Construction site security is necessary to protect both the high-value assets you own but also those on loan. Unfortunately, thieves know the value of construction equipment. They count on unattended sites and unsupervised valuables to make money for themselves.
$300 million to $1 billion is the annual estimated loss for stolen equipment. For short-term projects like house-flipping, having to replace expensive equipment and supplies means a big setback for your targets and goals.
We’ll share seven parts of a proactive construction security plan and how to provide the best perimeter security on a new construction job site.
1. Job Site Security Systems
You can’t have your eyes on all valuables at all times. When in continuous operation, construction site security monitoring devices keep a watch for you.
When cameras are conspicuous, they let people know they are being watched. So cameras are a deterrent because they make criminals think twice about going through with their plans. Decoy cameras would serve this purpose.
However, what decoy cameras can’t do is gather proof. Recordings of theft can help you bolster police reports, file insurance claims, and discover weaknesses in your site (how trespassers get in or identifying workers for cases of internal theft).
Strategically placed cameras around your site allow you to have constant eyes on the perimeter as well as areas that hold valuables.
Leverage technology to keep your site monitored in a low-maintenance way.
- When long-distance wiring or replacing batteries in remote locations isn’t feasible, use solar-powered cameras.
- Wi-Fi keeps remote cameras connected. Some cameras can even text alert you at the time of site activity.
However, when you’re doing a short-term project (like home flipping) you may not want to invest in a whole camera system. Security camera rentals are appropriate for temporary job site security system needs.
Motion sensor cameras conserve energy by only recording when they sense activity. The goal is to capture someone on the lot who shouldn’t be there and motion detection ensures that only notable events are recorded.
Like a home security system, motion sensors around the worksite are enabled to set off sirens, bright lights, and announce warning messages to the violators.
Not only does this clamor let nearby witnesses know that something is up, but it also induces a flight-or-fight response for thieves. Hopefully, this will cause them to flee.
For those who want to apprehend thieves, a silent alarm lets them continue uninterrupted while responders make their way to the site (but it is only effective with quick response times).
Note: Video verification tends to take priority with tripped alarms. Having sensors and cameras working in tandem provides optimal surveillance.
2. Keep Construction Site Well Lit
Retailers keep their lights on after hours. We’re advised to stay in “well lit” areas after dark.
Why is this? Because when people commit crimes against others, they want to avoid witnesses.
Not only does lighting aid security systems in being able to capture the details of the suspects, but it also allows for bystanders to witness it.
Those who have been stalking a site by the day may think twice about burglarizing that which is lit through the night.
Lighting is one of the most effective ways to keep your construction site secure during those dark hours while you rest up for the next workday.
3. Effective Locks and Fences
8-foot fences around the perimeter of the job site along with padlocks for gates and storage containers keep thieves out after hours and discourage them from trying to get in.
As with the equipment, have a check-out/check-in system for your master keys. If you suspect your keys have fallen into the wrong hands, then replace the locks for new keys.
Fences should be outfitted with other construction site security such as lighting, sensors, and “No Trespassing” signage.
4. No Trespassing and Warning Signs
Signs communicate that you are serious about security. Notices that bar unauthorized persons from being on-site will give infiltrators pause about trying to trespass and sneak away with things undetected.
Putting up signage is a chance to say your piece with thieves. Let them know that you take your site security seriously and what measures you plan to take with violators.
Some trespassing laws require you to post no-trespassing signs. This can work in your favor when building a case against those who are prosecuted.
5. Keep Records of Inventory and Equipment
With high-value equipment and supplies on-site, you’ll want to keep a close eye on inventory.
If you are lax about tracking valuables, those who work on-site may be under the impression that you wouldn’t notice if valuables go missing. Keeping tabs on who has what serves as a deterrent against internal theft.
- Check-out/check-in policies promote accountability that prevents loss.
- Engrave your business name and unique serial number on your equipment. Log identifying numbers in a database to match with recovered items should yours go missing.
- Register your equipment through the National Equipment Register (NER) database to improve your chances of recovering stolen property.
- Notify both the NER and the police when items go missing.
When you treat your assets as precious items you’d hate to lose, you’re more likely to keep a close eye on them and have a recovery plan in place should they go missing.
6. Schedule Deliveries When You Need Them
Using a construction site as storage is risky. When too many things on-site cause mismanagement, valuable items are at risk of turning up missing.
- Mitigate loss by only having on-site what you need on the days that you’re working.
- Remove theft lures by keeping valuables off-site when they are not in use.
- Schedule deliveries to be concurrent with immediate needs.
7. Construction Security Guards
As a job site manager, you have too much going on to be watching all things at all times. This is where security guards come in. Vigilant security workers protect your assets by patrolling the site and confronting intruders.
Before it was mentioned that a silent sensor system is more effective when someone can immediately respond to it. An overnight construction security guard can take action immediately on the premises at the time of the act.
To keep security detail accountable, you can monitor activity with scan check-ins to verify that they have checked on all locations during their scheduled rounds.
Protect Your Investment With a Construction Site Security Plan
The first step in preventing theft is to not be lackadaisical about it. When you value your equipment and supplies, you’ll take the necessary steps to maintain possession of them.
Someone who has taken the above construction site security steps sends a clear message that they value their property and that they are actively working to prevent loss. With such measures, thieves will hopefully move on to easier targets.
Valuable equipment and supplies should be used to make a profit for their rightful owners – not for thieves. Be committed to protecting your valuables with vigilance and a solid construction security plan.
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