Construction materials and equipment are indeed part of the big business. From expensive equipment and tools to building supplies, construction sites are indeed filled with valued items. Thus, making theft a common problem. The security of a construction site is critical in protecting your valuable tools in an industry where theft is rampant.
When you manage a construction, you should do round-the-clock monitoring of your construction inventory list versus the actual inventory on-site. Because if something uncertain happens, the items are not only expensive in terms of lost tools, but they can also cause an interruption to the construction crew management. That’s why in today’s blog, the Pro Crew Schedule will give you some tips always to secure your job site and prevent tools and equipment theft.
What Thieves are Looking for in a Construction Site?
Quiet and dark jobs are just one of the easy targets and a great opportunity for thieves. For construction sites, thieves know when to attack, especially if they know that the materials and equipment on-site aren’t protected well. Mainly because of lack of supervision or because the supervisor is budget conscious and trying to save money; that’s why they did not build a fence.
In managing construction, it’s important to invest in hiring security and installing a reliable security system. Perhaps you’re using inventory management software or online inventory software already, but these aren’t just enough to secure your construction site. Since construction projects offer a wide range of expensive and vital goods, thieves are attracted to steal so they can sell, including:
- Rock and gravel
- Heavy equipment
- Roofing Materials
- Appliances for residential construction sites
- Protective Gears
- And more
You should know that tools and material theft are not just a threat to construction companies. There are also cases of vandalism, as they trip on spraying paint on materials or the project itself. In addition, there are cases that they destroy glasses and unfinished things and even have a party at the site.
If this is the case, having just inventory management software is not enough to secure the site. You also need a reliable security system as a preventive system to both vandalism and construction site theft. In addition, it would be easier to file a police report and catch the guilty party.
Technologies to Use to Prevent Theft in a Construction Site
Construction site theft remains to be an issue in the construction industry. If the construction site may seem unattended to the eyes of the thieves, it can be an easy target to them. That’s why it’s helpful to use high-technologies to control these undesirable activities from happening. Check out these five ways to combat theft at the job site.
These days, more and more establishments install high-visible and quality security cameras. That’s why in construction sites, investing in these security features is a wise decision since it acts as strong prevention to thieves at your construction site. In addition, these days, security cameras come with solar-powered units with backup batteries to offer flexibility wherever you place them.
Some cameras have infrared sensors and motion detection features. It can measure changes in thermal activities, which you can use to activate cameras that are being idled to begin the recording. Also, security cameras can be Wi-Fi equipped to transmit images and videos and live monitoring of the site. It allows you to notify authorities right away when there is unauthorized access to the construction site.
Radio Frequency Identification Tracking Technology
The RFID system can always help you manage tools and construction assets, especially if it’s a part of the construction inventory list. It has been developed over the past few years, especially in the construction industry. The RFID technology was mainly used for supply chain management but is now being used for construction always to keep track of materials and tools and timecards replacement.
It can help with the construction crew management as it can record employees walking onto the job site. The RFID reduces theft in any construction site since it comes with a reader that easily transmits a signal to a radio frequency tag. The tags come with a microchip to store and process information with the antenna.
Furthermore, it helps combat construction tools and materials from disappearing off the job site. It’s an ideal way to keep track of the tools were checked out by an employee, and when it is returned to the site. The Pro Crew Schedule can also support you when you opt for an RFID system with just a single cloud-based application. This site aims to communicate all parts of the construction projects, including the monitoring of materials.
Transponder Chip Keys/Keyless Ignition
When you’re managing construction equipment and materials, it’s advisable to use the same ignition of all keys. These keys are cut the same way to create a one key fits all system. The advantage of this is that it allows the crew to operate the equipment from the same manufacturer with the same key. In addition, it would be easier to get replacements, especially when keys are missing or lost. However, it would be easier for thieves to have access to the keys.
Good thing, you can now replace factory-installed ignition with either a keyless system or a more secure ignition lock. The keyless ignition system would require the operator to input the PIN to start the machine. Construction crew managers may set PINs that later on expire after how many days. They can also delete the PINs when the employee leaves the company. That way, it can deter theft and prohibit any unauthorized use of equipment.
In an earlier post from Pro Crew Schedule about gearing up for drone usage, we discussed how most construction sites have benefited from this initiative. For construction sites, investing in drone technology is not just about monitoring, mapping, and surveying the progress of the site and project. Drones could also be used to round construction sites, especially at night.
The drones now have equipped motion sensors or night vision cameras. They can now deploy charging stations and fly along preprogrammed routes in the construction site automatically. However, drones have limitations, too; that’s why it’s advisable to increase the site’s patrol by hiring security guards to monitor the site. Always ensure that you involve workers in maintaining the security of the job site.
GPS Tracking and Geo-Fencing
The ability to be notified through emails and texts the moment equipment is moved off the job site is an excellent way to deter theft in your construction fleet. These days, some construction sites install telematics to their equipment to control theft. The telematics system uses GPS to monitor and onboard diagnostics in tracking the location and operation of the equipment.
Real-time data is being collected through satellite or signals of cellphones that can be accessed through the website. Or, you can receive it as text messages. Through Geo-fencing, it allows you to create a perimeter virtually within the specified area on the construction site or around the site.
During working hours, the geo-fences work as a security feature. It shuts down the engine if the equipment is being operated outside the designated area. A few hours after, it automatically acts as a security feature to alert you of any unauthorized movements on the site, like thieves trying to make their way inside and stealing equipment. That’s when the GPS tracking works, as it allows to locate the stolen equipment.
Useful Tips on How to Prevent Material and Equipment Theft
Thieves target more than just construction material. They can also steal the project plan or personal belongings of the construction crew management. To avoid these from happening, here are some of the basic tips to follow for you to prevent them.
- Let the construction crew know that the boss is paying much attention
- Increase lighting even if during off-hours
- Scheduling supplies all the time
- Always keep good records
- Practice effective construction inventory list
- Make use of online inventory software
- Invest in inventory management software
- Always secure construction site’s perimeter
- Current security plan should be reviewed
- Make use of theft deterrents and reliable recovery systems
Construction site theft losses are more than just the cost of losing costly materials and equipment. If this kind of uncertainty happens, the job’s contracts have to pay and replace equipment to get the job done. Thus, increasing the expenses that have not been included in the budget. There are also costs that project managers incur, as it delays the project; and the possible increase in the insurance premium.
Now that you know about the possible things that could prevent theft on construction sites, we think it’s the best time to invest in technologies to increase the construction site’s security. This is for the betterment of you and your crew and the client expecting the project to be done in time. There may be no one-size-fits-all solution for a construction site, but at least you have this kind of security system in mind to help you.