Securing Your Construction Site against Theft

Crime at a construction site can be very costly for building firms. Vandalism and theft in particular can be an expensive problem for construction businesses, in some cases adding up to hundreds, thousands, millions or even billions annually. The most commonly stolen items include smaller equipment or materials such as power tools or bags of cement, however, theft of large plant machinery isn’t uncommon.

Power tools can be very vulnerable to theft as they are not only easy to carry in many cases, but can have a very high resale value to other builders that are looking to equip themselves as cheaply as possible, with little care to the victims of the crime. With this in mind, it’s essential for building site managers to take any steps that they can to secure their assets.

There are a few effective measures that can be put into place:

CCTV systems

CCTV

 

CCTV systems can be a highly effective solution for preventing building site crime. CCTV systems can be professionally monitored 24 hours a day from a central monitoring facility, so that the authorities can be notified should there be any evidence of trespassers on site. The presence of CCTV systems can also be a crime deterrent – criminals will always look to commit crime with as little risk as possible and are much less likely to target a site that is monitored at all hours of the day, even if there is nobody on site to stop them.

Man guarding

Whilst security technology can be useful and effective, in some cases, the presence of security staff on site is the most effective deterrent. Man guarding can be an extremely cost effective solution and allows for any actions against possible theft can be dealt with on site, without the need for someone offsite to be on call.

Alarm systems

Statistics suggest that home theft is much less likely for properties with visible alarm systems, and the same can be said for construction sites. An alarm system suggests the risk of getting caught, so in most cases, criminals will decide against trespassing.

If you have been affected by the financial strain of equipment theft in the past, or are simply looking to beef up your building site security, call Suttie Site Services today on 0844 241 5300 or fill in our online contact form to find out how we can assist you.

Preventing Construction Workers and The Public from Injury with Scaffold Alarms

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Preventing injury from scaffolding

It’s estimated that 65% of the construction industry work on scaffolds regularly. However, scaffolding is most probably the most dangerous place to work on a building site. Workers on scaffolding are required to work at height and an accident such as a slip or fall, will likely have much more severe consequences than if they were on the ground. Injury could also result from debris dropping from scaffolding or unsafe scaffolding collapsing.

Factors including insecure bracing, unsafe construction, insufficient materials, or lack of attention to safety regulations, could all contribute to a worker’s injury, as well as a member of the public’s. Claims.co.uk reports that there were 69 reported scaffolding accidents in which the victim’s recovery period was more than seven days, including 36 major injuries in 2014/15. The actual figure is expected to be higher. Accidents like these may have occurred during working hours, or they may have happened to people with unauthorised access to the building site.

Scaffolding might even serve as a means for people to gain access to a construction site, in order to tamper with the equipment, or commit theft or arson. In order to protect your construction site, your workers and the public from accidents and injury it’s extremely important to set the right safety and security measures in place.

Protecting your scaffolding with a scaffold alarm

Scaffold alarms provide 24/7 protection to deter unauthorised visitors and warn of any unusual and unauthorised activity which could lead to accident or injury:

  • Unauthorised or unusual activity will be detected by the alarm’s beams and PIR sensors. Our highly effective scaffold alarms use the latest technology to minimise false alarms, as they won’t be set off by rain, snow, birds and small animals. Any unauthorised movement detected will trigger the alarm sound and floodlights, to deter and expose any intruders.
  • If triggered, the alarm will also send warning to the people you choose – you, your monitoring station or your site security team.
  • We can also provide you with a log of alarm events so that alarm activations can be tracked and evaluated.

The National Security Inspectorate (NCP) Code of Practice requires construction sites to protect the entire first level of their scaffolding with detectors, including at the ends of the scaffold. How many you choose to have will depend upon the size and layout of the scaffolding, as well as the surrounding area and the nature of the site.

Always ensure that you have told your insurer that you have a scaffold alarm in place, in case an accident does occur. Having an alarm will demonstrate that you have taken measures to mitigate risks on your site.

For any advice on installing scaffold alarms, we’re here to help. We work across London and South East England to deliver high quality, reliable security systems and services to all kinds of construction environments. Call us today on 0844 241 5300, or contact us here.

 

Solar Lighting and how it can be a great cost effective solution for your site

Having an effective lighting solution for your building site is essential for many reasons. Obviously for staff working on site after daylight hours and into the early evening it is vital to have sufficient light to do the job properly and safely. However, it is also vital to have adequate lighting at times when the public may require access and for the overall security of the site.

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Over the years we have provided a number of effective lighting solutions and we know what works best in different situations. Something that is becoming more popular as technology advances however, is the use of solar lighting. This is especially the case in areas where there is no access to mains electricity, or where that access is difficult. At Suttie Site Services we offer solar lighting because we feel it can be advantageous in the three following ways.

It is flexible

Solar lighting can be used in a variety of places which makes it very flexible. It can be permanently fixed by pole mounting, but it can also be used on a temporary basis at different parts of the site.

It keeps costs down

Traditional lighting has associated costs that solar lighting does not. For instance solar lighting does not require trenches to be dug and the laying of power cables. It also does not need a qualified electrician to wire up the lighting system to the mains. Installation is not the only area of saving however. By using the energy of the sun the overall costs of the lighting are also drastically reduced.

It is effective

The light produced by a charged up solar lighting system can provide 360 degree distribution, meaning it reaches everywhere you want it to. Taking up to just 11 hours to fully charge, the systems we use will go on to provide a full three days of dusk til dawn lighting. With an integrated light sensor that switches the lighting on as the daylight disappears, a mechanism to dim the lights after a specified time, and sensor triggers that will trigger a fuller beam of light when a motion is detected, solar lighting is very responsive.

If you think that solar lighting would be a good option for your site please get in touch with us.

Is Your Construction Site Sufficiently Lit?

With the clocks about to go back an hour, evenings will be drawing in even earlier, making the days short and the nights long. Whilst this isn’t a problem in most industries, it does mean that additional lighting will be required for construction sites. With many building projects having to be turned around in as short a time as possible, this calls for workers to be on site for long hours per day, particularly as the deadline date for completion looms.

What forms of lighting may be required?

Depending on the nature of the construction project, chances are a site manager will need to hire a variety of different forms of light sources. For example:

• Floodlights for construction sites and compounds which will brightly illuminate large spaces in order for workers to continue to see their work area long after sunset
• Ground lights to light up smaller areas, ideal for use if only certain parts of the site are being worked on after hours
• Outdoor lighting which is robust enough to withstand the harsh winter elements
• Free standing indoor lights which can be moved from room to room as required

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Lighting up public areas

Whilst lighting a construction site is primarily of benefit for the workers, it is of course necessary for members of the public, too. The area surrounding a construction site should be adequately lit to alert the public to the fact that this is a dangerous area not be entered without authorisation, and any pedestrian walkways which may guide people though a large site should also be well lit after dark in order to avoid trips and falls.

Mains feed supplied or battery powered?

It’s important to consider whether the lighting for the construction site can be powered by the mains feed, in which case there must be sufficient power sources close by in order to avoid hazardous trailing cables, or whether battery powered units need to be supplied. Free standing lighting powered by batteries may be a practical option if it is not going to be safe to have additional cables on the ground, however bear in mind that the batteries need to be charged at regular intervals to ensure they last for the duration of the project.

If you would like to find out more about having construction site lighting installed by fully trained NICEIC engineers in the South of England, give our team a call on 0844 241 5300.

Common Building Site Security FAQs

The Suttie Site Services telephone is often ringing with a variety of questions relating to our service, so to try and provide our clients and potential clients with as much information to hand as possible, we have created this list of commonly asked building site security FAQs.

We don’t have planning permission for ground timber hoarding, what can we do instead?

At Suttie Site Services we understand that some of our clients may not have planning permission which covers them to have traditional ground timber hoarding that is installed by digging holes into the ground, which is why we offer free standing timber hoarding as a suitable alternative. This offers the same level of protection as ground timber hoarding, but will still comply with regulations. For short term construction projects, we often recommend using metal hoarding.

Won’t the scaffold alarm be activated by birds, wind or rain?

No, our advanced scaffold alarm systems feature high tech beams and PIR sensors which won’t be activated by common issues such as birds, small animals, or adverse weather conditions. We only install alarms which have been specifically designed to minimise the risk of nuisance false activations. Of course, the alarms will detect anything which could be a potential intruder!

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My construction site is plagued by vandals, even with high level security systems. What else can you suggest?

It may sound like going back to basics, but man guarding is still one of the top methods of helping to secure a construction site out of hours. Simply having the physical presence of a security officer can provide the construction site owner with peace of mind that they are not going to have to respond to an alarm activation in the middle of the night. Many site owners use onsite security officers during out of hours at weekends, and the benefit of having an officer present in addition to security alarms can also help to reduce insurance costs.

I want to be able to monitor CCTV at a time to suit me, how can I do this?

At your request, we are able to set up remote access to your CCTV via your smartphone, PC, laptop or tablet. Whilst we offer a 24 hour central monitoring facility, in addition you can have the freedom to check on your construction site at a time to suit you.

We’re working on a high profile site which requires advanced security access systems, how can we restrict who has access to the site?

The Suttie Site Services team understand that on occasions, a construction site needs more than a standard access control system. We can install a biometric security system which will only allow visitors with approved features to access the site, making use of finger or palm print recognition, retina eye scans and facial recognition. The system cannot be beaten – if your details are not registered on the system, you won’t have access to the site!

If your question isn’t mentioned in our list, then please don’t panic, just give us a call on 0844 241 5300 or complete our online enquiry form to find out further information.

What Temporary Services Do You Need for Your Construction Site?

For any construction site, no matter how big the project will be, before work can commence a number of important temporary services must be set up. As well as providing facilities for construction workers to make use of heavy machinery and tooling, temporary solutions must also be arranged for to allow for any on site admin, as well as toilet and washroom facilities:

Temporary electrical services

For any construction site, a constant supply of electricity is essential to allow for the delivery of the site project. However, it’s vital to ensure that all temporary electricity installations are fully tested and certified to ensure that they are fit for purpose and safe for use. Contact a site services specialist to ensure that temporary electrics are designed, supplied and installed to the highest professional standards.

For any construction site, there are a number of different areas that are likely to require temporary electrics, including storage containers, site offices, welfare units, hoists, site lighting and 10kva transformers.

Temporary plumbing services

For all construction sites, site welfare is of vital importance. Running water and means of waste disposal are needed to comply with health and safety regulations. Depending on the size of the construction project, its location and how long the work will take, plumping services and welfare facilities can include toilets, washing facilities, drinking water, water heaters, bip taps, stand pipes and silo connections.

By law, everyone working on a construction site must have access to suitable toilet and washing facilities, along with a place for preparing and consuming refreshments. With this in mind, it’s important to find an experienced temporary site services supplier to ensure that all temporary plumbing, from welfare cabins, to WC and sink waste, comply with health and safety regulations. Although a construction site is temporary, temporary plumbing services should be of the high standards that you would expect on a permanent site.

Hoists

A construction site may require a variety of hoist solutions that can be installed by an experienced site services team. For example, passenger hoists can be used to lift and lower passengers and materials to allow for work to be carried out at higher levels. On the other hand, gantry hoists and scaffold hoists are designed to lift and lower materials onto different levels.

Site lighting solutions

Site lighting is important for ensuring that workers and members of the public stay safe on and nearby a construction site. By lighting up the site, any potential hazards are more visible and can be avoided, reducing the possibility of injury. To ensure that the right level of lighting is provided, contact the experts.

If you are in need of assistance with all aspects of temporary site solutions, you can contact Suttie Site Services Ltd by calling 0844 241 5300.

How to Implement Construction Site Security

Construction sites are common targets for thieves because they often contain high-value tools and plant equipment which can be accessed more easily than you may think.

construction site security

If your construction site is unmanned or does not have sufficient security in place out of normal working hours, opportunist thieves could be allured by the quick profit they could make without being spotted. Even when workers are on site, not having the right security and access control in place could mean that anyone could wander in. This not only leaves you vulnerable to theft but also health and safety incidents which you may be liable for.

The threat of malicious damage or arson are also primary security concerns for construction sites, causing contractors and tradesmen to lose their valuable assets and in some cases a substantial amount of money.

In order to ensure that your construction site is fully secure and complies with industry health and safety regulations, it’s important to plan ahead and implement the most effective security measures. Here we have listed the key site security steps to properly secure your construction site and keep it safe for both workers and the public:

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For any more information about planning for security for your construction site, or to talk to us about our range of site security services, you can call us on 0844 241 5300 or use our quick contact form here.