Securing Construction Sites: Common-Sense Solutions With Long-Term Impact

Quick and inexpensive ways to keep equipment and materials on site and projects on track.
By Jeremy White
October 26, 2021

Theft and other crime incidents, such as vandalism, have always been extremely costly for construction sites. The obvious impact is the cost to replace stolen tools, machinery and equipment or to repair onsite damage inflicted during the crime. But a side effect of these incidents is the downtime caused while construction crews wait for new or replacement parts to come in, which can take an even bigger toll on the business.

It has never been more important for construction companies to avoid these issues with the cost of construction materials reaching record highs in recent months. For example, as of April, lumber had soared 250% in the last year alone. Today, a single instance of lumber theft on a construction site could be the difference between being able to finish a project or not.

To defend against theft and crime incidents, some construction crews are investing in expensive security systems and alarms. But there are alternative solutions and strategies that are effective and affordable. For example, smart video surveillance powered by artificial intelligence is proven to help with proactive crime deterrence without breaking the bank. And beyond technology, there are a number of quick and easy strategies to step up security on construction sites. There are three strategies that can have a long-term impact on deterring crime.

1. Design with Security in Mind

To successfully deter criminals, construction sites must be designed with security in mind from the start. This means taking an outside-in approach to security, which starts with the perimeter. Fencing is a natural deterrent to keep unwanted visitors out, but there are a few simple steps to make them effective:

  • lock gates and entry points at the end of each shift;
  • make it a routine to regularly check fencing for any holes–and, when identified, repair them immediately; and
  • don’t take fencing down once a project gets underway. Keep it up throughout the duration of construction.

Inside the perimeter of a construction site, put space between fencing and storage containers and conex boxes. Placing them right up against the perimeter gives thieves a way to cut directly through fences into containers on the other side without ever having to enter the property. Creating “buffer” space between containers and fencing is a critical component to security.

2. Let There Be Light

Criminals thrive at night, using darkness to their advantage. Without light, it’s easy for thieves and vandals to sneak onto a construction site and run off with tools or do damage without ever being caught on surveillance video. Don’t make it easy for them. Light up construction sites as much as possible.

No electricity to connect lights? Construction crews can pick up solar-powered motion sensor lights like the ones used in residential driveways. They are much more affordable and easier to install than industrial lighting.

3. Get Creative

Often the best way to secure any site, especially construction sites, is to implement creative security strategies. This means going beyond basic tips, such as locking up tools and not leaving keys in machinery overnight.

Thieves want to get in and out of construction sites as fast as possible. Here are some examples of creative strategies that can tack on the time it takes to execute a crime, stopping criminals before they can start:

  • Unplug the batteries in pieces of machinery. This way, if criminals do get their hands on master keys, driving off with equipment still isn’t an easy task. If a machine doesn’t start, they aren’t going to take the time to look under the hood to locate the problem.
  • Park the biggest, heaviest machinery in front of entry gates and storage containers. Criminals don’t want to spend the extra time trying to get around heavy machinery.

Securing construction sites doesn’t have to be time consuming or a drain on budget. Thinking out of the box with these quick and easy tips can have a long-lasting impact, enabling construction crews to keep equipment and materials on-site and projects on track.

by Jeremy White
Jeremy White helped pioneer the remote video monitoring industry. His entrepreneurial spirit and leadership style has been key in the success of Pro-Vigil and the industry as a whole. Pro-Vigil is a provider of remote video monitoring solutions powered by artificial intelligence.

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