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Construction Site Theft

Preventing Job Site Break-Ins

By Carlos Hazbun | Construction Site Security | No Comments

Preventing Job Site Break-Ins

In the business world, there are two major realms of security. On the one hand, you have companies trying to secure their physical locations: offices, warehouses, restaurants, stores, and the like. On the other hand, you have job site security, which involves the protection of in-progress construction or work sites. Job site theft and vandalism are more common and expensive than you think, amounting to anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion dollars in losses every year!

Securing your job site can be a difficult task, so here are some tips to prevent job site break-ins.

Physical Security

One of the first steps job site managers or foremen can take to secure their work zones is through physical security. This includes padlocks, combination locks, gates, and fencing. Physical security should mean locking down your job site itself with perimeter security and locked access points. But it also means securing your tools, supplies, and equipment. Most thieves are criminals of opportunity, and all it takes is one loose tool or a pile of unsecured building materials to tempt a would-be thief onto your property. Remember: out of sight is out of mind. Conceal your materials, and lock them down.


You won’t likely find a thief operating in broad daylight. Although daylight crimes can occur, most criminals, who would target your job site almost always operate at night. This means that security lighting and illumination are key to protecting your job site. The brighter you can keep your worksite, the better. If constant lighting is not an option, you might consider motion-detecting light sources.

Electronic Monitoring

Electronic detection devices like digital video cameras, motion sensors, and pressure detectors should be a part of any job site security. You might opt for “always on” remote video monitoring, or you could go with motion-triggered electronic security measures. Options range from full video streams to stop-motion security. All of these options can be monitored 24-hours a day via remote monitoring, or watched over by a virtual security guard.

On-Site Security Guards

It’s important for all employees to be aware of job site security. They should be monitoring activity at all times, and they should be ready to report suspicious activity to those in charge of security. But you can’t rely on job site workers for security—they’ve got a job to do, after all. That’s why the presence of security guards can make or break major job site operations. You’re not likely to hire an armed guard for a one-home remodel in the suburbs, but if you’re running a major construction operation in a busy area, live security guards can sometimes be the best way to monitor and protect your assets.

Keep a Clean Site

Messy, cluttered, or visually obscured job sites are much more likely to be the target of criminal activity. Make sure that, in addition to being locked down and secure, your job site is as clear and open as it can be. It’s not always possible to leave a “clean” work site at the end of the day, but remember that the more visually cover a thief has, the more time they have to operate without fear of being seen. In addition, be sure that excess materials are not left lying around. They can be tempting treasures for would-be thieves who might otherwise pass over your site.

Know Your Site

This advice applies to personnel, physical space, and equipment. Make sure that you’ve screened and have information on each and every individual who will be working on, delivering to, or visiting your site. Be aware of how many people should be in each work zone, or how many deliveries are scheduled for a given time. Be aware of the physical space your job site comprises: is it outdoors, indoors, or a combination of both? Where are visual blind spots, or access points you may not know about? Are there connections to major roads or traffic points? Finally, be smart about your job site supplies and equipment. Keep a close inventory of supplies. You won’t know if there has been a break-in if you don’t know exactly what is on site. This goes for consumable supplies like lumber and hardware, but also for your tools and equipment. Note serial numbers, take photographs, and keep catalogs of what tools are in use, including who’s using them, when, and where.

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