Construction site theft is a well-documented problem that’s not going away any time soon. Heavy equipment and valuable materials (i.e. the copper used in electrical wiring, pipes for plumbing and air conditioning coils) are in high demand while security at construction sites is often minimal. The combination makes construction sites prime targets for thieves. To help you minimize losses that cost both time and money, here are some simple tips for preventing construction site theft.
Make a Plan
Every construction project should have a security plan specifically designed for that site. Write it down and share it with key team members, subcontractors and clients. Next, identify equipment, materials and any other valuable assets onsite, then inventory and track them regularly.
Keep unauthorized people out of your construction site. This may sound simple, but thieves often walk on and off construction sites without any resistance.
Start by securing the perimeter with proper fencing. This is your first line of defense. Clearly mark entrances and exits and monitor these points closely day and night. Posting an “Authorized Personnel Only” can be a simple but effective addition. And whenever possible, designate a parking area outside of the work area for employees and visitors to reduce the number of vehicles within the work site.
Assign a Supervisor
Have one person responsible for the security of the site. They should approve all visitors and deliveries before they are allowed to come onsite. Create a log book where visitors and delivery personnel have to sign in to indicate their presence on site and sign out when they leave the site. Having the security supervisor wear a different color hard hat or other means to easily distinguish themselves will make it easier to find them when needed. They should also confirm materials, vehicles and equipment are locked up and secure at the end of every work day.
Step Up Your Security
For high risk sites or those with considerable valuables, stepping up your security measures can avoid work delays or costly losses. Here are a few good options for added security.
- Add a 24-hour onsite security guard to watch and report on site activities.
- Lock materials and equipment in portable storage units when not in use.
- Add lighting throughout the site with special emphasis on potential entry points and areas where valuables are kept.
- Install bars on the windows of all buildings, including construction site offices.
- Improve your security fencing by upgrading to a more substantial primary fence or adding a secondary fence.
- Install a video monitoring system.
- Inform site workers to notify their supervisors of any unauthorized or unknown personnel on the site.
Working together, these actions go a long way toward preventing construction site theft. Unfortunately, no measures can make a site 100% secure. Report any incidents of theft or vandalism right away so local law enforcement can get involved and help mitigate future theft.