Theft and vandalism at building sites costs contractors, owners, and insurance companies billions of dollars each year. Some industry experts estimate that it accounts for as much as 1 to 2 percent of building costs. When you’re deciding how to secure the goods and materials on site, it’s important to distribute your resources wisely. Here’s a handy spectrum that shows the likelihood of theft for one item over another.
Priority 1: Tools. These are the most likely to be stolen, hands down. Having a plan before the project starts is key to minimizing loss. Set up a clean up protocol for employees before they leave for the day. Make sure workers take their own tools home, if possible. For the remaining tools left on-site, be sure to assign the best lockdown accommodations. Assign areas for the tools to be placed, and then beef up your security around those areas with motion activated illumination and security cameras.
Priority 2: Appliances. These need to go in as late as possible, during the build. After the appliances are installed, it may be a good time to invest in security patrols. Another option to secure your site would be wireless monitored video verification system, where a local Central Station would be able to verify intruders on site and dispatch help immediately. When properly administered, police can be at the scene when thieves are exiting your property with stolen merchandise. Talk about real time protection!
Priority 3: Copper and other scrap metals. These are pretty much everywhere, making them difficult to secure. Talk to your local security system experts about how to keep strong fences, gates, and surveillance running.
Priority 4: Heavy equipment. This is the most difficult to steal, and least likely to be stolen. However, vandalism remains a big concern for heavy machinery. A patrol, or a good guard dog, is often your best bet for watching over equipment.
Good luck out there, builders! Let’s work together to keep the money in the buildings, and not in criminals’ pockets.