With building materials and expensive equipment everywhere, it is no wonder that construction sites are a prime target for theft and vandalism. Without the proper construction site security measures in place, you can expect to have many unplanned costs and, even worse, delays to your project. Traditional on-site security guards are expensive and often cannot properly protect the site.

With the advancement of video analytics, companies are now moving towards construction site CCTV monitoring and live surveillance monitoring. CCTV Camera monitoring services are much more cost-effective and are becoming more reliable every day. But installing a CCTV camera for construction site monitoring is not the only security measure you should implement to prevent undesirable incidents at your site.

Crime prevention can be improved by following a construction site security checklist diligently:

1. Construction Site Security Fencing

This one’s a no-brainer – prevent entry to your site by using sturdy fencing. At a minimum, the area around trailers and material storage should be enclosed. Fencing needs to be high enough so that it is not easy to climb over. The fence line should be clear of shrubbery, equipment, or buildings to eliminate possible hiding places. Do not store anything against your fence which intruders can use as a stair to climb over the fence.

Inspect fencing perimeter regularly to identify weak spots or evidence of tampering. Check areas under the fence to ensure that offenders haven’t gained entry underneath the fence. Make any repairs immediately if needed.

Display “no trespassing” signs along the fence to protect yourself legally in case of intruders. If anyone tries to climb over the fence, video analytics on your security cameras can instantly alert your Construction site video monitoring company.

construction site security surveillance

2. Limit the Number of Entrances to Your Site

The fewer entrances there are to your site, the easier it will be to restrict access. Although this is not a must for security monitoring requirements, it will help narrow down the entrances that need surveillance. Block entrances that will not be used to narrow it down. Ensure all gates are locked outside of working hours.

Have strict protocols about entering your site, keeping tags on who is coming and going. If your security plan includes uniformed security guards, utilize them to check vehicles entering and leaving the construction site.

3. Use Security Camera Monitoring Services

Construction site video monitoring relies on IP cameras with video analytics features. In case of an unauthorized presence, the camera will pick up on motion and alert you or your security company. A remote security agent will then look at the live camera and judge whether to intervene. If required, he can then use a two-way strobe and speaker system to warn the trespasser to leave the site. Watch this clip to see how a security video monitoring service works.

When planning your surveillance camera layout, make sure you cover all important spots: entries, storage areas and perimeter coverage. Cameras differ in their functions, and make sure you choose the right camera for the right location. For instance, you can not use the same security camera for wide-area surveillance and License plate capture. License plate capture would require a dedicated camera mounted much lower and can be of lower resolution. A wide-area surveillance camera most likely will have 26x optical zoom, be motion-activated and weatherproof. These will need to be mounted on 30’ masts. 

It is not always easy to ensure power at all required spots on your construction site. You will have to try your best with a portable security system construction. You will lose surveillance if the power goes out. Investing in a backup power supply such as a battery-powered or solar-powered security camera system can ensure uninterrupted protection.  

Although they may provide evidence of a crime, smart and determined criminals can disable and/or avoid your surveillance system. On-site recordings can be stolen, security cameras may be covered, or criminals may use a disguise, e.g. a face mask. Surveillance equipment may be disconnected from power sources, damaged or removed. To ensure that your devices are not rendered unusable, store recordings off-site and place cameras in areas that are not easily accessible. And as stated before, limit access to your construction site.  

4. Construction site security lighting

Ensuring adequate lighting at a construction site is an easy but effective step in ensuring better security and safety for your workers. Well-lit spaces are not very attractive to vandals and trouble-makers. During working hours, good lighting will protect your workers from slip and fall.

Lighting needs to be consistent with applicable local regulations at bear minimum. Lights triggered by motion detection or infrared sensor are a great idea for cost-saving. Ensure lighting covers office trailer, equipment storage trailer, material storage yard, equipment storage areas, entries/exits etc. Assign someone to periodically check that all lights are working and there are no fire hazards due to poor wiring.

Good lighting is also required for the best functioning of your security cameras.

construction site security lighting

5. Follow Strict Security Protocols

Having no or relaxed security protocols jeopardizes the security at your construction site. Your Construction site security surveillance company should know what your site’s working hours are. If you do not follow those hours often and your camera monitoring company gets too many false alarms, they may relax their monitoring until you have a real security incident, much like the boy who cried wolf.

Maintain logbooks and registers of all entries and exits at the site. A mandatory requirement from the ministry of health and labour is that the site superintendent is always on-site when work is going on. While construction is going on for low-rise residential sites, it is best not to let homeowners come onto the site. Entering under-construction premises may become a health hazard and lead to liability issues for you.

Set up an emergency contact protocol. You may assign a security officer who will be the direct point of contact for your security company. All construction site security incidents and losses should immediately be reported to this individual. Provide names and contact information of emergency contacts to your security camera monitoring company.

6. Take Measures Against Internal Theft

Construction site worker

Maintain accurate inventory of all tools, equipment, and machinery. The list should include the make, model, serial number, owner applied identification number, and each item’s present value.

Issue keys only to those who need them and maintain a record of those assigned. Secure all un-issued keys in a location with controlled access. Lock all vehicles and remove keys when not being used.

Display signs stating that all assets on the construction site have been marked and inventoried. Inform employees of the consequences of internal theft. Make it easier for employees to report a theft or policy violation. If required, set up an anonymous hotline number.

Construction sites pose many security challenges, from theft and vandalism to unplanned project delays and liability issues. While planning your construction surveillance systems, make sure you are not making these 5 mistakes that make your construction site security ineffective.

Here is a checklist to summarize what you need to do to enhance security at your construction site:

Inventory Control 
An employee is assigned to maintain inventory control of all materials and tools delivered?
Materials and equipment are checked frequently
Someone is assigned to supervise trash removal
Records are maintained of all keys issued
All un-issued keys are secured in a location with limited access
Site Security   
Gates closed and locked at night and during weekends
Vehicles are checked while entering and leaving the construction site
Workers are screened and trained in the recognition and reporting of criminal behaviour
Tool/material sheds are locked at all times
Tools check-in and check-out register is diligently maintained
Light and Fence   
There is sufficient lighting around the officer trailer, equipment storage trailer, material storage yard, equipment storage areas.
Lights are regularly checked to ensure they are working properly
Construction site is enclosed by a fence
Fence is inspected for weak spots or hiding spots
Video Camera Monitoring   
Emergency contact person is assigned
Live surveillance monitoring company has been informed of emergency contact list
Cameras are powered and functioning properly
 Back up power supply is available for security cameras

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Written by : Carlo Di Leo

At the age of 24, with no experience in the security industry or any money in the bank, Carlo quit his job and started Spotter Security from his parent's basement. Founded in 2004, Spotter grew from a single man operation into a multi-million dollar security system integrator that caters to businessess and construction sites across Canada.

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