Why has construction site theft become such a major problem?
Most construction sites are filled with valuable, easy to steal-and-resell items.
Tools, supplies and equipment are left on a construction job site over long periods, after hours, and on weekends, since construction projects take place over many days or weeks. This combination of easy-to-steal valuables left unattended for long periods makes for a very attractive target for thieves. $1 billion is lost from theft every year on construction sites. Some of the most popular items that go missing may be surprising.
Take lumber, for instance. Lumber prices were already rising due to trade tariffs, but then the covid-19 pandemic forced the entire US lumber industry to halt. Now lumber has become a low-supply and high demand item, and its price has increased by 300%. Lumber is not easily traceable and can be quickly sold at a great profit.
Then there is copper. In 2021, Michael Dean White, a Portland criminal, stole over $178,000 worth of copper and other metals from construction and business sites, causing millions of dollars in damage to the area’s recycling and construction industries. And he is not alone. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the theft of copper in the last three years accounts for a staggering 96% of all metal thefts, 55% which occur on commercial property.
Appliances, power tools, and heavy equipment are all attractive targets for thieves as well. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) reports that heavy equipment theft, particularly on construction sites, is exploding in the US, and 1000 pieces of commercial equipment are reported stolen EVERY MONTH.
Construction site management knows that theft at their construction site goes well beyond the cost of replacement. There is downtime for the business, extra cost to rent/replace equipment to maintain the project schedule, and insurance premiums that soar as a result of theft claims.
So what can be done to protect your construction site from theft?
There are many security protocols that management can immediately put into place to protect a construction site. These include fencing the site to make tractors and mowers (the most common stolen heavy equipment) harder to mobilize, increasing lighting and security cameras, reducing shared keys for multiple pieces of equipment, establishing systems to identify products, and carefully monitoring supply deliveries so excess equipment is not left unused for long periods to become an attractive target for theft. However there is even better construction site security monitoring that can be implemented.
Smart business leaders utilize quality security guard companies such as ASAP Security. Great security companies like ASAP Security can customize their security product to provide the specific security services needed by a construction site to provide maximum protection from external theft. For instance, ASAP Security can provide foot, car or bike patrols of a construction site, and those construction security guards will provide immediate response, preventing theft and property loss on the spot, saving a company money. Trained construction security guards are much more effective as building site security than site security that is solely based on security cameras or lighting alone. Construction security guards can be utilized in many different ways- vehicle patrols can be scheduled at regular intervals as a visible regular wall of protection to stop crime before it starts. Or security patrols can be scheduled intermittently, a strategy which works as well- to unexpectedly stop criminals, or deter loitering and vandalism. Construction security guards, trained in armed or unarmed responses, can maintain manned gates or entry points, and also monitor security cameras or those fences with security sensors for instant responses on-site. Security guards are also available 24/7, on weekends and holidays, when a construction site is closed and equipment is left unattended.
As for internal theft, according to the US Chamber of Commerce in 2021, three out of four employees admit to stealing from their employers at least once. This adds up to a whopping $50 billion yearly loss to all businesses. On a construction site, this theft usually translates to small expensive construction tools being stolen- easy targets that can be taken over time. This employee theft can often be deterred by on-site internal and external security presence also. Professional security patrols such as ASAP Security are trained to watch for and prevent all these types of internal and external thefts- again saving a company money from theft losses.
Construction site security guards provide the best building site security, with immediate visual surveillance on the premises, that will deter crime, prevent the theft of costly construction materials and equipment, and keep employees and visitors safe. Construction site guards are a visible presence at a construction site, that will additionally provide fast responses in case of unexpected fire, medical or emergency aid situations.
So reduce your construction site’s vulnerability to the growing problem of theft. Utilize your best security option- a specially trained security guard company addressing your specific security needs.