Millions of dollars are lost every year to theft and vandalism on construction sites. Thieves are resourceful in taking anything of value, from timber and electrical wiring to white goods and tools. Often these costs are then passed onto the owner. Here are a few recommendations to assist in your construction site security.
Get to know your neighbours.
It sounds so simple, and yet, when construction began two doors down, my neighbours and I had been left to wonder who these noisy and temporary neighbours could be. Who are they? Will we hear banging and drilling well into the afternoon? What about weekends?
Neighbours can sometimes be the best form of security and can report any suspicious (or out of routine) activity immediately to your supervisors or the police. Could you get to know who they are? Advise them of when shifts at your construction site start and finish each day. Provide them with your contact details and let them know to contact you immediately if something doesn’t feel or look right. It can't hurt to get them on your side.
Install high fences
Most councils have a regulation in place requiring proper fencing. Both permanent and temporary fencing reduces the risk of theft by making it difficult to access the construction site. Display the contact details of the builder and an after-hours contact in a prominent location. This will assist the police in responding quickly to the correct location and makes identifying and contacting the relevant persons in charge easier.
Keep your construction site well lit after dark
Depending on where your site is located, it is a good idea to install floodlights. Thieves tend to stay away from any places that are well lit. Install floodlights at the entry gate and at all corners that are seen as hiding spots. Not all construction sites can install an all-night floodlight. If this applies to you, opt for sensor lights. Thieves trespassing won't go unnoticed, with any motions triggering the lights to turn on.
This one seems like an obvious call. But is often missed due to the temporary nature of the job and the costs associated with buying and installing. Place CCTV cameras at important points throughout the site. Examples include the entry gate and other important or high-risk areas around the site that lack clear visibility or where high-value items are kept. Add clear and visible signage that CCTV is in constant use as a further deterrence.
Employing nighttime security guards provide that extra layer of protection to your construction site security plan. Having a physical presence lowers the risk of theft and vandalism to the property. Security guards can also double-check that your CCTV cameras, lighting and locks are in working order every night through their nightly rounds. If this seems too much, another alternative is to employ a watch team that can oversee the activity of your CCTV from an offsite location.
Equipment and construction materials
Take note of your equipment and materials, including model and serial numbers, for insurance purposes. Ensure all your equipment are locked in a secure location at the end of every shift. Leave nothing out. While you are at it, turn off the electricity and block all access points to any stairwells and scaffolding.
Coordinate your deliveries of materials to correspond with their installation dates. Work with your tradies to determine what stock level will be leftover at the end of each day. For any uninstalled materials, mark these with your company name or site address. This will reduce the risk of stolen materials and makes for easier recovery when stolen. Another option, for days where a high volume of the stock is leftover, is to transport them to your nearest warehouse.
Having ticked off everything in your construction site security plan, you can now concentrate your time on the more important tasks of ensuring your employees are safe and work is completed to a great standard.