It is never surprising to hear that criminal activity within the construction industry is rife, some of the most recognised activities are vandalism, theft and health & safety compliance issues or neglect.
This criminal activity easily contributes to the UK construction industry suffering 100’s of millions of pounds worth of losses every year. Sometimes these costs relate to not only the crimes themselves but also the resulting financial penalties, such as increased insurance premiums and project delays.
Research indicates that the industry needs to seriously consider the prevention of theft and ensure that construction workers know how to deal with it appropriately. Theft often occurs because construction tools and machinery are left in plain sight and more easily accessible to would-be criminals.
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Full CCTV Coverage
One of the best solutions to combat these issues and save time and money whilst for developers & construction companies is the investment in a good quality supported CCTV system.
Not all cameras need to be hard wired back to a recorder and some don’t even need to be in some way connected to a mains power source. I-HT can provide cameras that utilise solar power and some cameras can even be battery operated. These types of systems are a great solution for construction sites set over a large area with limited access to electricity in some areas. This also provides great flexibility to install cameras in areas that are in need to be monitored without having to worry about power.
Virtual Trip Wires
Embedded into the CCTV systems that I-HT provides are many different Artificial Intelligence features and one of the most commonly used features are the Virtual Trip Wires. These can be easily set up within the field of view of any camera and can also be set to trigger an event/alarm if a virtual trip wire is crossed. It is simply a virtual line in the camera field of view.
The very clever nature of these systems allow you to teach the system when a negative alarm is triggered (i.e leaves or animals etc), this can program the system to not send event/alarms the next time the animal or objects cross the tripwire.
These event alarms such as the virtual tripwires can be set to only trigger an event alarm on specifically programmed days or during specific times of day. The benefit being that event/alarms will only be triggered and personnel be notified of an alarm when the construction site is not open or operational.
These are a great cost effective solution that can be easily connected into the CCTV system, these PIR sensors use little energy and are very sensitive to any types of movement. When the sensor detects any movement, it will send an alert to the CCTV system to trigger an alarm that movement within a specific area has been detected. This allows the operator to quickly access the CCTV system’s smart viewing software and look at cameras to where the motion has been detected.
Passive Infra Red (PIR) sensors are very popular and used worldwide to turn on lighting within an area when the sensors are activated by movement, this could also be beneficial to draw attention to a construction site which could indicate a possible theft in progress.
There are many different types of motion sensors, so be sure to check out options like these to find one that best fits your construction site.
Number Plate Recognition Cameras
These cameras are specifically designed for not only reading and storing the text from a vehicles number plate but will also store the captured image taken as the vehicle passes the camera.
ANPR cameras are beneficial to a large construction site when large amounts of traffic is entering and exiting a site, detailed images and a logs can be provided of every vehicle.
The cameras can also be connected to an access barrier or gate and once programmed, these cameras can be set up to only allow access to a construction site to authorised vehicles. This could then be set up to prompt a call to security personnel if an unauthorised vehicle tries to gain access.
These cameras also assist the site to be continuously monitored 24/7 and entry and exits points and are proven to significantly reduce on-site crime.
The use of PA or tannoy systems is very popular within construction and other large scale sites. If an unauthorised person is spotted around a construction site or if an event/alarm is activated, it is easy for security personnel to communicate or ward off that individual.
On large sites many weatherproof horn type speakers are used and are positioned around a site and are easily connected into the building site’s CCTV system.
This can be incredibly useful in preventing a crime being committed on a construction site.
Adequate Site Lighting
Keeping your building site well lit is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your construction site safe. As a general rule, most criminals prefer not to be seen, which is why the majority of crimes are committed at night. Installing a simple high powered lighting system can help deter both opportunist thiefs and more hardened criminals.
Although it’s not as effective as installing a full CCTV system on a construction site, it can be a great help. It’s a bit like leaving the TV on when you go out – effective but not fool proof.
Secure Fencing & Signage
Although it may not be possible on all building sites, fencing off the perimeter makes it considerably harder for criminals to gain entry to your site. This, coupled with “No Entry” signs is another cost effective way to deter criminals.
Having no entry signs may not prevent an experienced criminal breaking in, but these little reminders and the overall impression it makes can help keep your construction site safe.
Keep Valuables Secured When Not In Use
Keeping your equipment secured at night may sound too obvious to include, but it’s remarkable how much equipment could be prevented from theft if all construction sites ensured valuables were secured.
It’s surprisingly common for keys to be left in vehicles/machinery on construction sites, and when that happens – you’re making it far too easy on the thieves.
Always ensure valuables are secured when not in use and if you are unable to do that for certain items, consider taking them off site and storing in a more secure location.
Having all your building materials delivered at the start of your project means you will have a lot of expensive goods sitting around your site throughout its duration. This is like striking gold for the criminal looking for worthwhile things to steal.
It is often safer to order your building materials and have them delivered through regular deliveries, instead of getting them all delivered at one time.
It’s always best to get slightly more delivered than you expect you’ll need to ensure lack of materials doesn’t stop production.