Brian Thomson, Team Leader from security firm Protect My Property discusses the different ways that you can keep your construction site secure while you are not there to protect it yourself…
Construction work being carried out on your property can be testing for a number of reasons, especially if you intend to continue operating your business while the job is being done.
Planning your work around construction can be difficult if you are needed to oversee certain elements of the build, while navigating the construction may also prove to be problematic if you rely on car parking spaces or access to certain parts of your building for loading or shipping. The last thing you need is the additional worry of keeping the site safe from intruders and thieves for the duration of the project.
Risk of damage or theft
Construction sites can be easy pickings for opportunist thieves and vandals. Most sites have minimal-to-no security, while even the more well-protected sites are usually only encompassed by a small mesh fence. Construction equipment and materials can be difficult to move, never mind damage or make away with, but you would be surprised how resourceful a desperate criminal can be.
While you may think that a pallet of bricks or a piece of heavy-duty machinery will pose no risk of theft, remember that everything has a market and the only thing that motivates a thief is money. If there is a way to break into your property and steal goods, criminals will always look to exploit it. You must take steps to reduce the risk of this happening.
Conventional and outdated security
Depending on the size and budget of your construction project, you may have funds to invest in conventional security such as security professionals overseeing the site during unsociable hours. This is an effective form of protection in that it acts as a physical deterrent to criminals, but ultimately your site is only as safe as your security guard is skilled. There is no way for a single man to monitor the full perimeter of a site at all times, which can make this an ineffective, outdated form of security. Ultimately, you will have to pay the security guard regardless of whether the site is breached or not, and there is no guarantee of performance.
Embracing security technology
You would be much better served embracing modern security technology, where your site will not only be more difficult to break into, but you will also have a means of identifying those who do succeed. The most obvious security product would be an intruder alarm. Intruder alarms will secure the perimeter of a property, and any break in the security circuit will trigger an alarm.
One of the great benefits of high-quality modern security alarms is that not only will they sound an alarm to startle the criminals on your site, but they will also alert the police automatically. What’s more, you will also be informed that there has been a breach by an automated phone call, text message, or even a notification to your smartphone. This will allow you to leave your site unattended safe in the knowledge that any intruder will not only be detected, but effectively spoon-fed to the authorities.
Hiding in plain sight
Of course, not all crime happens at night. One of the major problems with security on building sites is that criminals may be able to gain unauthorised access by simply looking busy. You’d be amazed how far a high-vis jacket and a hard hat will get you. When on your site the intruder could cause damage to property or subtly steal your most expensive equipment and tools — this is not at all hard to do and doesn’t require a criminal mastermind.
A way to prevent this completely is to use access control. This will only allow workers with a key card, or ‘fob’, to access the site. This can also be set up quite easily, as all you have to do is ensure there is only one access to your site, and install an access control panel at that entrance. If you do not already use this kind of security on your commercial building, we would recommend having it installed so that you can monitor and control both staff and visitors accessing your property.
Our advice would be to have your site surveyed by a professional — Protect My Property offers a free site survey where an expert engineer will be able to identify weaknesses in your security and suggest practical and affordable solutions. It is important to take appropriate security measures, and as each site is different, each project may call for different forms of security. Draft in an expert to ensure that you aren’t leaving yourself prone to theft or criminal damage.
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