Projects in the construction industry often take multiple days, weeks, or months to complete, leading to tools and equipment being left at the job site. This practice unfortunately leads to a significant amount of construction site theft, because the construction site equipment is unsupervised after everyone departs for the evening.
Close to $1 billion is lost annually because of construction site theft, making this a significant problem for companies in the industry. Data also suggests that less than 20% of this stolen equipment is ever recovered, so construction site theft prevention is vital.
Missing equipment causes a financial burden for construction companies and slows down progress on the job site because they have to seek out and purchase new gear. There are fortunately some actions these businesses can take to keep their equipment safe. This guide will walk you through some common forms of theft and let you know the best tips for construction site theft prevention.
The 5 Most Common Forms of Construction Site Theft
You never know what a thief is after when entering a construction site. There are some items that these individuals will commonly look for, so if you have them in your yard, you could become a target.
It makes sense that small tools would frequently go missing because it doesn’t take much to steal them. A thief can quickly shove these items in their pocket and walk off before anyone notices. It’s also unlikely that you’ll realize a few tools are missing right away.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is heavy equipment. Stealing tractors and bulldozers sounds complicated, but a motivated thief can quickly get away with them, particularly if the machine has power.
Pieces of Lumber
Wood is expensive, and thieves are becoming more likely to steal lumber. Employees are a common wood-theft culprit because it’s nearly impossible to catch them without proper surveillance.
Copper and Other Metals
Copper currently costs about $4.50 per pound, so it could become a target if you have some around the job site. Thieves will steal this material and resell it for a profit. Metal roofs could also hold some value, so you’ll want to keep an eye on all these materials.
Appliances are sometimes left inside during construction, and they could become a theft target. You’ll want to monitor residential construction sites, because the last thing you want is for your clients’ appliances to go missing.
The type of construction site theft you could experience at your construction site depends on what you’re building and your site’s location. You should be aware of what thieves are looking to steal and take the necessary precautions to prevent it.
10 Tips for Preventing Construction Site Theft
Doing a solid job of construction site theft prevention can save you from the hassle and expense of replacing your equipment. Following a few tips can make it more challenging to steal from your site while creating deterrents that keep trespassers away.
1. Put Equipment Away
One of the easiest ways to protect your construction site is putting all your equipment away after using it. It’s often tempting to leave items sitting around if you’ll be using them again in the morning, but locking them up inside a building or mobile storage unit eliminates the chance of them going missing.
2. Keep Records of Purchases
You should have detailed records of every piece of equipment you’re using on the job site. This step might not stop trespassers from stealing anything, but it could cause dishonest employees to pause before taking your equipment. These records also make it easier to file a police report and more challenging for the thief to sell the items later.
3. Perform Employee Background Checks
You might trust all your employees, but that doesn’t mean every one of them is trustworthy. Performing thorough background checks on your workers provides insight into their criminal histories, allowing you to make smarter hires.
4. Turn Off Equipment Circuit Breakers
A thief can’t steal a large piece of equipment if they can’t start it. Switching off the circuit breakers from these units ensures they won’t get any power, making life miserable for thieves who try to move them
5. Cut Fuel Supplies
Another method of keeping large equipment and vehicles safe involves eliminating the fuel supply. You can install a fuel pump kill switch in these units so they won’t fire up if someone tries to drive off your job site with them.
6. Put Up a Fence
Installing a fence around your construction sites creates an additional level of security that can keep your equipment safe. These fences won’t keep absolutely everyone away from the property, but they act as a deterrent and make it more challenging to walk away with construction supplie
7. Lock All Vehicles
One of the most straightforward steps you can take around the construction site is locking all vehicles. Some workers might accidentally leave trucks unlocked, inviting overnight theft. Encouraging everyone to lock up can create enough of a deterrent to discourage potential thieves
8. Hire a Security Guard
An incredibly efficient theft prevention method is hiring a trained security guard to watch the construction site. This individual will spend the night ensuring that no one enters the property, with the main drawback being the expense.
9. Install a Security System
Installing a security system that alerts a security company whenever someone enters the site is another option worth considering. The main issues with these systems are that you have to remember to activate them, and they don’t allow your security company to see what’s going on at the job site.
10. Use Video Surveillance
Installing video surveillance systems is an excellent solution because they provide a visual of the construction site, ensuring the entire property is monitored remotely by armed, professional security guards. The system will be specially designed for your site, allowing constant monitoring for theft, vandalism, and accidents. A mobile video surveillance system provides all the benefits of having an on-site security guard and installing a security system in a single solution.
All these tips can provide benefits to your construction site, helping keep your equipment safe. Often a well-secured site will use several techniques or work with a security expert to develop a custom security plan.
Speak With a Security Surveillance Expert
Coming up with a solution to your construction site security problems can be challenging because every job site is different. Combining video surveillance with armed security can provide the best of both worlds because your security company can see much of the property through these cameras.
Contact Mobile Video Guard today so we can design a security solution specifically for your construction site and have a professional security guard remotely monitor the cameras. This type of system protects you from construction site theft and other issues such as vandalism and accidents. Reach out today to learn more about our video surveillance systems to ensure your construction site theft prevention is effective.