I was reading an article about copper theft from a construction site in Arlington VA and was thinking about how many of our construction security receiving our security services in Arlington VA ask for suggestions for protecting their construction sites. Theft is becoming an ever increasing concern in the construction industry. Most people are aware of the reasons why copper theft, in particular, threatens construction site security. If you are wondering how to prevent theft from your construction sites, here are a few tips that will help you do just that.
One of the best ways you can prevent theft from construction sites is by having a fence installed. While some criminals enter a building site as visitors, thieves often sneak into the building site through other means.
The main reason why so many criminals find it incredibly easy just to sneak into a construction site is due to the lack of barriers. If a criminal is disguised as a construction worker, he will likely have no problem waltzing onto the place without anyone batting an eyelash. However, if a criminal has to climb over a fence, he will probably attract attention to himself before he can steal from the construction site or perform other crimes.
Here are a few of the best materials for a secure fence:
- Wrought iron fencing
- Chain link fencing
- Aluminum fencing
- … and another metal fencing
Hire Trustworthy Subcontractors
Another way in which you can prevent theft from construction sites is by hiring reliable subcontractors. Believe it or not, most thefts from construction sites are performed by employees or subcontractors with inside knowledge of the operations at the job site. They share this information with others who use that info to steal materials. Therefore, whenever possible, you should try to hire subcontractors that you have had previously used.
Document Arrivals and Departures
You should take the time to record all arrivals and departures to the construction site. Not only should you track the arrivals and departures of visitors, but you should also track the arrivals and departures of your employees and subcontractors. You can simply have everyone entering and leaving the construction site to sign in and sign out at the entry of the building site. In the case of theft, you may be able to use this documentation to narrow down the suspects. The fact that you are documenting arrivals and departures may also deter criminals from committing a theft in the first place.
The following can be documented:
- Assign each worker stickers with an id# on them. This number can also be used to verify that they have completed any OSHA Safety related training.
- Record arrival and departure of workers
- Record arrival and departure of delivery drivers
- Accurate inventory of high-value materials such as copper pipe
Many project owners choose to prevent theft from construction sites by having security cameras installed. While some construction owners swear by security cameras, most find them to be not as effective as other methods.
Here are some of the reasons why you may not find security cameras as useful as you might have hoped:
- Construction sites can be enormous, making it challenging and costly to purchase and install security cameras to monitor the entire site.
- Cameras must be repositioned as the building is constructed. A camera that is at a perfect angle today is blocked by a wall tomorrow.
- Criminals tend to use masks to avoid identification, which means the security cameras may do nothing to help you identify the thief.
- Criminals also tend to use stolen tags on their trucks, which means you won’t be able to identify the thief with vehicle identification information either.
Hire Unarmed Security Guards
Security guards are the most effective option for protecting construction sites. Security guards presence provide a visible crime deterrent. When thieves see a camera they wear masks and steal. When they see security guards, they decide to take from somewhere else. Guards are especially important if you choose to have security cameras installed at your construction site. Your guards will be able to use the cameras actually to prevent theft on your construction site and stop criminals in their tracks. For example, the security cameras may give the guards a birds-eye view of the entire construction site in real time.
Security guards are trained to detect suspicious activities far better than the average civilian can. Therefore, you will be able to count on your unarmed security guards to catch culprits before they even have the chance to commit a crime. Just the presence of security officers will deter individuals or groups from targeting your construction site for criminal acts. If a criminal sees unarmed security guards on site, they will realize that you are serious about security.
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do to prevent theft from your construction sites. For more information about preventing theft from your construction sites, don’t hesitate to contact us for more details.