Breaches to jobsite security are one of the biggest risks that contractors face. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), construction site theft costs the industry between $300 million and $1 billion a year. Add to that the cost of vandalism and damage caused to construction equipment, and you soon see the extent of the problem.
Given the size and accessibility of many construction sites and the high value of the materials, tools, and equipment they contain, it’s little wonder that they’re a magnet to career criminals and opportunistic thieves. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to keep your construction site secure.
- Install a managed surveillance system
The most effective form of construction site security is to have video surveillance on-site by far and away. The cost of buying and installing a video surveillance system used to be prohibitive for many contractors, but now a much more cost-effective solution is available.
Contractors can effectively hire a managed video surveillance system from a third-party provider for a fraction of the cost of buying their own. That surveillance system will be monitored and managed by the provider, and any security risks will be identified, assessed, and challenged.
Rather than simply recording a security breach taking place, these security camera systems can actively deter and intervene when there is a threat of vandalism or threat. That includes the use of high-visibility strobe lights, audible alarms, and voice broadcasts. The monitoring center dispatcher also works closely with local law enforcement to ensure a rapid response. Additionally, a dedicated analysis team can review the footage and provide a dossier that can be used as evidence when a crime is committed.
2. Secure the perimeter of your jobsite
Simple it may be, but it’s surprising how many contractors fail to properly secure their construction sites. There are few more cost-effective deterrents for opportunistic thieves than erecting high fencing around the site. To be effective, your perimeter fencing should be at least eight feet high and be accompanied by ‘No Trespassing’ signage. That will make it clear that the site shouldn’t be accessed by anyone who’s not working there. Although it may be inconvenient for your workers, there should also be just one point of entry to the site to make the entry and exit points easier to monitor.
Electric fences can also be very effective. They will deliver a non-lethal shock when touched, making them impossible to climb. An alarm can also be triggered when a wire is cut, and those responsible for the site’s security will be alerted.
3. Secure all materials and equipment
Another very straightforward but often neglected step you should take is to ensure all materials and equipment are cleared away and secured at the end of the day. Providing a secure storage area for any valuable equipment is a must.
Any tools or equipment that can’t be locked up should be removed from the jobsite at night. For larger pieces of equipment, remove all keys and consider how you can use cables or chains to anchor them in place. You should also remove or disable any tow hitches on your equipment so it cannot be pulled away from the jobsite.
4. Schedule just-in-time deliveries
One sure way to heighten the security risks on your construction site is to leave expensive building materials lying around for days. While it may require a little more planning, simply scheduling your deliveries to arrive as and when you need them, and not days before, can remove this problem.
While it might be tempting to order all of the materials you need for a job in one go, only ordering the amount you need for that particular day can remove the temptation for criminals and reduce the value of the materials left on your site overnight.
5. Keep detailed records of your inventory and equipment
In some cases, it’s not a threat from outside of the jobsite that you need to be wary of. Jobsite theft committed by employees is a growing problem in the industry, and it can be much more difficult to stop. By keeping accurate and regularly updated records of your inventory, you’ll be able to identify if items do go missing from the jobsite and take steps to prevent it.
Registering your equipment with the National Equipment Register (NER) is another simple step that you can take. If construction tools and equipment are stolen from your site, having them listed with the NER will give you a much greater chance of recovery.
Start taking simple steps right now
This list just goes to show that you don’t have to completely overhaul your jobsite to improve your security. Simple steps such as scheduling smarter deliveries, securing the perimeter of your site, and installing a managed surveillance system can significantly reduce the risk of a breach.