Caravan security advice: stay secure with AL-KO
As winter approaches and daylight hours are fewer, our thoughts often turn to protecting our homes from prospective thieves — but what about our caravans?
Words by Clare Kelly
AL-KO has been in business since the 1930s and began life as a company manufacturing handbrake levers.
Well-known by caravanners
Today, you’ll be hard pushed to find a caravanner who’s not heard of AL-KO and with good reason too — from chassis to lane-holding systems, trailer control to security products, the brand has been looking after adventure-loving families for years.
Having plenty of holidays is the reason many of us own a caravan. You’ve got the ability to get away at a moment’s notice, follow the sun and be pitched up with a glass of wine a few hours later.
Sadly, there’s other less salubrious folk who will always want what you have and the challenge is to stay one step ahead to make sure you hang on to what you hold dear.
Paul Jones, marketing manager for AL-KO has this advice:
“When you’re buying a new caravan, talk to the dealer about security and see what packages and products they can offer. Tackle this at the start of the process before you even think about taking it off the forecourt.
“It might be cheaper to purchase extras at the point of sale from the dealer and if locks are supplied, they can become part of the PDI process. Don’t be afraid to ask your dealer to demonstrate how the products work — this can be invaluable.”
The next thing you’ll want to consider is where you’ll be storing the caravan when it’s not in use:
“One of the biggest issues faced by consumers is where to store their caravan. Not everyone is able to have it on their drive or feel comfortable doing so. However, you can lose control of security once it’s out of your sight and while being parked up in a farm outbuilding might seem like a good, cheap option, how secure is it?
“Choose a storage site that has high-level fencing. Yes, it will cost you more but you want to give yourself the maximum choice of being protected. Weigh up the pros and cons.”
How to minimise the risk of theft
When choosing the correct security products, Paul recommends you fit as many products as possible to minimise the risk of your caravan being targeted:
“You need to do your homework. Choose products that are tested. AL-KO secure wheel locks are tested every 12 months by Sold Secure to make sure they are up to the job. The diamond standard is the highest level for these types of products and that’s what the wheel lock has.”
Wheel clamps come in various shapes and sizes, some fiddly to fix, some quick and easy, some chunky and complicated, others simple. But one is different from the rest. It’s different because it bolts through the wheel itself, rather than clamping around it.
The AL-KO Secure is rated by insurance companies and the caravan industry as the most secure anti-theft device available so it will most certainly bring down insurance premiums.
“We developed the product about 14 years ago because if you’ve got something worth about £20,000, it’s going to become attractive to criminals. We constantly try to innovate and make changes where we need to, and we are always trying to come up with something that will take even longer to remove by an opportunist criminal.”
Sold Secure Diamond Standard — what is it?
Sold Secure is the test house for security products and is owned by the Master Locksmith’s Association. The company offers three tiers of certification for caravan-related products
- Silver — basic security, cost-effective product
- Gold — better security, mid-range product
- Diamond — the highest standard, maximum protection
Products are thoroughly tested by experienced locksmiths and Sold Secure has links with insurers and constabularies who can provide vital and invaluable information concerning criminal activity and techniques.
These locksmiths ‘attack’ products to put them through their paces in real-world situations with tools criminals might have. As such, when you buy a product with the Sold Secure Diamond Standard, you know it’s been thoroughly tested!
To see AL-KO product range, visit: al-ko.com