Improving Your Construction Site Security Plan
Updated: Aug 31
Construction site theft, arson attacks and vandalism have become commonplace events problems for construction companies of all sizes.
Over my many years in the security sector, I have seen it continue to grow. In truth, however, I still see security measures being demanded once an incident has occurred rather than there being proactive measures being taken in advance.
To minimise the risk of your company from becoming the next statistic, I recommend that you create an effective construction site security plan. Here are some ideas that you might wish to consider:
1. Create local awareness
Any security plan works better when everyone works together. Promoting security awareness to employees is a good start, but you need to go a little further. Firstly, contact local police to let them know about the construction project and chat to nearby properties to see if they’d be willing to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
2. Think like a criminal
Walk around the property at night and ask yourself how confident you would feel if you wanted to steal equipment or vandalise your area. Don’t just think like a professional thief. How about a kid just wanting to play around or cause trouble? If you were them, how would you do it?
So you can sleep easier at night, if possible, surround the perimeter with fencing. If fencing is in place, look for the easiest way for someone to breach your perimeter. Avoid putting the fence near trees and avoid putting equipment and materials near the fence. Next, make sure that the area is well lit, especially any weak areas in the perimeter. Put you plant in a separate compound.
3. Guard the site
Fences and lights can deter the opportunist thief and vandals, but a determined criminal comes prepared with bolt cutters and a plan. That’s where static security guards or electronic, monitored, camera surveillance come in.
On small sites, the use of an on-site guard can be expensive, so I always recommend visual verification camera systems. These are self-powered, GSM, wireless and portable; they do not require electricity, broadband or telephone connection.
CCTV is great but they require electricity and, whilst they provide high quality images, they’re usually only come into their own the next working day when you can review images. But, by then, the trespassers are long gone. The visual verification cameras send immediate alerts and video clips to key holders and/or your local security alarm response company so that security and Police can be called to site whilst the bad guys are still on site.
On larger sites, guards need technical support due to the sheer size of the property to be protected. Again, I recommend visual verification cameras.
Typically, the best way of working is to have the cameras to cover perimeter fences, remote outbuildings, plant compounds, fuel bowsers and areas out of sight; the guard is then notified of intruders.
Smaller sites can have full camera coverage with a key fob which the guard uses to disarm the system when conducting a site patrol.
4. Make sure the thief isn’t already within the perimeter
Unfortunately, there’s always the possibility that there’s an employee or subcontractor who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. This is one of the tougher problems to deal with, but there are measures you can take.
Firstly, assign someone to inspect the site at the end of each day to assure nothing has been compromised, by accident or otherwise. Next, set up and maintain an inventory control system for all equipment. Finally, have someone check all trash before it’s removed from the site.
5. Disabled equipment is harder to steal
Disabling heavy equipment is a simple way to prevent equipment theft and misuse. Remove expensive batteries from plant, and lower blades and buckets.
Other solutions include hydraulic cylinder locks, fuel and ignition cut-off switches, alarms and tracking devices. Also, be sure to lock oil and gas tank caps.
I have spent many years protecting construction sites, building site scaffolding and vacant commercial or residential properties. When I developed PSG (Property Security Group), I was confident that we could make a real difference to deterring and detecting unauthorised trespassers at affordable cost.
Please visit www.psgroup.uk or give us a call on 0207 1124997 for more information.