Protecting building and construction sites

Building and construction sites can often be targeted by thieves as they generally contain lots of high value materials and equipment. Without the correct security measures in place they can be easily accessible for criminals.

Providing security for construction sites is not a straightforward job as they are constantly changing. Physical changes to a site occur as they expand and with this often comes an increase in value regarding the materials being kept there. The people entering and exiting a site generally change over time also so this must remain considered.

Here we will outline some of the common risks and ways Triton can reduce them.

No two construction sites are exactly the same, so security issues differ for each one – this can be dependent on the size and location of a project as well as its completion time. Generally speaking, there are three types of risks to construction sites, these are;

• Threats to material goods and assets
• Threats to operations
• Threat to life (this is regarding potentially dangerous materials/ machinery kept on site)

Theft, vandalism and terrorism are the main causes of these risks.

Theft
Theft on a construction site can range anywhere from personal belongings of construction workers to the theft of machinery and materials. Theft on building sites is very common for a couple of reasons; the changing nature of a site being one of them. Should a thief be successful, the high value of materials and equipment on sites can turn a quick and easy profit. Fuel is also a target product for thieves from construction sites – it is expensive and useful to many but is also hard to trace. Fuel thefts can also result in damaged machinery and be a costly problem to overcome – fuel tanks can be damaged and the fuel itself will need replacing. This combined can set back operations and cause time delay and more costs. These types of thefts are not uniform in their operations as sometimes opportunistic thieves can strike when they realise a site is not properly protected.

Vandalism and arson
Vandalism, deliberate damage or arson are also common threats to building sites. These are oftentimes mindless acts of damage and destruction that occur however they can sometimes be carried out by those opposed to a particular site (whether this be politically or environmentally driven) and its completion. Damage to property and equipment can also occur during thefts, whether this be broken locks/ cut chains or damage to fuel tanks or storage containers.

Terrorism
Terrorism is not as common a threat as the others mentioned but can occur when a person or group has strong opposing values to that of a building company – this happens with big multinational companies more commonly than smaller firms. Terrorists can damage sites to get their message across or wait until completion to destroy something that has been built.

HOW TO MINIMISE THESE THREATS

In order to minimise these risks you must prepare for them. We have put together a 3-point checklist of things to consider and actions to be taken in order to protect your building site.

1. Analyse the risks
Identifying the risks and making a register that covers all of them is a wise move. This way everyone knows what could happen and how to act on it should the worst occur. Triton can analyse a project before it begins and help put the necessary precautions and guidelines in place to combat these risks.

2. Be aware of changing risks
As mentioned above, risks on a building site change as the project develops. It is vital that risks are re-assessed throughout the duration of a project. These can change from needing empty and occupied before a build starts, to protecting equipment and construction workers once it has commenced.

3. Combat the risks
In order to combat the risks to a site, you must increase the risk to any potential offenders. Deter, detect, delay and respond to threats. Here we suggest employing CCTV systems and sometimes a physical security presence. Advertising that these measures are in place is the first port of call to ensure their success. Restricted access to a site and surveillance of those on it work hand in hand with these measures.

This article is intended as a guide only. As one of the UK’s leading providers of professional security and facilities management services, Triton is here to help you.

For more in depth and personalised security plans for your vacant buildings contact Triton directly today.

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