Imagine you are the project manager for a large construction company that specializes in residential construction. It is Monday morning, you are sitting at your desk, reflecting on the wonderful weekend you had with your family, and reviewing the project schedule for the week. Your construction team is in the final stages of wrapping-up the finishing work on the first seventy-five homes that have been sold to excited buyers. The trees and shrubs will soon be planted, and the landscaping will be complete. You look up from the computer as the job site foreman walks into the office. You are immediately alarmed, as you note the angry look he has on his face. “What’s wrong?”, you ask, trying to regulate your breathing. The foreman responds, “I have bad news, everything has been stolen from the houses. Water heaters, dishwashers, ranges, air conditioning units, wiring, it is all gone.” You slump back in your chair in disbelief, your mind racing and thinking, how could this happen?
The above incident is a common situation faced by construction companies across the United States. All across America construction theft is prevalent. At California Special Investigative & Protective Services we are often asked by construction companies if construction site security is really needed, and the answer is, “Yes”. Following are three reasons why construction site security is a vital component of any jobsite:
#1. According to the National Association of Home Builders and the National Equipment Register, “Job site theft is a rampant and a growing problem that costs the construction industry more that $1 billion a year.” In a CSIPS interview, a construction project manager stated, “If one piece of machinery is stolen from our project, it could cost us millions in down time until that unit is replaced.”
Not only is machinery being stolen, numerous other items are stolen and sold on the black market. According to police in an Ohio Township, police get calls almost daily from construction sites where new houses are being built and remodeled. In one particular case, a ring of thieves targeted one particular construction site and stole refrigerators, microwaves, built-in ovens, dishwashers, flooring, lighting, cabinets, windows, air-conditioning and heating units, even toilet seats and all kinds of portable tools. “Whatever wasn’t nailed down, they picked it,” said Ohio Township Police Chief, Norbert Micklos. Construction jobsite theft is an everyday occurrence nationwide.
#2. Nationwide, fires are started intentionally at new residential sites. The reasons range from residents not wanting new development, objection to new structures blocking views, and the homeless breaking into the property for shelter. Other areas of concern when a fire is started at a new development is how fast it will burn. One would think that it would be easy to put out the fire however, it is quite the contrary. In a regular house, firefighters depend on drywall that limits the spread of the fire. In many homes there are sprinkler systems that automatically turn on. In new builds, depending on the stage of completion, the entire building may be in the framing stages of construction, essentially creating a standing wooden skeleton in which fire will spread quickly.
# 3. Public safety is a large area of concern when it comes to liability at construction sites. People are attracted to the use of large equipment being used and watching a structure transcend from a dirt lot to a finished product. Nationwide, on a daily basis, people are asked to leave construction sites for their own safety. When workers leave the jobsite for the day, it is open and unsecured. This provides an opportunity for people to wander onto the property. Children consider the jobsite a playground, complete with structures to climb on and jump off. One major injury or fatality could cost the construction company millions of dollars, and if negligence is found, it could hold up completion of the project while the civil suits are litigated in the court system.
At California Special Investigative & Protective Services (CSIPS), our expertise in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, (CPTED) assists our agents in reducing criminal behavior and civil liability at your construction site.
Some of our services include:
- Free risk assessment of your construction site
- Armed and unarmed security
- Coordinating with local law enforcement agencies on crime prevention
- Emergency response 24/7
- Security signage
- Fire Watch
- Internal and external theft investigations
- Theft prevention techniques
- Threat assessment evaluations prior, during and after completion of project
- Aerial Photography
For further information or to have a free security consultation at your construction site, please call us at 888-803-6974.