As labor shortages and supply chain issues cause delays for construction projects, job sites are being left unattended for longer periods of time and are more vulnerable to theft of tools, heavy equipment and raw materials, according to forconstructionpros.com.
Video surveillance company Pro-Vigil surveyed nearly 120 business operations leaders—nearly half of whom were in the construction industry—and 28% of respondents reported physical security incidents increased in 2021 compared with 20% reporting an increase in 2020. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they have not updated their security strategies despite escalating crime.
Following are five tips to help construction leaders combat theft on job sites.
When possible, store only essential building materials on-site; less inventory means fewer targets for thieves.
At the end of every shift, make it a habit to lock all entry points and gates and conduct a fencing check, repairing any holes or weaknesses immediately. Leave fencing up until a project is completed and all valuable property is removed. Also, create enough space between the fencing and items inside so thieves cannot easily steal through the fencing.
Secure valuable heavy equipment by attaching it to a chain or cable after hours or when it is unattended for long periods. Consider lowering blades and buckets to help secure larger equipment.
Battery theft is a common problem, so detaching the battery’s wires or removing batteries from machinery can be a good idea. Even if thieves can purchase a cheap master key online, they will not be able to drive away with any large equipment.
Light up the job site as much as possible during times of low visibility. Set timers so lights automatically turn on and off at certain times.