Construction Security Systems
Unfortunately, today even contractors have to worry about security on work sites. While traditionally, live security guards and locks have been the contractor’s primary defense, modern technology has created new opportunities and safeguards.
Installing and monitoring closed circuit television. Closed circuit television (CCTV) has been shown to be effective in deterring property crime. Evaluations of CCTV reveal that it is effective when an adequate number of cameras cover a particular area as well as on sites with limited and controlled access points. In order to provide such coverage, portable towers equipped with cameras can be placed at strategic site locations.
Security systems can be a cost-effective deterrent in high risk areas. There are a number of different alarms available, including wireless security systems that can be adapted to the environment – for example, for use in onsite storage containers. Some wireless security systems can be installed at any stage of the construction, without the need for pre-wiring or other electrical work. Signs indicating that alarms are in use should be prominently displayed to reinforce the deterrent effect. However, care should be taken to ensure that false alarms do not drain police resources.
Using portable storage units. Properly secured storage units should be used for materials that are kept at construction sites overnight. These units should be equipped with wireless audible alarms and locks that prevent the use of bolt cutters.
Properly constructed and secured fences can control access to construction sites. Temporary wire fencing may be the most appropriate and cost effective for larger construction sites. A temporary fencing system can be easily erected, dismantled, and reused. Fencing also serves as a deterrent by clearly identifying site boundaries.
Marking property. Marking property with identification helps control burglary in three ways: it warns burglars that owners are monitoring their property, it discourages potential buyers of stolen property, and it increases the probability that recovered property will be returned to its rightful owner. However, property marking efforts have had mixed results. Property marking appears to be most effective when extensive efforts to enlist participation and cooperation are combined with a media campaign warning burglars that marking will reduce the property’s value and make disposal difficult.
Global positioning satellite (GPS) locator chips can be used to track and recover high-end appliances and equipment. If the property is stolen, the chip allows the builder or the police to monitor its movement by computer. This is most useful for high risk property when a specific crime pattern has been identified or when information has been received from a confidential informant.