Construction sites have always been a target for thieves. With the demand for quality construction tools and equipment, it can be easy for opportunistic thieves to break in and quickly sell stolen goods.
The job-site security you need may differ depending on your project and where it is located. Listed below are 8 tips for protecting job sites from vandalism and theft that have worked for me.
Security Fencing. A security fence around the perimeter of the site has always been a priority on my projects. Chain-link fencing is a good first line of security. It makes thieves have to force their way onto the property and prevents wandering children from entering the site. A chain-link fence can be easily installed and quickly removed by a fence contractor. In addition to the job-site entrance, I recommend installing entrance gates where the underground utilities will enter the property to allow for easy access without fence modification.
Signage. Attaching signage to all sides of a chain-linked fence is standard protocol. Whether the signs indicate "No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted" or a different message, they show you are serious about job-site security.
Lighting. Thieves hate lighting. To deter break-ins, light the job site as early as possible using both interior lights and site lighting. Installing temporary lighting, whether on top of a temporary power pole, on the outside of the building on the roof pointing down, or pigtails inside the building, can be well worth the effort.
Placement of Equipment and Tools. Parking heavy equipment and machines in plain view can keep people from tampering with them. Heavy-duty chains, cables, and locks should be used to secure trailers, equipment, scaffolding, and ladders. If there is a room in the building that you can lock, that could be another layer of security. Portable storage containers can also be used for securing tools, equipment, and materials.
Video Surveillance Systems. Battery- and solar-powered security cameras are being used more often to help prevent job-site theft and vandalism. With night vision technology, you can watch the live feed remotely day or night. Mobile security cameras that run on cellular data networks, such as the 4G LTE security cameras, can be used for video surveillance when Internet access is not available. Security cameras are especially essential at job sites in high-risk areas.
On-Site Security Guard. Hiring a security company to provide on-site security is another approach used by contractors in high-risk areas. Some projects staff a security guard 24/7 to check in all employees and visitors at the entrance of the site and ensure a focus on security.
GPS Tracking. GPS tracking systems have come a long way over the years, and many contractors see the value in tracking their equipment for the purpose of theft recovery. With many different features available today, I wanted to call out several that may be of interest if you are in the market for a GPS tracking system.
- The units can be small with a strong magnetic back for a secure attachment.
- Hard-wired and battery options are available. Some batteries have a 5-year life. A sleep mode helps extend battery life.
- Units are often weatherproof.
- Tracking in real time, with theft recovery from your computer or smartphone, is available.
- You have the option to set a perimeter around your equipment. Whether it’s the construction yard, city, county, or state, when your equipment breaks the perimeter, you will get an alert.
- Units give the exact location of your equipment, not just an address.
- GPS devices can be placed in cargo or packages for personal tracking.
- Units are becoming more affordable.
Talk to the Local Police. I always touch base with the local police and ask if the night-duty officer on patrol could drive by the site. In my experience, they were always willing to accommodate my request, which gave me another level of comfort.
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