Guide to Storing High-Value Vehicles

Locking the doors isn’t enough to secure your fleet when it’s not being used. Whether the vehicles are parked on site or at home, they may require an elevated level of facility and asset protection.

Photo by Nikola Milenkovic / fStop

Keeping high-value vehicles (HVVs) out of harm’s way presents numerous challenges, but it is well worth the time and money. Whether it’s an executive fleet, a group of utility vehicles or bloodmobiles, or a CEO’s personal collection, these vehicles are precious to their drivers and the organization, and often constitute a significant financial or emotional investment.

When deciding how, when and where to store HVVs, consider the following time-tested best practices.

Review the security features at the storage facility. The alarm system should be monitored by an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed central station monitoring company. Ideally, the system should include glass break sensors or magnetic contact sensors on all exterior doors and windows, interior infrared motion sensors, and a combination of smoke detectors and heat sensors.

The alarm system should also include a backup communication device for signal continuity in case the connection is disabled. Consider integrating:

  • An explosive gas leak detector
  • A water flow detector
  • Digital video recording/camera systems
  • A back-up generator
  • Items should not be stored above vehicles on racks, hooks or shelves. Room should be left between vehicles for access, and an evacuation plan should be developed. Explosion-proof lighting and car covers can add an extra layer of protection.
  • Consider having an infrared (IR) survey of the building, which can identify problems such as electrical arcing, water intrusion, and missing insulation.

Photo by Nerida McMurray

If HVVs are stored outdoors, be sure to park the vehicles in a well lit, fenced/gated area with closed circuit video monitoring. Avoid parking near trees, power lines, or other potentially projectile objects.

If HVVs are stored indoors, choose a facility with low exposures to fire, flood, hail, wind, etc. Consider the following preventative measures:

  • Store the vehicles away from doors and windows
  • Have the roof inspected by a licensed roof contractor to evaluate the integrity of the roof system
  • If you have a large fleet of vehicles, store them at multiple facilities
  • Develop a vehicle removal plan and update it as your vehicles change and/or the location of the facility changes.
  • Flammable materials can destroy a car collection. Large quantities of flammable liquids should be stored in a separate facility and small quantities should be stored in a non-combustible safety cabinet. Any work involving heat, such as welding, should be conducted at a different facility. Oily rags should be disposed of in a tightly closed metal container.
  • And while it may seem obvious, limit access to the storage facility to those who are trusted.

These guidelines can assist in securing a fleet of HVVs so they can be enjoyed for years to come.

Jenn Guerrini, MS, CSP, CDS, CSS, ASP, is an Executive Commercial Auto Specialist with Chubb Risk Engineering Services.

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