Construction sites are prime targets for thieves. When crews go home for the day, expensive machinery and tools and valuable materials are left on site. Although theft is a common problem in the construction industry, many sites still lack adequate security measures.
According to the 2016 Equipment Theft Report from the National Equipment Register and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the estimated cost of equipment theft per year in the U.S. is around $400 million.
The report cites high heavy equipment value and poor site security as some of the factors that contribute to these high levels of equipment theft. The average estimated value of a piece of stolen equipment is $29,258; most of this equipment is never recovered.
The cost of the equipment is only one part of the loss incurred in construction site thefts; the missing equipment can also lead to significant delays that can prevent the project from being completed on time.
Employees must then spend time seeking replacement items instead of moving the project forward. The theft must also be reported to the insurance company, which can lead to higher premiums in the future.
The report concludes that work site security is “critical” for construction sites because equipment is often left in areas that lack physical security.
Implementing measures, such as locking equipment down at the end of the day, can make a significant difference. Experts recommend using locks that freeze control systems, installing ignition cut-off switches and removing wheels or batteries to protect heavy machinery.
However, these measures work best when they are supported by a visible presence of security officers on the site. When construction sites hire security professionals, they can choose either armed and unarmed officers, or a combination of the two, to protect the site.
Unarmed vs Armed Security Officers
Unarmed security officers do not carry firearms, but they may carry other non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, batons or tasers.
Armed officers, in contrast, carry firearms and have completed intensive training to prepare them for the responsibility of handling these lethal weapons. Although force is a last resort, security officers are trained and experienced to quickly and efficiently address any level of crisis.
Outlined below are some factors to consider when deciding whether armed officers are necessary.
The Site’s Location
If a construction site is situated in a high-crime area, an inner city or a neighborhood where thefts have been reported recently, armed officers are a worthy investment. Prospective thieves who see armed officers on a site will often move on to an easier target.
The Nature Of The Project
If a site is controversial, such as an oil pipeline or a particularly tall building that has been the subject of opposition within the community, it may attract vandals and protesters. Projects connected to controversial individuals or companies are also vulnerable. In these cases, armed security officers can be hired to prevent situations from escalating.
The Value Of The Site’s Assets
Valuable items can be found at all construction sites, but those that have a particularly high overall asset value should consider hiring armed security officers.
For example, a high-end hotel with expensive furnishings or a site that has valuable copper parts that are easy to walk away with may find that armed security officers are more cost-efficient than replacing stolen supplies and equipment.
What To Look For When Hiring Armed Security Officers
When hiring armed security officers, it is important to seek trained and experienced individuals who know how to safely protect the site and prevent situations from escalating. Outlined below are some important considerations when finding the right officers for the job.
The Training Level Of The Officers
When hiring security officers, it is important to look for properly trained individuals. The specific requirements vary depending on the state, but it is essential to work with security firms that maintain records of their officers’ training and compliance with state regulations.
The Reputation Of The Security Firm
The history and reputation of a construction security firm is another valuable consideration. Although new firms may offer effective protection, many construction sites prefer to hire established companies with experienced professionals who know how to respond to the broad range of incidents that may arise in these environments.
Reach Out To The Construction Site Security Professionals
Protect your construction site with the assistance of the experienced professionals at American Protection Group. Our skilled team can assess and recommend the best security approach for your construction site.
APG’s armed security officers are highly trained in safely protecting construction sites, going beyond monitoring sites to assessing potential dangers and vulnerabilities and addressing them before they become problematic. Get in touch with APG to find out how we can keep your site safe today.