Atlantic Illumination Entertainment Lighting

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Tech Tips




Sentry Advice for Your Equipment

The first thought that the word "secure" brings to the minds
of a tech crew is "theft". There are other aspects to it, though.

Damage Prevention
Theft Deterrence     Safety Considerations



  Damage Prevention

    Not typically considered under this subject, equipment must be made secure from damages. These occur most often from poor (or no) equipment protection, improper packing and from rough handling. Secured gear lasts much longer.


  Theft Prevention


    First realise that most "thefts" are not intentional. Many times what is blamed on theft is actually a situation where items got lost, forgotten after a show, or loaned out and not returned for innocent, though irresponsible, reasons. Some things are taken because a person thinks it belongs to him. Other times, items are simply returned to the wrong person's case.

    A good anti-theft / anti-loss policy begins by colour-coding and labeling everything. This eliminates mistaken identity and makes it more likely that borrowed items will come back to you -- or at least someone associated with you. Choose distinctive colours and labels by first researching what is used by those venues, groups and individuals with which you will typically have contact. Then select colours not used by them so that you will have unique identifiers. (See Colour Code Everything in the Tips Grabbag.)

    Next, have a place for everything and be sure that each is filled at the end of a show with its complete inventory of item(s). It's much easier to notice something missing if its place is empty, as opposed to viewing a cluttered catch-all case full of items -- some of which might not be there.

    Inventory your equipment regularly. To make that easier, have inventory sheets inside the covers of each case or keep a log at your shop for the same. Inventory sheets within cases make it more likely that contents will be tallied regularly, though.

  Small Items

    How many screw drivers and pliers have been forgotten on girders or in the space above drop-tile ceilings? Those "thefts" are really just items forgotten by a worker or borrower, or ones that were passed to so many others, that the last person in line has no idea to whom the item belongs. (This is the best example of why things need to be colour coded and labeled with your identifiers. Again, refer to The Tips Grabbag.)

    If you carry many small things as outlined in the Kits section of Tech Tips, you may find people helping themselves to your things. This is especially true if you work a venue on a regular basis and/or work with the same people over and over. If your stuff is identified, it is more likely to come back to you.

  Larger Items

    There is no excuse for larger items not being returned. Still, they should be identified. Use stencils and bigger labels as necessary.

  Actual Theft

    This can be a premeditated act, but impulse cannot be ruled out. Realise that "valuable" means more than just dollar value. Indispensable accessories can be worth more than a kilo-dollar piece of equipment if their losses would translate to being show stoppers. To lessen thefts:


  Safety Considerations

    Security also means safety.

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