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There is an estimated loss of over £800 million in the UK construction industry from common crime including theft and vandalism every year.
These figures are only from those cases that are reported, meaning numbers are most likely higher from unreported thefts and vandalism.
The Chartered Institute of Building conducted a survey where 92% of those surveyed experienced theft either weekly, monthly or yearly. Similarly, 91% of those surveyed reported vandalism. This can result in huge financial implications affecting insurance premiums, resulting in project delays and costs to replace missing or damaged goods.
With such high possible losses and implications securing a vacant construction site is vital, particularly during a lockdown.
How To Protect Your Construction Site?
Several strategies including physical and electrical methods can be implemented on short or long term measures to secure your vacant site. These can be applied on a nationwide level, are cost-effective and can often be requested and set up on the same day.
I will show five ways that you can protect your construction site from theft and vandalism during lockdown to ensure your site is secure from intruders and damage when left vacant.
CCTV towers provide 24/7 CCTV remote monitoring of your site and are a highly visible deterrent to trespasses.
CCTV towers operate using independent solar panels and batteries, or a mains power supply, requiring little maintenance once installed. This means the CCTV tower can be left for long periods of time without maintenance making them an ideal surveillance piece for a vacant construction site.
One CCTV tower can provide large site coverage by connecting to multiple remote wireless sensors. Once an activity is detected on-site this will trigger the near-360 degree camera view with pan, tilt, zoom, focus and live recording in real-time together with images and footage of the activity. Infrared and night illumination can be used to monitor activity in low lighting.
Various features can then be triggered such as voice challenge, light activation and response team deployment. These features are all controlled through a mobile network and can be customised on the go. An Alarm Response Monitoring Station can also be utilised to provide additional security measures and action decisions, meaning you can ensure your site is safe even when you are not there.
2. Monitoring Stations
Alarm Response Monitoring Stations monitor all types of alarm activations as well as capturing CCTV tower footage, helping to provide 24/7 security and evidence when required.
If any suspicious activity is detected, such as an intruder or potential fire alert, a rapid reaction response occurs. The response launched to this alert is in line with your company’s escalation policy.
Monitoring stations cover, but are not limited to, intruder detection, fire alerts, site monitoring, temporary security alarms and out of hours emergency call handling. You can have peace of mind that your vacant site is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our monitoring stations.
3. Video Verified Alarms
Unlike a standard alarm system that simply triggers an alarm when movement or activity is detected, a video verified alarm system will monitor and record the source of the activation, send a short video clip to an end-user, be that a customer or monitoring station.
The video verified alarm system is a wire-free system which can be used indoors or outdoors to provide both day and night coverage. It can be rapidly set up and is power independent, also using the mobile network to send activation alerts. Battery life of individual camera sensor devices and control panel are typically around years.
Any suspicious activity is detected through a high-spec movement sensor and a recorded video clip is directly sent to your own device or monitoring stations via the mobile network. The activity can then be visually checked to see if a false alarm has been raised or if an action needs to be taken such as sending out a response team.
This method of surveillance is beneficial for vacant construction sites as you will have remote access to the activation clips, allowing you to effectively monitor your site for any false alerts or suspicious activity.
4. Concrete Barrier Blocks
Concrete barrier blocks are a cost-effective and robust physical barrier protecting your construction site or development plot by limiting unauthorised people or vehicle access and stopping the theft of goods and vandalism.
Concrete barriers provide the best possible physical protection for vulnerable perimeters and entrances.
Typically, you will encounter four different types of concrete barrier blocks which can be installed relatively quickly. These include:
- Temporary vertical concrete barriers which are versatile physical barriers used to secure wide entrances from unwanted entry.
- Precast concrete barriers — These barriers can range in size from 1.5m to 3m giving security to large vacant construction sites.
- Jersey barriers provide an end-to-end interlocking system of varying lengths to protect your site from high impact damage, giving your site a strong and secure perimeter.
- Interlocking blocks that can be stacked vertically/horizontally to create a retaining wall made up of any size. These blocks are quick and easy to install and have fire and water resilience, making it a robust barrier.
Concrete barrier blocks give you peace of mind that no unauthorised person or vehicle can gain access to your vacant site helping to prevent theft or vandalism of your site, plant machinery or property.
5. Steel Security Doors
Keyless steel security doors and standard key-operated steel security doors can also be used to protect new or existing buildings on a construction site, whether they’re due for demolition or to be used throughout development.
The steel security doors protect against high impact and repeated attempts of intrusion and are designed to replace existing doors to provide a visual and physical deterrent from vandalism, squatters and intruders entering your site.
Construction site security is tough enough even on a live, fully working construction site as they contain so much valuable equipment, tools and materials.
During lockdown, the problem is heightened because of the lack of personnel on-site — and that includes having no, or limited number of hired security guards. Theft and vandalism on vacant construction sites is therefore at an all-time high.