If you own or operate a construction business, chances are you’ve had some sort of intrusion, theft, or vandalism happen on your site. These crimes happen in construction sites across the country, costing companies big. According to the NICB, theft from construction sites costs the industry up to $1 billion per year — and nearly 1,000 pieces of commercial equipment are reported stolen each month.
Criminals commonly target construction sites because equipment and materials with high resale value are left vulnerable, especially at night after workers have left. Expensive tools, fuel, vehicles, machinery, and materials including copper and wires are easy targets for criminals to steal and resell for profit. This can have disastrous consequences for your construction business: Stolen equipment, materials, and fuel means money down the drain, delayed projects, and higher insurance premiums.
Construction managers and general contractors need high-quality construction site security systems to defend their job sites from crime. Construction site security is necessary to protect your assets, job site, and employees. But construction companies face unique challenges when it comes to protecting job sites, such as lack of power, internet, and walls to mount systems on. Read on for the ultimate guide to construction site security.
Construction Security Tips
Construction security can be improved by taking some simple measures:
- Build a secure fence around the site
- Provide adequate lighting around all access points at night
- Post warning signs to keep out unauthorized people
- Regularly inspect the site at the end of the day before closing
- Keep track of all expensive equipment and materials
- Avoid leaving materials and tools out when the site is not in use
- Lock up any vehicles not in use, and take all keys out of the ignition
These basic steps are a good first line of defense that can deter theft and vandalism on your construction site. However, these steps won’t completely get rid of crime, as determined intruders may still be able to break in if no stronger security measures are in place. Criminals also know they are more likely to get away with theft if they target unsecured areas. This means that, if you want to be completely sure your site is safe, you should install a comprehensive construction site security system.
Construction Camera Systems
Construction camera systems are essential to construction site security. Security cameras solve the problem of unsupervised job sites by monitoring and recording your site around the clock. By letting you supervise all stages of your project, construction cameras help you ensure no crime happens at any point. Some important stages to monitor are trash removal, night hours when workers are not onsite, and very busy hours when high activity and opened gates makes it easy for intruders to sneak in unnoticed.
Who Needs Security Monitoring?
Security camera monitoring is important for construction sites of all sizes, not just large-scale projects and stadium sites. A great first step for any construction site is to create a security plan that includes a complete set of outdoor security cameras. Security professionals can help you plan a site security system that fits the needs of your individual project, whether that includes a traditional wired system or portable, cellular security cameras you can use without internet connection.
Why Install Jobsite Security Cameras?
Jobsite security cameras act as a crime deterrent, keeping people from entering your site and committing theft or vandalism. Most criminals look for visible security cameras when deciding whether to attempt a break-in. If they see that they’re being monitored, they will probably move on to avoid the risk of being caught on camera.
If crimes do occur on your site, construction cameras will capture everything that happens in real time, letting operators or security guards quickly respond to crimes. Since construction security cameras capture all events on video and display them in real time, security guards or police can quickly respond to anything that happens. This is especially important for construction sites, since they are uncontrolled environments that are vulnerable to false alarms. If you catch a crime happening in your job site on video, it is considered a Priority One response by the police, meaning authorities will take it seriously as a “crime in progress” and rush to the scene.
With construction site cameras, you can also easily keep track of work progress, with archived footage of past days available to view any time. This gives you a more clear view of your construction operations, and lets you make sure all safety protocols are being met by employees. Cameras with a time lapse feature can provide an especially clear view of each project from start to finish.
Construction site cameras also reduce fraudulent claims and liability by recording all incidents on your site. Cameras should monitor all important areas in and around your site, including construction areas, parking lots, storage facilities, and site entrances.
Combining Construction Cameras and Access Control
Nobody should be able to enter your construction site except authorized people and vehicles. The best way to keep intruders out of your site is to combine security cameras with job site access control. Limiting site access keeps out unauthorized intruders, preventing theft and giving you constant peace of mind that your site is safe.
What Can You Do with Site Access Control?
With construction site access control, construction managers can grant crews access to certain entry points, ensuring everyone stays in the right job site area. Limiting access to your site also prevents random trespassers from entering the site and tampering with equipment, putting themselves and your property in danger. Construction site entrances, site perimeters, and parking facilities are all spaces that can benefit from access control.
Access Control Types
Equipment you can use to keep intruders out of your construction site includes key cards and fobs, credential readers, smart cards, intercom systems, and even biometric fingerprint scanners. Some access control systems also include audit trails and logs for construction managers with time-stamped photos of all visitors. Temporary PINs and access codes may also be used to let delivery workers and other visitors temporarily gain access to the site.
Construction Cameras with Motion Detection
The sooner you can detect theft happening on your site, the better your chances of getting authorities to the scene and recovering your property. This means the best camera options for construction sites are monitored cameras or cameras with intelligent motion detecting features that sense intruders and send instant alerts.
Construction Line Crossing Detection
Security cameras that are not monitored by live agents can incorporate line crossing detection technology. This lets cameras sense every motion within a specific area, instantly sensing intruders and sending alerts to your device. Line crossing detection can monitor an entire construction site, or just points of entry where intruders are likely to break in. Once an intruder is detected, the police can be called immediately, or sirens and strobe lights can be activated to scare away the intruder.
How to Reduce False Alarms
Despite the convenience of motion detection, it can lead to false alarms from animals, things blowing in the wind, and other natural movements around your site. You can minimize false alarms by putting a fence around your job site to keep out birds and other wildlife that might trigger alarms. You can also secure your cameras with a live monitoring service, which will get the eyes of live security guards on your site to verify whether crimes are really happening.
PIR Motion Detection
Another way to reduce false alarms is to use PIR motion detection. PIR (Passive Infrared) sensors use infrared radiation to accurately detect people on your site. PIR cameras can tell the difference between intruders and tree branches swaying in the wind, which cuts out inconvenient false alarms on your job site. In construction sites with internet connection, operators can use an outdoor PIR motion detector to trigger a push notification to a mobile phone, alerting them to the presence of intruders in their site.
More Construction Site Security Cameras Features
Modern security cameras come with a variety of cutting-edge features that can help protect your job site. These include:
- Infrared: IR (infrared) cameras use infrared LED lights to capture images of your site, even at night and in harsh weather conditions. IR cameras are ideal for outdoor use, since they work in heavy rain, fog, and other conditions that would obscure most camera views. IR cameras are also great for detecting warm and cold air in construction projects, helping you make the right energy-saving repairs and improvements. Construction cameras with “Smart IR” provide an even better picture by automatically adjusting LED lights for a balanced image.
- Instant alerts: When security cameras sense unauthorized entry into your job site, automatic notifications can be sent to your smartphone or other device. Security systems can also be programmed to send instant alerts to local authorities the second an intrusion happens. This gets police to the scene before intruders are able to make off with valuable equipment.
- Time lapse cameras: Time lapse security cameras conveniently eliminate the process of combining photos into time lapse videos, automatically giving you time lapses of your construction progress. This footage lets operators quickly gauge progress, show work to clients, market their services, and protect against claims.
- Sirens and strobe lights: High-intensity sirens and strobe lights are effective in scaring off any unauthorized people who try to enter your job site.
- Speakers: Connecting speakers to your construction site cameras allows guards to talk down to intruders in real time while they are in the job site. This is an effective way to get intruders off the site by warning them that they are being recorded, and that the police have been called.
- Thermal imaging cameras: Thermal cameras use heat mapping technology to detect people and objects, making them ideal for monitoring your site in low lighting, glaring light, and bad weather conditions. Thermal CCTV cameras can also detect heat loss, gas leaks, overheated equipment, and even fires, making them a key tool for construction companies.
- License plate readers: With license plate reader (LPR) cameras, construction managers and contractors can reliably capture and store license plate numbers day and night. This makes it easy to trace events back to any vehicle that enters your construction area. LPR cameras provide much higher accuracy than other security cameras when it comes to identifying license plates in a variety of lighting and weather conditions.
Cloud-Based Remote Video Monitoring
If your job site has power and an internet connection, you can use cloud-based security cameras paired with a mobile app. With cloud-based construction cameras, you can remotely monitor your site from anywhere, using a smartphone or web browser. This lets construction managers get instant intrusion alerts and stream job site camera footage, even while offsite. App users can remotely monitor construction progress, enforce safety protocols, and track deliveries, all without having to leave the office.
Construction Security Camera with No Power or Internet
Many construction sites lack internet and AC power, making traditional camera systems impractical or impossible to install. Securing connectivity and power for job site cameras can be too costly for companies to bother with. Harsh weather conditions are another threat to construction site security, as security equipment can be damaged by wind, rain, and hail. Thankfully, many security camera options are available for even the toughest construction environments.
Wireless Construction Cameras
Wireless construction site security cameras are a popular way to eliminate the wiring that comes with traditional camera systems. Wireless cameras get rid of the installation costs, project delays, and hazards that can result from running wires all over your job site. They also don’t require the infrastructure that is usually needed for running wires, and which your construction site may not have, especially in early stages of construction.
Battery Powered Cameras
For job sites that don’t have the infrastructure for internet-connected cameras, battery-powered wireless cameras can be a great option. Though battery-powered security cameras generally have lower resolution and fewer features than IP cameras that plug into Ethernet, they offer higher convenience for most construction projects. Battery-operated cameras can run without plugging into a power source, and they feature easy installation and portability, letting you seamlessly move them from project to project.
All-in-One Job Site Monitoring
Another solution is to buy an end-to-end construction security system that includes hardware, software, and connectivity in one product. This makes installing a temporary remote surveillance system in your construction site easy, as the solution is ready to go out of the box. Security cameras that come integrated with data connection are a great option for construction sites without internet connectivity. Some modern systems come with internet connection that you can shut off in between projects — say, for a few weeks or months.
Videofied Monitoring Solution
A leading all-in-one security solution for construction sites is Videofied, a wireless monitoring system that is suitable for all sizes of projects, whether indoor or outdoor. Videofied systems run on batteries, and use cellular signals to connect security cameras, control panels, and central station monitoring. This means no internet connection, power, cables, or telephone lines are necessary on your job site: As long as you have a cell signal, you can install a secure Videofied system. Videofied systems offer high portability, so you can easily transfer the system to a new site once projects are finished. For construction sites that have AC power and internet connection, Videofied also offers remote arming, disarming, and instant snapshots from a smartphone app.
Solar Construction Cameras
Another option for construction sites with limited resources is solar power. Solar cameras use innovative technology to save resources for your business. Many solar camera systems also use batteries, providing an efficient solution that lets cameras run when sunlight is unavailable. An all-in-one construction security system that offers 4G connection, solar power, and batteries is the best solution for many construction sites that lack the infrastructure for wired cameras. Even better, these systems are highly portable, making it easy to move them between projects.
Best CCTV Camera For Construction Site
CCTV cameras for a construction site are often exposed to the outdoors for prolonged periods of time, and can be targeted by vandals and wildlife. Cameras ideally should be easily transported from site to site, meaning they need to strike the right balance between durability and lightness. When choosing outdoor construction site CCTV cameras, it’s important to look for cameras that are waterproof and weather-resistant, and make sure they can withstand moisture, high heat, and freezing temperatures. Flying dust and debris from construction also calls for cameras with dirt-proof, durable casings. A good reference is the camera’s IP (Ingress Protection) Rating. An IP Rating is the standard that measures how weatherproofed a security camera is. Generally, at least an IP66 is recommended for construction site security cameras.
Construction Camera Types
Here are the most common types of security cameras that can be found in construction sites:
Bullet cameras are linear security cameras that mount to surfaces with a tri-axis mount and focus on specific parts of a property. Bullet cameras have a tubular design and large lens, which gives them room for night-vision and infrared features. They are best for monitoring over long distances due to their long range and high zoom capabilities. Combined with their great video quality, this makes bullet cameras ideal for outdoor use. However, bullet cameras tend to be more susceptible to damage from weather, vandalism, and wildlife. For wide area monitoring and more durability, other construction camera types may be a better option.
Dome cameras capture a wide field of view, making them great for monitoring your entire construction site. Dome cameras also tend to have sturdy casing, making them resistant to weather damage, tampering, and flying debris from construction. The dirt-proof shell of dome cameras also makes them ideal for construction use. Dome cameras’ ability to survey wide areas, combined with their durable hardware, makes them an ideal choice for protecting most construction sites.
Turret cameras have a ball-and-socket joint, which lets you precisely redirect the camera’s field of view without having to re-mount it every time. Turret cameras resemble dome cameras, without the glass housing in front of the sensors. This makes turret cameras less vandal-proof than dome cameras, but they have better low-light and infrared capabilities since the casing is not in the way. Turret cameras can also give the illusion of monitoring larger areas than they do, which can be useful for deterring people from breaking into your site.
PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) Cameras
PTZ cameras, or “pan-tilt-zoom” cameras, can be specifically aimed and zoomed using an app, joystick, or computer program. PTZ cameras are great for tracking movement across wide spaces, and they can be programmed to cycle through different orientations to give you a 360-degree field of view. This makes them great for monitoring construction sites, and for protecting valuable items and equipment.
PTZ cameras’ versatility is ideal for the varied demands of construction site security. Users can pan areas and zoom in when they detect movement, “look” around their site, or focus in on specific areas and faces. If your job site has internet connection, you can use a convenient mobile app to remotely control PTZ cameras from any location.
Fisheye and Multiple Sensor Cameras
Fisheye cameras provide a concentrated look at a wide angle, capturing up to 180 degrees. These cameras are best for monitoring areas where the finer details aren’t as important as the overall picture.
Multiple sensor cameras use multiple lenses to capture up to a 360-degree field of view, giving them the wide angle of a fisheye lens without the distortion. Multi-sensor security cameras are useful for low-light or infrared, and they offer higher resolution than fisheye lenses. If any single sensor is damaged or blocked, a multi-sensor security camera will keep broadcasting.
Box security cameras are bulkier than many other camera types, and offer a customizable setup that lets you configure your system with modules. This means you can equip box cameras with features necessary for construction site security, such as a strong weatherproof casing.
Best DVR for Construction Sites
When choosing a DVR or NVR for your construction site, it’s important to consider ease of use, alarm integration, and any apps or software you want to use with your system. If you want to use automatic alarms to alert you and local law enforcement to the presence of burglars, you should choose a DVR with the right types of digital inputs for your alarm sensors. For construction managers who want to remotely monitor their construction site from a desktop or mobile app, it is important to choose a DVR that includes the proper software and apps. Some systems offer live remote monitoring, while others also offer footage playback from your device. The best DVR for your construction site depends on your preferences, priorities, and other security systems.
Construction Site Security Monitoring
With construction site security monitoring services, trained specialists remotely survey your site around the clock, spotting any crime the moment it happens. For the most effective construction site monitoring, you can combine live specialists with analytical software, which will alert the specialist any time it detects an unusual event. Then, the specialist can verify whether an intrusion is happening, and instantly call law enforcement.
Why Hire Job Site Monitoring Specialists?
Getting live monitoring services is the best way to eliminate false alarms in your construction monitoring system, since professional security staff can identify threats more accurately than any existing technology. Monitoring agents can also speak down to intruders through intercoms to let them know they are trespassing or to let them know the authorities are coming and scare them off the site. Remote construction site camera monitoring saves your company the cost of hiring onsite personnel, and eliminates false alarms, making it the best way to ensure complete security in your job site.
If you have a construction site that needs safeguarding against crime, we can help. Safe and Sound Security experts strategically design, install, and integrate construction site security systems to ward off intruders at all times. Whether you’re working on a new construction or a remodel, we can protect your site so your project stays on time and budget. Find out how by getting in touch with us today!