Construction sites are becoming an increasingly viable target for thieves, with many expensive items and tools stored onsite during construction works. These are not easily recoverable as quality equipment costs thousands of dollars. Many project managers must budget for increased security costs and pay guards and surveillance expenses.
Traditionally, we have many ways to guard ourselves against prospective thieves, but the methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated. We need at least to use a combination of older techniques and newer technologies to remain on the leading edge of theft prevention. This article will outline how you can avoid expensive equipment being stolen from your worksite.
There can be various ways thieves can make some quick turnover based on your equipment; this largely depends on your industry. Some industries have more vulnerabilities than others, including home construction, where thieves can steal building materials such as timber from the site since construction isn’t complete and everything is still open/unsecured. But let’s go through some of the most common types of items.
These include handheld tools, heavy equipment, lumber, copper and metal materials and large appliances. Handheld tools are the easiest for thieves to steal and probably the most common stolen items. It’s straightforward to walk into a worksite and take some tools to throw in a bag, then make a run for it compared to more oversized items.
Heavily equipment such as tractors and bulldozers are more complex, but this won’t deter a motivated thief as the payoff can be huge. Lumber is also slightly more logistically tricky, but rising prices may become more of a viable option, just like copper and other metals, which seem to have been growing in price. Lastly, we have appliances, which depend on the brand and condition, but it’s not uncommon for new house builds to have new expensive appliances stolen.
Let’s cut to the chase; you need to protect your investments no matter what industry you are in; if you’re losing equipment, it will catch up to you and affect your button line. It’s best to look at these methods before starting a project because opportunistic thieves can strike anytime.
The first and foremost thing you should be doing, at the very least, is ensuring that you and all your staff are storing equipment appropriately. You should be putting your items into areas with secure locking mechanisms or taking them home with you if it’s personal equipment in your vehicles. Also, ensure your cars are safe because thieves can also target utility vehicles parked outside. You have some solutions onsite, such as lockable boxes, or if you have warehouses or sheds, things can be stored and locked in there. There are even more high-tech options, such as RFID vending solutions. These allow you to keep tools in electronic storage vending machines, with only authorised individuals able to get tools out.
To protect yourself from losing equipment, you must have an accurate record of the items you own. This may not be necessary for smaller businesses, but it’s almost impossible to track every single thing you have in larger companies and corporations. In these cases, we recommend keeping inventory lists accurate, accessible and up to date so everyone can ensure items have not been lost or stolen.
Circuit breakers and cutting fuel supplies are the only methods we’d use for large vehicles but can be highly effective. Thieves don’t have time on their side when stealing items, and making things more time-consuming makes it impossible to steal them. You can easily find circuit breakers and similar security tools for your vehicles. Once installed by a professional, you won’t need to worry about them again.
This is obvious but also may be very difficult if you’re constantly on a worksite with limited infrastructure or relatively new infrastructure. You can find the typical CCTV setups and sensors anywhere but making accessible and portable solutions might be more difficult. For sites that require adaptable security solutions, placing mobile CCTV towers can offer a versatile and efficient surveillance option. These towers can be quickly re-positioned to cover the most vulnerable areas of a worksite, providing a strong visual deterrent and a means of capturing evidence should a theft occur. Therefore, we recommend setting up your power solutions first so you can install suitable surveillance systems. This point also includes potential security guards on-premises or on call to visit the site in case of any disturbances.