Australians love a good long weekend.
With the Easter break coming up it is the perfect opportunity to visit friends, family or just escape for a short while.
But as you wrap up construction at the end of the week, don’t forget to secure your site.
Thieves and vandals often see construction sites as easy targets. Most building sites don’t have the natural security of enclosing walls and a roof. And with the long weekend, it can be a couple of days before you realised anything has been stolen.
This is where good construction security can save your thousands of dollars and time. Here are our top tips for securing your building site.
1. Use A Sturdy Barrier Fence
A sturdy fence can serve two purposes, not only does it hinder criminals from coming in and stealing construction materials and tools, it also stops the general public from accidentally walking into potentially dangerous areas.
Fencing should surround the entire building site and have only one entrance gate. A good fence should not only prevent criminals from entering the site but also stop anyone from removing anything without authorization.
Most construction sites tend to invest in chain link fencing, however, some larger construction sites go the extra step and constructed strong wooden fences with razor wire to keep the job site safe. Not necessary, but something to consider if you are building in an area prone to vandalism and theft.
Maintain a clear zone adjacent to the fencing and keep any valuable equipment and material out of clear sight from passers-by. If you able unable to fence the entire construction site, make sure you install sturdy fencing around trailers and storage areas.
2. Allow Authorised Personnel Only
Once you have set up a perimeter fence with ideally one entrance it will make it easy for you to limit access to only authorised personnel. Having only one access point allows you to closely monitor the traffic in and out of the building site. Only give site keys to the necessary personnel.
It is recommended to limit vehicle access. If possible, provide an area for employees and visitors to park their vehicles outside of the compound.
3. Properly Store Equipment and Materials
Make sure that all tools and equipment are properly secured. Any storage rooms and offices should have quality locks installed to stop people from breaking into them. Construction vehicles should be locked and keys secured when they are not in use. Consider installing immobilizers in all motorised equipment. This can include anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks.
Check your site for any supplies that are currently not being used. There may be scraps of metal exposed that may be of value. Move these to a safe and separate area out of sight.
Make sure you only schedule supplies as needed.
4. Install Remote Security Cameras
A good security system can help keep your construction site secure during and after work hours. Investing in a couple of good high definition security cameras can be a great deterrent and keep intruders out. Thieves or criminals out to vandalise your property will think twice if their actions are caught on camera.
There are a wide variety of security cameras to choose from. We recommend a high definitely security camera that can work remotely. A remote system allows you to monitor the property off site. Go for a wireless system so you don’t need to worry about physical wires connected all the cameras together.
Another benefit to monitoring worksites is you can also capture unsafe working conditions or accidents.
If you have a larger budget you can also purchase video processing software, audio warnings and visual verification software. These are more expensive, however, they are highly effective in making construction sites less tempting to thieves and vandals. With today’s technology, you can be notified if someone is approaching the perimeter.
5. Install Proper Signage
Make it known that you have adequate security on site. A sign displaying “Cameras On Premises” can be a great deterrent to potential thieves. Cameras greatly increase the risk of getting caught.
Place these signs at regular intervals around your fence. Keep the signs generic. Don’t mention the security system make or model. This information can be use by more experienced thieves to bypass your security. Consider using “No Trespassing” signs. These also help prevent trespassing, vandalism and theft. They can also provide protection from liabilities that may occur on your building site.
6. Use Security Lighting
The last thing a thief or vandal wants is to be seen doing something illegal. Security lighting is an excellent deterrent for would-be criminals.
If you are on a limit budget make sure you, at least, have trailers, access points and storage areas well lit by security lighting. Motion sensor lights are perfect for this. If the motion sensor detects movement it will turn the light on. This is often enough to deter the intruder.
For addition protection install lights in remote areas. You can buy energy efficient lighting that does not require battery operation or generators.
7. Implement An Effective Inventory Management System
Millions of dollars of tools and equipment are stolen from home building sites each year.
Keeping an inventory of all tools and materials can not only help keep track of everything but can also help with insurance claims.
Create a master list of all equipment and tools and keep it up to date and secure. Take pictures of all equipment and materials and keep them with the inventory. Always track newly bought items immediately. If possible, engrave or mark your company identification numbers on every piece of property. Alternatively, you can attach tags which include the company ID numbers.
Assign responsibility for materials, equipment and other assets on the construction site to a particular person or team. These supervisors are in charge of keeping the inventory of those items up to date.
If motorised equipment is needed outside of the immediate construction site, the supervisor should require all employees to “check out” the equipment they use. The supervisor should make sure all keys and equipment are returned at the end of the work day.
In addition to this, a sign out sheet should be provided to employees to keep track of tools. If they take something off site they need to sign it out. This can be given to your insurance company in the case where something is missing or stolen.
8. Review Your Security Plan
Ideally, you will want to create a job site security plan before you start on any new project. If you don’t have one, use the above tips and create a written security policy and security plan specific to the job site.
Make sure that all employees and subcontractors are aware of the security procedures. Ask employees and subcontractors to take responsibility for securing the building site. They should immediately report any incidents of theft or vandalism.
Next time you are budgeting for a new project make sure you include the cost of securing the construction site. Don’t forget to investigate local crime rates and patterns. If need be you may need to hire a professional security service to monitor on nights and weekends.
9. Know Your Neighbours
Reach out to your neighbours and let them know about the project you are working on in their area. Keep them up to date with the projects progress and the benefits for them. Ask them to keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity.
Neighbourhood Watch and Victorian Police have teamed together and created an open letter that you can send around to local residents. This letter can help residents in assisting you to keep your construction site safe and secure.
10. Do A Security Audit
Time to think like a criminal. Walk around your construction site and surrounding areas and think about how a potential thief would look at it. With the above tips in mind assess your existing site and find any holes in security.
Document how you could improve the security on your existing site, and future building sites. Investing in your construction sites security is well worth it, and can save you thousands of dollars and headaches in potential costs from stolen or damaged property.
Now deliver what you promised in the first section. This is the longest part of the post, so make it easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet lists, and bold headings to set different sections apart.
Written By Nathan Hughes
Nathan is a founder of LocksmithsInSydney.com. Locksmith Sydney provides the resources you need to make sure your business is safe and secure. He specialises in helping business owners find the best Sydney locksmith for their security needs.