4 Security Tips Every Construction Manager Needs To Know
Construction site security is based around two problems: theft and vandalism. There’s a lot of expensive, specialized equipment lying around your job site, and it’s not locked up it faces the very real danger of walking away with someone who shouldn’t be there.
If you don’t want to hire security guards to wander around your site, you’ll rely heavily on specially built security cameras for construction sites. They provide a deterrent as well as information for an investigation, and with video monitoring or verification you might even be able to catch the criminals in the act. The cameras will also be able to help in the event of an accident, providing information for insurance or preventative purposes.
Security for construction sites presents a unique challenge because by definition, the building isn’t finished yet. There might not be any permanent power, and even if there is, there probably aren’t any walls to bury the wires in. There’s probably not an Internet connection on-site, either, so you don’t even have a network to connect to. Traditional security solutions like access control and hardwired cameras can’t be installed on non-existent walls and networks, so you’ll have to get creative to install good video surveillance for construction sites.
1. Protecting Against Theft and Vandalism
Your construction equipment, vehicles, and components aren’t just valuable to you. Most of the items around your job site are expensive and easily fenced, making them a lucrative target for thieves. Copper tubing and wiring in particular demands a high price, so you don’t want to leave it lying around.
Vehicles often aren’t marked with standardized serial numbers or other identifiers, making them easier to strip for parts and sell. Tools are always useful, and like the vehicles they often don’t have markers to track them. If you’re at all concerned about losing your equipment, engraving serial numbers or other identifying marks on your tools and vehicles is a great way to start.
As an added bonus, that can also help keep your records more organized and smooth out your administrative process. Locking up your tools and construction materials will reduce the chance of losing them, as well.
These simple preventative measures are a great starting point, but they won’t stop anyone who’s truly determined to make off with your equipment. To fully secure your site, you’ll need a construction security system that’s designed specifically for the job. That usually means a monitored video, time-lapse, or motion-activated surveillance camera or two in strategic locations watching for intruders.
2. Wireless Surveillance Solutions
Securing a commercial construction site is generally done with temporary wireless cameras connected to a cellular network, removing the need for a power supply and an Internet connection. A common solution is Videofied’s wireless cameras. The Outdoor MotionViewer uses a passive infrared sensor with a variable detection radius to trigger a short recording that is then sent to the monitoring center for verification. The cameras use a military-grade radio encryption to communicate with the outdoor control panel, which in turn uses a cellular signal to connect to the monitoring center. Both can be battery powered, but you won’t have to worry about changing them for a few years based on Videofied’s estimates.
3. Hardwired Security Cameras
For projects a little further along or with continuous power already at the site (maybe even solar power), hardwired security cameras are even more powerful than their wireless counterparts. While they’re much more expensive, these edge-solution cameras are typically an entire surveillance system in themselves – image storage, analysis, a VMS, and cellular or Ethernet connection are all housed in a single camera. Most support remote viewing, giving you the ability to patch into your cameras and see what’s happening in real-time. Some rely on a subscription to a Video Management System to program and control them, and some are even Pan-Tilt-Zoom capable to secure your entire site from a single vantage point. The downside is the power requirement – a cut wire will knock out your surveillance.
4. Continuing Security Solutions
Of course, once you actually finish the building, you won’t need your temporary construction security system anymore – the building should have an integrated security system for the owners. Part of the construction process is installing the new security system, so it should be customized for the unique location. If you are the manager or owner, you’ll be able to start using your new system to cover the same basic functions the temporary one did – and much more, depending on how advanced your system is. Pulling down your construction security system isn’t the end of your security coverage – it’s just the beginning.