Job site theft is a big worry for any construction manager. While it may not happen all the time, when job site theft does occur it can put the project over budget. It can also cause loss of productivity and possibly push back your completion date. These outcomes are less than desirable, so you should be taking steps to prevent job site theft to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Here are 6 easy steps that you can take to help prevent job site theft on large and small construction sites. These steps are usually easy changes that can be made, and also may help make your work more efficient as well.
1.) Increasing Light During Off Hours
Night is when most theft occurs on job sites, so you must make sure that your area is well lit. If your site is dark, it can make it easy for thieves to sneak it and out without being notices by passers by who could have reported the theft to the police. Well-lit areas can also allow for better sight for surveillance cameras that could either be on your site, or mounted on nearby buildings.
2.)Effective Inventory Management
If you don’t have a record of everything you have on site, you may not even realize that something is missing until you really need it. In this instance, you may not even be able to identify what exactly was taken. There are two steps that you could take here. You first should take a full inventory of the equipment that you have on site. This includes taking pictures of all equipment that you have, and recording serial numbers and exact equipment makes, models and years. This can result in better investigations in the event of theft, and quick recovery of equipment if possible. You should also keep a full inventory of products that you have purchased to use in your project. Make sure that you keep records of everything purchases and when it was used, or if it is still to be used in the future. This way you can easily identify if theft has occurred, and if materials go missing you can identify how much of something is stolen.
3.)Just in Time Delivery
Just in Time Delivery can make it harder for people to have enough time to steal materials before they are used in the construction project. This process is simply making sure to not order products until they are needed. You don’t want to have copper piping sitting around for weeks or even months before they are used, because passers by may spot these materials and have enough time to steal them. This will also make inventory easier, since you will have less to look after.
4.)Secure Your Perimeter
Fencing is a cheap way to make it harder for people to get in and out of your job site without being detected. If the site is open, thieves can simply drive a truck onto your site and take anything that they would like and it may be not suspicious to people around. However, if they start moving fencing or have to drive over a barrier to get it, this will most likely arouse the suspicions of people in the nearby area.
5.)Boot or Surround Large Movable Equipment
Large equipment such as forklifts and bobcats can easily be stolen because they are on wheels and can be loaded onto the back of a truck or flatbed. Some equipment can even just be hooked up to a trailer hitch and driven away. You can prevent these items from being easily taken away by first booting the wheels. By installing a boot in off hours, the equipment cannot be moved. If you don’t want to boot your equipment you can simply stack materials around large pieces of equipment over night. This will make moving this equipment take more time, which could arouse more suspicion. Remember, thieves would rather steal from a job site where things will be quick and easy. Any kind of barrier could cause them to choose a different site.
6.)Let Neighbors Know About Construction Job
If you are doing some residential construction; make sure that either you or the homeowner makes neighbors aware of the construction. Even let them know when your regular working hours are. This way, if they spot something going on after hours, they will know that it isn’t the workers going through the site.