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Last edited 23 Aug 2016
Construction site theft
All those who work in the construction industry know how vulnerable equipment can be. Small pieces are often left lying around the site and they can easily be damaged or stolen. In the first 8 months of 2016, UK construction site theft exceeded £900 million.
However, there are a few practical and effective solutions that can be adopted to reduce these losses:
 Secured storage
Take time to secure storage. One of the biggest reasons tools are damaged or stolen is because they have no designated storage areas. It is possible avoid this problem by creating a space for them. Consider purchasing a storage unit and securing it with a key or combination lock. If a construction site is particularly large, it may be necessary to build a tall chain linked fence around it.
As an added layer of protection, it is possible to instal commercial intruder alarms. Not only can this help to alert the police when someone is trespassing, it can also act as a deterrent for other would-be thieves.
In addition, if tools are small and stored in a particular vehicle, make sure the vehicle has been locked.
 Controlled entry and exit
Create a controlled entrance and exit to the construction site.
These two checkpoints:
- Ensure that only cleared personnel can enter and leave the site.
- Allows staff to deny access to non-employees.
- Creates a level of accountability among current employees.
- Enables more easy monitoring of equipment.
- Helps reduce potential employee theft.
Engrave tools with the name of the company, address, phone number and license number. In some cases, intruders are looking for merchandise that they can pawn or sell. By engraving personal information on to these items, they are less likely to take them for fear of being caught or reported. Also, if police happen to catch the criminal, they will be able to return the items.
 Take inventory
Take regular inventory of equipment. Items aren't always stolen, sometimes they are simply lost or incorrectly stored. By taking a regular inventory, it is possible to know where tools are at all times, as well as determining which ones need maintenance or replacement.
It is important not only to ensure tools are in a secure place, but also to monitor it. In certain cases, thieves will bypass every security measure, commercial intruder alarms may go off, but the perpetrator may get away before law enforcement can get to the site. This is why many companies use security cameras. If the intruder does happen to get away, it is possible to show surveillance footage to the police so they can be on the look out for the suspects.
Purchase insurance specifically for tools and equipment. Missing property is inevitable, and unfortunately, depending on the piece of equipment, this can become very expensive over time. Standard property insurance protects from external losses, but it may not provide cover for lost or stolen equipment.
By insuring equipment, if it breaks down, needs repair or replacement, insurance may help the business to continue running. If equipment is stolen and the site shuts down temporarily, then a good insurance plan will cover lost income.
A lot of money is spent each year on tools. This is especially the case when it comes to theft. However, it is possible to be proactive in protecting valuable tools and equipment. The key is to make it very difficult for intruders to get to equipment, and this means taking a few extra security measures and obtaining proper insurance.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access control.
- Approved document Q.
- Commercial security systems.
- Construction phase plan.
- Embedded security: Procuring an effective facility protective security system.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Intruder alarm.
- Joint fire code.
- Perimeter security.
- Security and the built environment.
- Smart surveillance, video surveillance and VSaaS.
--Simonparker 19:41, 23 Aug 2016 (BST)
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