Construction Site Theft Prevention
In case you didn’t notice, San Angelo is in the middle of a building boom. This boom has led to sharp increases in the occurrence of construction site theft. Construction sites are hard to secure and are (we hate to say it) pretty profitable targets for thieves.
According to a 2007 National Equipment Registrar survey,
As little as 6.5 percent of stolen equipment is recovered.
More than 70 percent of thefts are from jobsites with lack of adequate security.
These are pretty sobering stats. What they tell me is that if something is stolen off your construction site, you’re probably not going to see it again. But there’s hope! These stats also tell me that taking steps to secure your construction assets help them not walk off in the first place.
There are some best practices to use at construction sites that discourage theft. Among them — check the perimeter fence often, organize your assets, keep the yard well-lit, and so on. But there are some options that are just impossible at construction sites. You can’t just remove the valuable stuff from a construction site. Taking your work iPad home each day is a little easier than taking the backhoe home each day. Locking gates doesn’t stop burglars as much as it just slows them down and hiring security guards to watch the equipment can be both expensive and ineffective.
I met with a large contractor earlier this month who told me that his average job site theft is a $4,000 loss. He had experienced a few attempted thefts in the past few weeks and was considering installing a video surveillance system. When a burglar actually walked away with a handful of the contractor’s tools, it made the decision to secure his assets that much easier.
The contractor knew he needed video surveillance to watch his yard and off-site monitoring to keep an eye on what the cameras were seeing. We presented him with several options that varied in price, mobility, resolution, number of cameras, range of coverage, and so on. He ended up deciding on a remote-view video surveillance system with after-hours monitoring.
In a nutshell, here’s how this technology works: when our cameras detect motion, they send a live feed to an agent at the central station. The agent watches the live feed, and then dispatches police to the location. Also, the agent is able to give officers a physical description of the burglar which aids in identifying and capturing the suspect.
Most theft happens under the cover of darkness when the majority of cameras can’t see much. In this particular installation, the cameras work hand-in-hand with two large flood lights. The lights allow our cameras to get usable videos of any suspicious activity. The huge flood lights are also a secondary deterrent to criminal activity in the yard.
(As a quick sidenote: I’ve heard a few questions from contractors about the possibility of using a surveillance system at a powerless job site. This is not a problem. We offer a solar-powered unit that provides the same protection without being plugged in.)
Last month, the surveillance camera solution we provided the contractor helped capture suspects in theft totaling over $99,000. Whether your site has power or doesn’t, whether it’s for a commercial or residential building site… investing in construction site security can save you big in the long run.