August 9, 2023

Protecting Construction Sites from Theft

Prevent theft on construction sites with innovative solutions. Enhance asset security and minimize risks with proactive measures.

Theft prevention is a major concern for construction companies and contractors, given the significant losses Caused by this issue. In fact, construction sites in the United States experience annual losses of up to $1 billion, as reported by the National Equipment Register (NER - 1B$ Industry theft). Protecting assets and equipment becomes especially challenging for construction sites located in remote areas, as they are more susceptible to theft during long-term projects. Fortunately, advancements in technology have revolutionised the construction industry, offering innovative solutions such as real-time GPS tracking and geofencing to combat theft, safety, and reduce losses. In this article, we will explore the types of assets at risk and how technological solutions can assist in preventing construction site theft.

Types of Construction Site Theft and Loss:

Construction sites face the risk of theft for various types of assets, including large construction equipment, tools, lumber, building supplies, materials, appliances, and parts. The following are some common types of construction asset theft:

Tool Theft:

Small-scale construction supplies, particularly tools, are highly vulnerable to theft. While the monetary value of a single stolen tool may not be significant, the cumulative effect of such thefts can inflict long-term damage on the financial stability of a construction business. Tool theft can occur externally, but internal theft by employees is also a concern. Additionally, even members of the general public may take advantage of unattended construction sites to steal equipment and lumber for personal use or projects. Implementing a tool theft prevention solution can help assign tools to specific employees and facilitate smart inventory management, reducing the risk of theft.

Equipment Theft:

Construction equipment is a prime target for thieves due to its high value and quick resale potential. Construction companies must exercise extreme caution when leaving large and heavy equipment unattended at a site. Professional thieves typically target items like bulldozers and excavators, which require deliberate and planned efforts for removal. To combat equipment theft, construction companies should consider employing innovative equipment tracking and management solutions specifically designed for heavy equipment theft prevention.

Steps for Construction Site Theft Prevention:

Preventing theft on construction sites is crucial to avoid financial losses and increased insurance premiums. Here are some essential measures that contractors can take:

  1. Enforce a Theft Prevention Policy:

Develop a comprehensive theft prevention policy and ensure that all subcontractors and employees are aware of and comply with it. Emphasise the consequences of theft and communicate a zero-tolerance approach. Make it clear that any theft incidents, whether intentional or accidental, will result in legal action.

  1.  Maintain Detailed Inventory Records:

Establish an effective inventory management system to track all tools, equipment, and assets owned by the company. The system should include information such as the number and types of assets at each job site, precise asset locations on a map, assigned assets with issue and return dates, and maintenance schedules. Registering all assets into the equipment management system provides total visibility and control over equipment and inventory.

  1.  Secure Equipment and Tools:

Leverage current construction technology, such as GPS tracking, to monitor individual tools and heavy equipment. GPS tracking systems equipped with anti-theft devices allow site managers or equipment managers to receive real-time alerts via email or text message when an asset is moved from a site or yard. Implementing geofencing, which creates virtual boundaries around job sites or company premises, provides proactive theft prevention by sending notifications when assets leave the designated area including during non-working hours.

Additional Tips:

In addition to GPS tracking and geofencing, here are some supplementary tips for enhancing construction site theft prevention:

  • Ensure adequate lighting throughout the job site or premises to deter trespassing and theft.
  • Strategically store equipment at the end of day with smaller, easier to steal items, positioned between larger pieces of equipment. 

Benefits of Geofencing and GPS Tracking:

Implementing geofencing and GPS tracking for theft prevention offers several advantages to construction companies:

  • Reduction in Insurance Premiums: Insurance providers often view companies with theft prevention measures as lower risk, resulting in reduced insurance premiums.
  • Peace of Mind: Contractors can feel confident that their assets are protected, and in the event of theft, the chances of recovery are higher.
  • Improved Accountability: Clear asset tracking and assignment systems promote responsible use among employees, reducing misuse, abuse, or theft.
  • Reduced Losses: By proactively employing geofencing and GPS tracking, construction companies can significantly minimise losses due to theft or misplacement.
  • Increased Profitability: Better control over fleet inventory and reduced losses contribute to improved profitability and a competitive edge in the market.

Preventing theft and loss at construction sites should be a top priority for construction companies and site managers. By implementing a combination of the strategies mentioned in this article, such as theft prevention policies, detailed inventory records, equipment security measures, geofencing, and GPS tracking, construction businesses can effectively combat theft and reduce financial losses. Taking proactive measures not only safeguards valuable assets but also promotes a more secure and profitable operation. Contact Frenter today to explore how their solutions can help protect your fleet from theft and improve your construction site security.