It is not unusual to hear that criminal activity in the construction industry is common, some of the most recognized activities are theft, vandalism, and health & safety compliance issues or neglect. These criminal activities contribute easily 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 consequential financial penalties, such as increased project delays and insurance premiums.
Research shows that the industry needs to seriously assess the theft behavior and protection against them, and make sure that construction workers know how to handle it appropriately. Theft usually occurs as construction tools and machinery are left in plain sight and easily accessible to would-be criminals.
What is the solution? Full CCTV Coverage
One of the best solutions to deal with these problems and save money and time for developers & construction companies is the investment in a good quality supporting CCTV system.
Not all cameras require to be hard-wired back to a recorder and some don’t even require to be in some way connected to a mains power source. I-HT can prepare cameras that can even be battery operated or use solar power. These types of systems are such a good solution for construction sites set over a large area with limited access to electricity in some areas. This also delivers great flexibility to install cameras in areas that must be monitored without worrying about power.
Virtual Trip Wires
Embedded into the CCTV systems are many different Artificial Intelligence features and one of the most generally used features are the Virtual Trip Wires. These Virtual Trip Wires can be easily set up within any camera’s field of view and if a virtual tripwire is crossed it can also be set to trigger an event/alarm. It is simply a virtual line in the camera field of view.
The clever nature of these models of systems lets you teach the system when a negative alarm is triggered, this can program the system to not send events/alarms the next time an animal or objects cross the tripwire.
These event alarms like the virtual tripwires can be set to only trigger an event alarm on scheduled days or times of the day. The advantage being that events/alarms will only be triggered and personnel be notified of an alarm when the construction site is not open or operational.
Motion sensors are a cost-effective solution and can be easily connected to the CCTV system. These PIR sensors use just a little energy and are so sensitive to any type of movement. It will send an alert to the CCTV system when the sensor tracks any movement to trigger an alarm that movement within a specific area has been detected. This lets the operator immediately access the smart viewing software of the CCTV system and observe cameras to where the motion has been detected.
Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensors are used worldwide and are so popular to turn on lighting within an area when the sensors are activated by movement. This could also be useful to draw attention to a construction site which could indicate a possible theft in progress.
There are many various types of motion sensors, so be ensured to check the options and find the best one for your construction site.
Number Plate Recognition Cameras
These cameras are designed specifically, but not only reading and storing the text from the vehicle’s number plate but will also store the captured image taken as the vehicle passes the camera.
When large amounts of traffic enter and exits a site, ANPR cameras would be useful for construction sites and logs can be provided of every vehicle.
The cameras can also be connected to an access barrier or gate. Once this camera is programmed, it can be set up to only give access to a construction site authorised vehicle. This could then be set up to immediately call security personnel if an unauthorised vehicle tries to access. These cameras also help the site to be continually monitored 24/7 and significantly decrease on-site crime.
The use of tannoy systems or PA is so popular within the construction and other large sites. If an unauthorized person is discovered around a construction site or if an event/alarm is activated, it is easy for security personnel to communicate or ward off that individual.
Many weatherproof horn-type speakers are used on large sites and are positioned around a site and are easily connected to the building site’s CCTV system. This can help to prevent a crime from being committed on a construction site.
Adequate Site Lighting
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep your construction site safe is keeping your building site well lit. Usually, most criminals prefer not to be seen, which is why most crimes are committed at night. Installation of a simple high-powered lighting system can help stop both opportunist thieves 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 foolproof.
Secure Fencing & Signage
Maybe it would not be possible for all building sites but fencing off the perimeter makes entering and exiting harder for criminals. This, along with “CCTV in Operation” signs is another cost-effective way to stop criminals.
Signs such as CCTV in Operation will make any type of thief or the common public think twice before entering this site.
Keep Valuable Things Secured When Not In Use
It is so obvious that we must take care to keep our equipment secured at night, but it’s remarkable how much equipment could be prevented from theft if all construction sites ensured valuable equipment was secured.
It’s 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 can not do that for certain items, remember taking them off-site and storing them somewhere safe.