Construction site theft could result in the loss of expensive equipment, lengthen your project timelines and lead to disappointed clients. Criminals often stake out potential sites, looking for those that are the least protected or have the most valuable assets. People who don’t have actionable and comprehensive plans to prevent construction site theft may find themselves easy targets. Here are some of the most effective loss prevention methods to consider.
Keep Areas Well Lit
Thieves are likelier to target construction sites that let them steal things in dark or low-light conditions. Make yours less attractive by installing numerous high-powered illumination options. It’s even better if the lights are motion-activated and remotely monitored.
You could get real-time notifications of anything causing the lights to come on when the site is empty or at any other unusual time. Such a setup could lead to false alarms due to animals, vehicles or other expected occurrences. However, you may not mind because of how much the bright lights deter criminals.
Another possibility is to keep the lights on all the time. Although that option results in a higher electricity bill, it also sends a clear message to would-be criminals. They’ll have no way to stay concealed by darkness while attempting their plans.
Ensuring the surroundings are well lit also promotes safety. That’s especially true for workers using the site at times of reduced natural light.
Perform a Risk Assessment
People frequently notice weaknesses after the fact that made things easier for thieves. However, it’s much better to perform a thorough risk assessment as early as possible. Prevention in this area will certainly pay off.
Evaluate access points and equipment storage locations. Experts recommend planning for the worst outcomes when familiarizing yourself with the risks. Although there’s a low likelihood of those circumstances occurring, the ramifications if they do are substantial and severe. Thus, the best approach is to do everything you can to be aware of what could go wrong and then take a layered approach to prevention.
Even if thieves break through one protective measure, there will be others to stop them. Once you’ve identified the risks, group them according to how urgent they are to mitigate. Finally, set a budget to cover what you need to stop construction site theft. It might include hiring security guards, performing background checks on contractors or investing in tracking devices for machinery.
Use Community Involvement to Deter Criminals
Many areas have community watch programs. Residents participate to help themselves and everyone else be safe. People are also naturally curious about ongoing construction and want to see how it progresses.
This makes it easy to encourage residents to prevent construction site theft. Their observations could deter thieves, showing them it’ll be harder than they thought to steal things.
One of the easiest approaches is to post signs that give people phone numbers they can call or websites to use to report any suspicious activities. Relatedly, think about telling residents the normal site activity hours. Criminals generally plan their thefts to occur when places have emptied for the day. If residents know to be suspicious of anything happening past a certain time, they’ll be more likely to report activity.
Deploy High-Tech Offerings
Theft causes an average of $1 billion in annual costs for the construction industry. That massive amount may help you justify doing what you can to prevent theft, even if doing so requires some significant investments.
For example, you could install cameras that use artificial intelligence to differentiate between animals and humans on a site. Another option is to mount those cameras on drones to capture aerial views through high-definition footage.
Many contractors set up geofencing features for high-value equipment. Doing so prevents it from working after crossing a predetermined, invisible boundary. People can also tweak settings so machines are only functional within certain hours.
Prevent Construction Site Theft With Equipment Logs
Many people assume outsiders are the primary culprits who steal from construction sites. However, that’s an overly short-sighted view. Theft can happen from the inside. A practical way to combat that is to keep a log showing what equipment people used and when.
Require workers to sign items in and out as they use and return them. Then, look for assets still in use at the end of the workday. That makes it easier to narrow down who has an item and investigate the matter further. Supplementing equipment logs with digital asset-tracking platforms is also a good idea since they can tell you the exact location of things at any time.
Ensure there are no empty bins or other containers workers could use to sneak small tools out. Relatedly, require people bringing items they own onto your site to designate their ownership with engravings.
Store High-Value Items Out of Sight
Keeping expensive equipment in clear view of passersby will just tempt potential criminals, making them start planning how to pull off a construction site theft. You should keep heavy machinery in a dedicated location away from the street, such as a garage. In addition to reducing the chances of theft, this option protects them from the elements.
Even when you use secure storage, instruct the last workers using the equipment to take specific precautions that will make it even harder for thieves. For example, have them remove steering wheels and batteries and lock them away. It’s also important that they park the machine in a place where a camera will capture any associated activities.
Finally, think about how you could prevent construction site theft with advanced access control systems. Biometric readers are much more involved than physical-key methods but provide yet another obstacle for potential criminals.
You Can Reduce Construction Site Theft
Construction equipment’s high value and specialized nature make it a frequent theft target, whether by experienced criminals, kids passing by or untrustworthy employees. Missing machinery and tools make it challenging to adhere to project deadlines and take up time filing police reports. However, making proactive decisions and following best practices will minimize the risks and keep your assets safer.