According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, 39% of residential builders have been affected by theft and vandalism, with most of these businesses having been hit with more than one incident. Building sites are attractive targets for thieves due to the high value of the tools, supplies, and machinery that may be left unattended overnight.
The West Australian recently reported that around $650 million worth of construction equipment is stolen from sites each year in Australia, and not all businesses have the capacity to recover from such a blow.
So, how do you keep a building site secure? The following five elements are key:
1. The right lighting for building site security
Lighting may be simple, but it works hard to protect your assets. Combined with good fencing, a well-lit site gives a sense that someone may still be there working. It’s also more likely that passersby will spot criminal activity and report it to the police. Your security cameras will be able to pick up more details of any intruders and their vehicle. And perhaps the biggest factor is that criminals know all this, making the simple addition of security lights a surprisingly powerful weapon against building site theft.
2. Cameras are construction site essentials
An integrated camera and alarm system is your best friend when it comes to protecting your valuable equipment and materials. Choose the right security cameras for the job, and your 24-hour CCTV surveillance will send all intelligent criminals packing. If they’re bold enough to have a crack at getting in, it’s far more likely that they’ll only end up getting caught.
3. Invest in a monitored alarm system
An integrated alarm system is essential, particularly if you have valuable machinery on-site and/or you’ve been targeted by thieves before. You can opt for a loud alarm that will scare away intruders while also alerting those nearby to the break-in. If you’d rather see them caught in the act, consider a silent alarm that can be set up to alert you, your security company, or the police directly and discreetly.
4. Upgrade to solar-powered CCTV cameras for construction sites
With solar-powered site cameras, you can enjoy round-the-clock monitoring of your building site without the need for an internet or power connection. These are standard for the construction industry as there generally isn’t enough infrastructure to install a wired security camera system on-site, and even if there was, a wired system wouldn’t be the most cost-effective or efficient option.
However, the latest advances in solar-powered CCTV cameras offer additional features that are perfect for builders. These new cameras can be up and going in minutes, and since they’re web-based, you can access them from any device, with no software or apps to install.
This means you can have back-to-base monitoring (often at an additional monthly cost), self-monitoring, or a combination of the two.
The cameras can be purchased or leased, depending on your project needs, with the purchase price currently hovering around the $5,000 mark and lease costs ranging from $16 to $450 per month, depending on your needs (for example, some sites might require only one camera, while others may need to cover multiple entry points).
This new generation of solar-powered site cameras is more mobile than its predecessors, with both indoor and outdoor mounts and above-ground installation available. Though the above-ground option is most common, the base plates can go into the ground with concrete, and if you need to move the rig, a forklift will do the job. You can get single or double cameras, and though the technology is relatively new, providers are already offering options that comply with all building and construction compliance requirements, most notably, OH&S standards.
In addition to reducing problems like vandalism and theft, these cameras may help you lower your insurance premiums by recording evidence of any accidents or break-ins. They also allow for remote monitoring, which does more than just boost security. This technology allows you to monitor employees and contractors while you’re off-site and provide access to any relevant stakeholders. The cameras can also be used for value-added projects like creating time-lapse videos of your build – great for impressing clients and creating promotional material.
5. Opt for secure storage solutions
Here, you want to look for both physical and digital solutions. Shipping containers are an easy option for securing machinery and materials on a building site. Apart from being virtually impenetrable, they also prevent thieves from knowing if it’s even worth breaking in.
For your most valuable equipment, you may wish to consider GPS trackers. These can help you rest easy knowing that even if your other security measures are penetrated, your machinery is trackable. As a bonus, they may also help you lower your insurance premiums.
Thieves are always calculating the cost-benefit and risk-reward ratio of their crimes, so bumping up the risks and costs while obscuring the benefits and rewards can make your site unattractive to criminals.
While each of these security measures is helpful on its own, their real protective power arises when they are brought together into an integrated system that deters intruders and identifies those foolish enough to try their luck.
If you’d like to arrange a site assessment or simply learn more about how you can protect your building site, contact BPoint security today, and one of our technicians will be happy to help.
Keep an eye on the blog as we have more informative content coming up for the building and construction industries, including the latest in temperature check technology.