Over a third of single-family US homes on the market during December 2021 were new constructions. This is up from 25% a year earlier due to low mortgage rates and homeowners switching to remote working. With this enormous surge in demand, construction companies are working hard to supply the new homes that buyers are craving.
Unfortunately, an increase in houses under construction creates a high volume of targets for thieves and vandals. And domestic sites are just as likely to be attacked as commercial construction projects. If you’re building or renovating a house this year, be aware of the risks and take positive action to protect your property.
Why protect your home construction site?
So, why are thieves drawn to home construction sites? At the top of the list is theft, but some criminals may also act maliciously to cause damage to the property or works taking place. Some prime reasons to target a house construction site include:
- Material theft – Base materials like lumber have increased 300% in value during the pandemic, putting material theft high on the wishlist for criminals. Along with lumber, other materials like copper or steel that are valuable, easy to swipe, and difficult to trace are also attractive to thieves.
- Tool theft – Tools are expensive to replace and vital to a project, so losing them will put your construction schedule back. The National Equipment Register states that tool theft costs the industry between $300 million to $1 billion annually. The recovery rate of stolen material and equipment is less than 20%, meaning that preventing crime is your best bet.
- Vandalism – Malicious tampering and damage to a house construction site can put contractors at risk due to unsecured materials like scaffolding when working at height.
What are the challenges with securing a property under construction?
Construction sites typically have different challenges in comparison to security for other properties. Some common issues are:
- No power – without a power supply, you have the option of battery-powered, wireless security solutions.
- No internet connection – choose portable security systems suitable for remote locations if internet connectivity is an issue.
- Unoccupied property – in a new-build construction or a property renovation where the occupiers have moved out, you won’t have the physical presence of residents to deter intruders. You can hire a security guard or invest in security monitoring services.
- Protecting the building interior – in a property under renovation, the works may create vulnerable access points, including holes in the outer wall, or windows that have been removed. Without surveillance systems or a security alarm in place, this puts valuables within the house at risk.
The best way to secure a house under construction
1. Use surveillance cameras
Security cameras can be placed around the entire boundary of your house construction site and don’t require any power in place. Your high–quality surveillance system offers night vision, 4K clarity and will create a virtual wall of protection, picking up any activity in the vicinity.
The cameras can be assembled and disassembled quickly to keep up with the changing size and scope of your construction site. Types of surveillance cameras include:
- PTZ – zoom in and move the position of your cameras from a remote location.
- Time-lapse – this is a useful way to monitor the progress of your project while providing exceptional security.
- Thermal – accurately detect anyone that has entered your site based on body temperature.
2. Install an alarm system
For a fully integrated approach, your surveillance system can monitor your house construction site and trigger an alarm if a security breach occurs. If you opt for remote video monitoring, your surveillance will be watched by our live security agents, who will act immediately to verify an incident and take immediate action to respond. This includes:
- sounding security alarms
- calling law enforcement to the scene
- direct communication with intruders through on-site speakers.
3. Put up security signage
A basic security step to secure a house under construction is to put up large signs stating ‘No Trespassing, Construction Site Under Surveillance’ or similar. This can help to deter criminals by suggesting their intrusion is being actively monitored.
4. Erect fencing
It’s important to place a metal fence around the perimeter of your house construction site to create a clear boundary. This helps to protect members of the public from the building works but also acts as a way to keep intruders out.
5. Secure your construction equipment
Understandably, construction workers don’t want to remove all their tools and equipment from the site each day, particularly in the case of bulky machinery like excavators. However, these are high-value items that must be secured.
If possible, lock away tools and equipment securely either within an area of the property, or an outbuilding such as a shed or garage.
6. Set up an access control system
Depending on the scale of the project, you can also use an access control system to keep track of who enters and exits the site. This would be suitable if you have a large construction site filled with multiple new homes, or building works within an apartment complex.
7. Mark your equipment
This isn’t foolproof, but marking your tools and equipment with barcodes and etchings can make it difficult for thieves to sell on your property. You can also leave a notice with your equipment describing that it’s marked to deter thieves further.
8. Keep the site well-lit
Adequate lighting is required to deter theft and vandalism. When intruders know their activities will easily be seen, there’s less chance they would risk targeting your house construction site in favor of one that offers less visibility.
Get started securing your house under construction
If you need to secure a house under construction, it’s not a matter of if, but when criminals will target your site. To protect your property, assets, and personnel, Safe and Sound offer a variety of advanced security solutions that can be customized to your needs. Speak to one of our professionals today by contacting us on 888-333-4540 to hear our expert recommendations.