In today’s declining economy and unrest in the workforce, theft of bed bug heaters is on the rise. Due to the high number of reports of stollen bed bug heaters within the past six months, we want to share some bed bug heater security measures with you. These ideas are neither new or complex. What we are sharing with you today are simple and practical ideas you can easily implement to help ensure that your bed bug heater does not get stolen.
How to keep your bed bug heater safe
- Storage Area
Keeping track of the whereabouts of your bed bug heater is a very good place to start in assuring that your heater remains safe. Have a designated place that is specific to storing the heater. Putting the bed bug heater in a different closet every other treatment is a sure way to lose track of accessories or cords and eventually the heater itself. Ensure the storage room is kept locked at all times. Minimize the number of staff and maintenance personnel who will have access to the key. Make sure the area is not wet or damp. Also, be sure that hanging mops and cleaning tools are not able to fall or drip on the bed bug heater.
It is a good idea to store all of the bed bug equipment in the maintenance storage area that has limited access. Also, if the storage area is in line of sight with the CCTV, there should be 24/7 coverage of who enters and exits the area.
If you are a pest control technician, keep the bed bug heater secured in a locked truck or trailer. Securing the bed bug heater to a sidewall inside the trailer will keep the heater from shifting and adds an extra layer of protection from theft by an uninvited person entering the trailer while you are doing a treatment setup.
- Secure Treatment Room
When possible, it is best to keep the room that is being treated locked from entry. Having the treated room locked will ensure the heater is kept in its correct set up position as well as kept from being stolen. Securing the room being treated is a perfect example of the old saying “out-of-sight out-of-mind”. Some treatments can take up to eight hours to complete. A room in a remote or obscure area left unattended and not secured makes an easy target for a savvy thief.
- Screen Employees
Only allow trusted employees to have access to the storage area that houses the bed bug heater. Minimize the number of personnel that have access to that key as well.
- Safeguard Information
If staffing allows, it is best to have a single gatekeeper over the check-out log of the bed bug heater. It should be the gatekeeper’s responsibility to know where the bed bug heater is located at all times. They should know who has the keys to the storage area as well as when the bed bug heater is in use.
- Supervise Location
Keep track of your heater during dormant times when not in use. There may be extended periods of time when the heater is not needed to do a bed bug job. These are the times that a heater can go missing without being noticed. It is not until it is needed that the missing bed bug heater discovery is made.
- Sign Out Program
Implement a sign-out program. If an electronic spreadsheet is not able to be created, a simple paper log will be sufficient or download the free document at the bottom of this blog. Use the spreadsheet or log to document the date and time when the bed bug heater is checked out, the associate who is checking it out, what building/room/area is being treated, which accessories and cords are being used, and then when the bed bug heater is returned and what items were returned.
Employees should be made aware that they are responsible for the machine while it is under their care. Implementation of a system similar to this will greatly aid in the prevention of a theft or loss, it will help investigators in the event of a theft or loss, and the insurance company underwriters will look more favorably on your procedures.
- Surveillance Systems
Security cameras are extremely helpful in documenting where and how a bed bug heater may have left the premises. Often, stolen bed bug heaters are perpetrated by disgruntled or terminated employees.
- Register and Record
Documentation is extremely important. Make certain that you take pictures of your bed bug heater. It is imperative that you save an image of the serial number and specific marking on the bed bug heater.
Perform a regular inventory of all your bed bug treatment equipment.
What to do if your bed bug heater is stolen
In the past 60 days, Bed Bug Heat Doctor has assisted in recovering two stolen bed bug heaters.
- Report the loss to authorities
The first thing we recommend is to call the local police department and report the incident. Calling the authorities is the best way to initiate the official record of loss.
- Research local pawn shops
Check pawn shops near where the bed bug heater was stolen as well as in neighboring towns. Pawn shops usually keep a detailed record of who pawns each item that is in their shop.
- Review Classifieds
Check eBay and on-line sales platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List, and OfferUp for bed bugs heaters that are for sale in your local area.
- Reach out to your distributor
When you discover that a bed bug heater has been stolen from your property, contact the distributor who sold the machine to you. Ask if they have been contacted by anyone wanting to sell a bed bug heater back to them. In an effort to protect you the consumer, Bed Bug Heat Doctor always keeps a record of the serial number of each machine that is sold. This process allows for each individual electric bed bug heater to be tracked back to the original purchaser. If Bed Bug Heat Doctor/Prevsol finds or is contacted regarding a stolen heater, we will contact you directly.
- Report a claim
If you have a business personal property coverage on your insurance policy, you can submit a theft claim. Timely reporting of a loss is critical for insurance purposes.
We strongly encourage you to establish these best practices surrounding the safeguard, storage, and supervision of your bed bug heater.
In the unfortunate event that your bed bug heater does get stolen and you purchased it from the Bed Bug Heat Doctor – please contact us at 844-364-3281.