I was chatting with a cop one time about it. he said no one would ever break into our house - and sometimes big dogs are not necessary. ANY dog can bite.....and if your neighbor doesn't have one, it's a better target.
    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger....then it hit me.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Colorado Springs, CO
    ADT has a pretty cheap set up for one door and 2 or 3 windows... just a couple of hundred bucks. Monitoring service is like $20- $30 a month. If you're already talking hundreds in lights alone, you're in the ADT ball park for their basic simple install.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Allen, TX
    a funny story, semi related...during hurricane there was an old police precinct that had about a 7500 pound safe outside the building, they were remodeling it before the storm, and had paid a crew to get the safe out, but not haul it off, they were going to sell it to a guy who restores and resells them.

    the guy comes out, looks at the safe, and explains that he can't haul it off, his hoist on the truck isn't strong enough to lift it. he'll have to bigger one to lift it on monday (this is a friday). "no problem" the contractor working on the precinct building says, but "do you really wanna leave it outside? someone might steal it".

    to which the guy laughs, of course, saying that if anyone could steal that thing more power to them.

    well, this guy comes back on monday and sure enough the safe is gone. from the looks of the security film, about 10 crackheads with ~18 winn dixie carts stole the thing. one of them brought along a (probably also stolen) sawzall and cut a couple of bars off of a nearby wrought iron fence to make pry/wedge bars with. with that and a few lengths of rope they managed to get it up on the carts, and when a cart broke or buckled they'd pry it up, and slide another one in, and go another block.

    lesson: don't ever count out a determined drug addict, if there's a fix, there's a way. that table saw might be too big for you, but not necessarily for them, especially when 4 people could carry it on each corner.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Winterville NC

    cheap tips

    Just a few. I have motion detector tied in with the house.
    I have motion lights outside.
    I never show my shop to people I don't know.. Particularly workers around
    the house doing other things.
    I only open the door to the street when absolutely necessary.
    I pull the plug on ovewhead door.
    I have alarm on entrance door.
    I put a large padlock thru the track on the overhead door so it can't be raised.
    I pay my insurance.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Tunkhannock, PA
    1. Install metal bars on entry door--the kind that cant be kicked in or pryed open.

    2. A lock or vise grips in a garage door track will do wonders.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    For a few dollars you can install motion activated switches on your shop lights. You can also have a special circuit that blinks the lights and sounds a horn. Thieves don't like the lights coming on and don't like noise since they don't know what else they might have triggered. Put reasonable locks on the doors of detached buildings and have a good list/photo record of your tools. Pay your insurance company for replacement insurance and if a thief takes your old tools you get new ones.

    If you get a false alarm, change your set up as it may have been a test by a thief checking to see how long it takes for anyone to notice.

    My mother has ADT on her house. The alarm company first calls my sister who lives closer then me. They also call the police. I live 20-25 minutes away and have beat the police there several times. We've had several false alarms and a couple we couldn't figure out, so far it has detered any thieves.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 11-07-2008 at 3:43 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Glenmoore, PA
    80+# boxer with a head the size of your average halloween pumpkin and a poor disposition towards strangers.

  15. #30
    Dan Bussiere Guest
    I have a fenced in area with a locking gate.
    Motion sensing exterior lights.
    Motion sensing internal alarm system with very loud horn that sits next to my bedroom window.
    I don't list things on Craigs list or Ebay.
    And last, but not least, my 2 German Shephards who sleep out there don't take kindly to strangers.

    Funny, but I've never had a problem.

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