Safety Moment – Troop Trailer Security

SUMMARY
Do you have a troop equipment trailer? If you do, be sure you pay careful attention to the task of properly securing
your trailer when not in use to prevent theft. In addition to the cost of the trailer itself, the replacement of troop
equipment and sometimes personal items may be several thousand dollars, as well as a major inconvenience if
you were about to use the trailer on an outing.


GENERAL INFORMATION
Good preventive measures should be employed to discourage theft, but keep in mind that no system can guarantee total protection. Given enough time, resources, and desire, a determined thief can overcome any measures you employ. The goal is to make stealing hard enough that they will go elsewhere!


OPTIONAL SECURITY FEATURES
Physical
  • Hitch lock—Should go into the ball socket. The hasp should be locked, and safety chains should be removed or padlocked.
  • Door locks—Rear doors should be locked from inside. Side door handles should be upgraded and backed up by hasp and padlock.
  • Wheel locks—Use a “boot” type device, which prohibits movement of the tire and wheel. Lug nuts must be covered by the device. And don’t be cheap: Lightweight wheel locks can be pried off!
  • NOTE: All locking devices should be painted a bright contrasting color, so they’ll stand out along with anyone moving around them. Make sure all padlocks used are case-hardened and expose as little shank as possible.
  • Paint—Paint the troop’s number on the roof in large numerals, similar to police cars. If for some reason you do not have the trailer’s exterior decorated in the easily identifiable Scout manner, paint the tongue, the rear bumper (if there is one), and the wheels orange or red.
  • Equipment—If possible, don’t store equipment in the trailer.
Electronic
  • Consider using theft detection, surveillance cameras, or an electronic tracking device, if practical.
Location
  • If possible, store the trailer in a secure yard, fenced and locked with minimal access allowed. When parked put the hitch toward a wall and, if possible, remove the dolly wheel.
Identity
  • Do not store registration paperwork in the trailer. Remove the license plate when storing—but don’t forget to put it back on when hauling the trailer!
Insurance
  • Before a theft does occur, be sure to check with the insurance carrier for your chartered organization or property owner to see if theft or equipment replacement is covered under the policy.

RESOURCES
• National Association of Trailer Manufacturers—www.natm.com/trailer-safety.html

Trailer Theft | Boy Scouts of America (scouting.org)