Determining The Threats To Your Plant Assets

With an increase in construction site materials, it pays to invest in security – the question is though, which type is most suitable for your project?

Plant theft is on the rise! Premier Construction News has confirmed what many in the industry have long been experiencing, with recent data collected by Allianz Insurance highlighting a 55% increase in the theft of materials and machinery from construction sites over the past five years. The most stolen assets include tools, surveying equipment, breakers, excavators and generators, and much of it is quickly stripped into parts to be exported and sold abroad, where criminals have little chance of being caught due to the difficulties in locating or repatriating these items. A proactive approach to securing construction sites is the best way to hold onto valuable industry assets, and there are a number of security systems to choose from.

Security Guards

A human security guard offers a physical presence on your site, and is a visual deterrent for any opportunist thieves, or even vandals who would otherwise cause damage to the site, potentially holding up your project. A series of guards can be on patrol 24/7 and might even have a guard dog at their side to further deter criminals. It can also be helpful to have someone on site to provide authorised access for deliveries if required. Some construction companies feel that security guards are not the ideal solution for them though, due to the relatively high cost of employing personnel around the clock. Additionally, you need to factor in the reliability of a person in terms of turning up to work on time, calling in sick or being unable to patrol in unusually bad weather.

Perimeter Fencing

This should really be a must in all construction projects – determining the boundary of the site isn’t just a security issue, but also a health and safety consideration as you wouldn’t want members of the public to accidentally wander into a hazardous zone. In terms of security, once your perimeter barrier has been erected, wireless construction site alarms can then be installed and if triggered, then an alert will be sent back to the remote 24/7 monitoring station. In the event of a genuine breach, responders in attendance with the police will arrive at the site, typically within 20 minutes.

Contractor Surveillance

The threat of being caught on CCTV is also a significant deterrent to any thieves who may be posing as subcontractors on your project.  Ideally, you’d have a number of cameras positioned to cover the entire site, but you’ll also be able to strategically place CCTV in areas of high value, for example where your diggers are housed, or anywhere you want to keep an extra eye on internal activities. CCTV technology has moved on from simply recording footage to be watched back at a later date if an event is to occur. It now forms a crucial part of construction site security and works in conjunction with the wireless alarm system mentioned above. CCTV can be live throughout the working day also – with so many contractors and subcontractors on your site, it’s important to keep track of authorised personnel on your site and to ensure they’re aware that they’re constantly being monitored.

With a number of security methods to choose from, cost is a likely factor in your decision-making process. Whilst the physical presence of onsite security guards shouldn’t be disregarded, they’re often seen as expensive and less reliable than the sophisticated intruder detection methods that are now available with site alarms and 24/7 remote monitoring. Whatever security method you determine to be most appropriate for your site, it’s important to act asap. The sooner you secure your site, the less likely you are to have to file another insurance claim for plant theft this year.