Picture this: You’re in the middle of a build and when you come to work, equipment is missing, and materials are damaged. Now you’re left picking up the pieces and playing the tough game of “who did it.”
This phenomenom isn’t rare. Across the U.S., construction equipment theft is costing businesses millions.
With the price of materials reaching a high and shipping delays halting timelines, it becomes even more critical to protect your job site and equipment.
Unsecured job sites are at the risk of theft. As a small business owner, you may wonder what you can do. To keep potential criminals from stepping foot onto the work site, you should set up a security system for you and your team to follow.
Here are six steps to establishing a security system and process for construction sites.
1. Identify your most vulnerable areas
The first step in setting up a security system is to identify vulnerable areas of your construction site.
Vulnerable areas can include:
Entrances and exits
Storage areas for tools
Workers’ personal belongings
After you’ve completed an assessment of weak spots at your job site, you can develop security measures and construction job site safety protocols.
2. Implement a security plan
The next step is to create a plan that includes cameras and alarms. Security cameras are a great way to scare off criminals from targeting your construction site. They can also help identify anyone if a crime does occur.
An alarm system is an essential piece of a complete surveillance system. They’ll alert you and your crew to any potential threats – including any tampering of construction technology and equipment.
When choosing security cameras and alarms, it’s important to choose those specifically designed for construction sites. These products are built to withstand harsh conditions like severe weather or powerful vibrations.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing security cameras and alarms for your construction site:
Choose weatherproof- and tamper-proof equipment
Look for cameras with night vision
Install alarms in all vulnerable areas
Make sure the security system is monitored 24/7
Place pan-tilt-zoom security cameras in large spaces
Ensure remote viewing capabilities
For more expensive projects, consider hiring a security company to patrol your job site. Having someone watch out for potential threats is another measure to ward off criminals.
When choosing a patrol service for your large residential or commercial construction site, choose one with experience in providing security for job sites.
3. Train your crew members to be aware of threats
Everyone, regardless of their role, has a hand to play in safety. Your crew members are the first layer of defense against potential risks. Set up specific training to respond to security incidents.
Here’s a handy checklist for construction site security with tips on how to set up a security policy and hire qualified employees.
Your crew should be familiar with the layout of the construction site, the most vulnerable areas, the types of equipment used on construction sites and how to operate the security system.
In addition, all security personnel should be trained in first aid and CPR. In the event of an accident or injury, they’ll be able to provide medical assistance.
4. Secure the job site perimeter
Fences and gates make accessing the construction site more difficult. Gates are used to control access. This means there’s only one way in and one way out of a job site. Monitoring who comes and goes gives you a better idea of who’s on the job site.
When choosing fencing and gates for your construction site, pick those that are specifically designed for construction sites. Fences don’t have to be a permanent fixture on the property. They behave as barriers to stop people from entering the job site.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for fencing and gates for your construction site:
Choose durable materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of a construction site
Look out for security fencing that’s at least 8 feet high
Bury the fence at least 2 feet underground
Install barbed wire on top of the fence to deter climbers
Use motion detectors that will alert you and your crew to any potential threats
Have a crew member monitor the entry and exit points
5. Restrict access to authorized personnel only
To further secure your construction site, it’s vital to restrict access to authorized personnel only. This can be done by using badges or ID cards. Only authorized personnel should have access to the construction site.
In addition, you should also have a visitor management system in place. This will help you to track who’s coming and going from the construction site.
6. Monitor activity around the site 24/7
You have your hands full running the business.
You can’t stay up all night making sure your project is protected. Most modern camera systems come paired with a mobile app. This means you can check in whenever you need.
If you decide to hire a security company to patrol the construction site, be sure they’re trained to respond and contact you immediately. Considering the high value of equipment and materials, round the clock surveillance is necessary.
This will allow you to investigate any incidents that may have occurred and even remotely check whether employees are signing the employee notebook as expected, working during their scheduled hours, and not loitering in areas they shouldn’t be during work hours.
Securing your sites
Construction sites are busy places with a lot of activity and valuable assets. Using a construction management platform, like Buildertrend, you’ll be able to send out messages to your crew and clients if an incident happens.
Buildertrend’s Schedule tool allows you to document what incidents happen and how it was handled. You can create notes on your timeline because of the event. This way anyone who looks at your project schedule can see what happened, when it happened and how it impacted work.
A comprehensive security system can help to deter crime, protect workers and equipment and improve safety. By following the tips in this article, you can create a security plan that will give you peace of mind and enhance overall security.
About The Author
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.