Jobsite thefts of tools, equipment and materials continues to be an issue plaguing the construction industry. Unsecured construction sites are easy targets for thieves, especially those lacking adequate security measures. Heavy equipment, power and hand tools and materials such as copper are the most targeted items. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), heavy equipment theft has been on the rise the past couple of years with 11,625 thefts being reported to law enforcement in 2014.
The cost of being the victim of construction theft runs deeper than just the value of the items stolen. You also have to factor in the delays in work, the cost to replace materials and supplies, renting or replacing equipment and tools along with the increased insurance premiums you’ll have to pay going forward.
The least expensive and most effective means to protect your site is to install a physical barrier around your site that says “Stay-out!” A construction rental fence deters any possible theft. Thieves are more likely to go find that site with easy access. Check-out these other means to protect your site and visit our American Fence Rental website for more information at http://www.fencerentalcompany.com/
Geo-fencing & GPS Tracking
The ability to receive text or email alerts the moment a piece of equipment is moved off the jobsite or if the engine started up outside of work hours is a good way to thwart theft of your construction fleet. If your equipment already has a telematics system installed you should be using the features available to control theft.
Highly visible security cameras act as a strong deterrent to would-be thieves at your construction site. Solar powered units with battery backups offer the flexibility of placing cameras wherever you need them without having to time them into an additional power source. You typically have the option to record continuous video or take time-lapse photos at scheduled intervals. Motion detection and infrared sensors, which measures changes in thermal activity, can be used to activate idle cameras and begin recording.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology can help you manage assets and reduce theft at construction sites. RFID systems consist of a reader that transmits a signal to an RFID tag. Tags contain a microchip that can store and process information along with an antenna that receives the signal from the read and transmits data back. RFID readers emit electromagnetic waves to power the tags, allowing them to transmit data back to the reader.
Keyless Ignition/Transponder Chip Keys
Equipment manufacturers tend to use the same ignition across their entire product line meaning all the keys are cut the exact same way, creating a one key fits all system. The benefit is that owners can operate all their equipment from the same manufacturer with the same key. It makes it easier to get replacements when keys are lost or missing and owners tend to accumulate lots of spares to avoid downtime by operators not being able to start up equipment. The downside to this is that it is very easy for would-be thieves to get their hands on duplicate keys to steal your equipment. A quick search on Amazon and eBay reveals a number of vendors selling sets of keys for every major manufacturer of construction equipment.
Contact the local authorities and ask them to increase their patrols or consider hiring security guards to monitor the site on weekends or holidays when the site is unattended. Make sure you involve as many workers as possible in helping maintain a secure jobsite. Remember, no system is 100% effective, but incorporating multiple security measures will help to minimize your losses.