Preventing Portable Restroom Arson

Preventing Portable Restroom Arson

If you’ve been in the portable sanitation industry for any length of time, you know that arson is a real problem. Maybe none of your own units have been torched, but you’ve seen the stories in the news, or in the Restroom Reports online here at

You can’t always control the location of your units when they’re out on site, but you can take measures to protect them — both on the job and when they’re not being used.

In the yard

Is the yard where you store your inventory well-protected with a fence or other security measures? 

  • Examine the security fence around your property for gaps. If you don’t have any fencing, consider making an investment in fencing to beef up security.
  • Place security cameras around your property. If you have them already, how old are they? Camera systems are improving all the time and coming down in cost. They can deter crime or catch bad guys after a vandalism incident.
  • Check your business insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage to replace all of your equipment in the event of a fire.
  • Install some motion-activated lights around your yard as a deterrent to would-be arsonists. 

Restrooms on site

Place restrooms wisely. When new customers call for service, make sure you consult with them about the best placement to avoid vandalism. That can include looking for areas that are fenced or otherwise difficult for unauthorized people to reach. Try to keep units out of the shadows and under a streetlight. You can also get stickers to put on your restrooms that carry warnings that vandals will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

Coordinate with law enforcement. If you’ve suffered any losses to fire or other vandalism, make sure your local police department knows about it so patrol officers can be asked to watch portable restrooms more closely. They may be able to share information on areas that are a general target for vandals and give advice on how to avoid problems with your placements. 

Consider or strengthen damage waivers. A small damage waiver fee for each restroom rental helps cover your labor costs for cleaning tagged restrooms and replace an occasional unit that’s damaged beyond repair. Learn more about why damage waivers are a good idea here.

Do you have more ideas on how best to protect your storage area and job sites from arson? Leave a comment below to share your tips. 


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