Ever had theft on your home building site? Residential construction can pose all the security risks of commercial construction, but often without the same level of protection. It’s rarely justifiable to hire security guards or install tall perimeter fences for these smaller, shorter jobs, yet it’s estimated that 39% of building companies in Australia have been victims of residential construction site theft or vandalism, totalling costs of around $2 billion. Let’s take a closer look at the key risks.
- Theft of high-value building materials
The very nature of residential builds means there may valuable materials onsite at any one time, including copper piping, electrical cabling, tools, machinery and appliances that are ready for installation. In some cases intruders will cause damage to newly completed work to access these valuable materials, costing the company thousands in lost time and resources.
A half-built house can look like a playground to neighbourhood vandals and opportunists. You might come back to your site to find graffiti, trash, damage and detritus left behind by night-time vandalism sessions. This of course all leads to more lost time and resources to repair the damage, not to mention the negative PR that can come with a poorly managed site.
- Worker safety and behaviour
In certain cases, security risks may occur when employees aren’t working as ethically or as safely as they ought to be. This can be a really tricky issue to manage, particularly if a project manager is working across multiple sites at once and can’t be present at all times. Consequences can include site theft, workplace injury and worse.
- Public safety risks
Whether people are just passing through the site on their way to somewhere else or are actively planning to cause mischief, a landowner is ultimately responsible for public safety on their site. Potential issues could include falls, electrical shocks and even exposure to needles or broken glass that may be left behind by vandals or squatters.
It’s hardly professional to rely on house and apartment building security cameras from next door, or on watchful neighbours to alert you to any problems onsite. So what can be done to manage these risks? The focus should be on deterring, monitoring and responding to incidents.
There can be several important steps to take for a residential construction site:
- Conduct a safety and security risk assessment for each site
- Marking and engraving tools and machinery, and recording identification numbers
- Lighting the site well if possible, without impacting on neighbouring properties
- Take delivery of goods immediately prior to installation so they’re not sitting out in the open
- Installing fences and security gates wherever possible
- Installing solar powered security cameras with active deterrence
- Consider sensing solutions to tag valuable machinery or equipment.
Spectur has developed a range of AI-driven construction surveillance systems that are ideal for use on remote or unguarded sites. These cloud recording systems can detect and distinguish human behaviour, and instantly deter the intruder with a loud spoken warning and bright light. Spectur systems can also be integrated with sensing and tagging equipment via the Internet of Things. They’re ideal for monitoring both employees and would-be intruders, as you can check in at any time on your smartphone or computer.