With hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment and supplies stolen every year, a construction site security plan is crucial. Especially since only 25%-30% is recovered, that is hundreds of millions of dollars that is lost. Site security should be a priority for every job site to prevent equipment theft.
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What to Think About
While every superintendent will say that security is a priority, it often takes a back seat to get the project done on time and under budget. Trying to ensure that nothing is stolen or vandalized is, of course, a priority, but it is sometimes an afterthought. There are a couple of things that the security manager or superintendent needs to consider when writing a construction site security plan.
Probably one of the most obvious steps that a superintendent needs to take to secure a site is to provide perimeter security. Perimeter security should protect the perimeter and have a few clear entrances so people can’t just walk onto the site from anywhere. By having just one or two entrances reduces the chance of someone sneaking in. And if there are security guards, it’s easier for the security guards to watch the perimeter. After hours, it is easier to secure the perimeter. The guards or foremen would just have to lock up one or two entrances rather than try to secure an entire job site. And it can cut back on thefts.
It’s crazy how useful signage can be. A couple signs can increase your site security, and deter a lot of people. Signage that warns the public that it is private property and trespassing isn’t allowed will deter quite a few people. Another way to increase site security is to put up signs saying the site is monitored by security or has security cameras. More often than not, it will deter people since people don’t want to be caught.
Lighting can also be a great crime deterrent. In fact, a study by the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs showed that street lighting impacts crime. Specifically, there is a significant decrease in crime in areas that are well lit then in areas that are poorly lit. There are two methods of thought on lighting. Some say that site lighting is best when it is on around the perimeters and in front of important areas the entire time. Some say that the perimeter lighting should be on all the time and that lighting around important areas should be motion activated. However, lighting is important to deter people from trying to vandalize or steal from your site.
Probably one of the best ways to totally secure the site is to hire guards and use CCTV. There are two ways to utilize security guards, throughout the day to check people going in and out and only after-hours. Regardless, there has to be a way to monitor whether the guards are making their routes. By using QR or barcodes that they must scan to prove that they completed their route, this can bring peace of mind to the superintendent. Adding CCTV lets guards see certain areas they should check out. And it is great in identifying people who were on the site when they shouldn’t be.
OANs and GPS
Owner Applied Numbers and GPS Tracking are two ways to be able to get back equipment or supplies that were stolen. OANS are similar to serial numbers because they are documented by the owner. And it makes it easier for law enforcement to identify any stolen assets. GPS can also help you recover stolen equipment. Because it can lead to the equipment faster, and get it identified quickly.
How to Write a Construction Site Security Plan
Once you’ve considered what needs to be a part of your security plan, it’s time to put it into writing and get it signed off on. Some companies already have security plans, and or documents to fill out. This can make it easier to create a construction site security plan. However, if you must create your own construction site security plan, here is what you need to include.
1. A Map of the Location
The first thing you must include is the project location and area map. It should outline site boundaries, access points, where the office will be, and the equipment storage locations. If there is a specific guard station or guard office that too should be noted.
2. Security Measures
The next step in creating the construction site security plan is to list the security measures will be used. This should outline not just what will be used but how many will be used if you’re using lights, cameras, and guards.
It will also need to outline where cameras will be stationed, the camera specifications, and recorder specifications, and how long footage is saved. For good measure, you should submit demonstrations that the camera can read license plates in different lighting. It’s even better if you include how the cameras will operate if the power is vandalized.
3. Any Alternatives
If there will be alternative methods used, those should be outlined as well. This allows stakeholders to understand how the site will be secured. And allows people the chance to comment or make suggestions.