Jacksonville is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. This means Jacksonville is also grounds for a lot of real estate and empty homes. Between the many foreclosures and short sales, there has been a continuous growth in copper theft, especially from a.c. units. While this may be prominent in unoccupied homes, you may not have anything stopping thieves from attacking your own unit.
You may be curious how stolen copper from your a.c. unit would even affect you. Copper could be stolen not only from a.c. units, but also from utility boxes and electrical panels. If any of these units are damaged, there is a direct effect on the rest of your home’s maintenance which would make damage costs quickly escalate the longer the problem sits. For a visual explanation, you can view AEP’s video concerning copper theft safety here.
There are several steps you can take to prevent copper theft from happening to you.
The Culture of Safety recommends these steps:
Homeowners may consider the following:
“Paint Copper Black
An easy and inexpensive way to deter copper thieves is to paint all copper components black. This causes the copper to look like regular, worthless plastic tubing that no one would waste the time to steal.
Fence Areas with Copper
Areas containing items with copper in them are always a potential target, and depending on the value of the item, a fence may be worth the investment. The amount of copper in most commercial air conditioners is never worth a great amount, but the real cost comes from the destruction of the unit and the time it takes to replace it. (Locally, Joe Markusic makes a.c. cages. He can be reached at 904-838-0057)
Install an Alarm System
Installing an alarm system to protect copper from theft is a great way to deter potential thieves and to catch those who do. There are many varities of alarm systems, and choosing one will depend on the location and type of the object in need of protection. For heating and cooling units, for example, there are alarms that are triggered if the unit stops working.”
If you are a business owner, you may consider the following tips, also from Culture of Safety:
Aside from deterring would-be thieves, surveillance cameras can aid police in capturing thieves resulting in either the return of stolen goods or incarceration preventing future thefts.
Hire Security Guards
Approximately 90% of all copper theft takes place during nights or weekends, which is logical since these times are when places are most likely empty. Recognizing the increased risk of theft during these periods can greatly reduce the chances of having copper stolen. Hiring staff or security personal to monitor your facility during these periods can greatly reduce the chances of a serious loss.”
Another good resource for preventive copper theft techniques, you can also click here. Whichever technique you choose, this is an important matter and can save you extra time and money just by taking the extra precaution.