Construction site security is a major concern within the industry as a result of the increased potential for theft, vandalism and property damage. The National Equipment Register reports that the annual value of the equipment stolen throughout the nation ranges from $300 million to $1 billion (1). This range only includes reported theft; smaller tools and supplies that are stolen, as well as the related lost work time, are not always reported.
The security of construction sites is of particular concern in California, where strong demand means that construction contractors continue to outpace their counterparts in the rest of the country (2).
In California, construction site security requirements cover aspects such as signage, perimeter fencing and gates, lighting, temporary buildings and office trailers and motorized building equipment. Larger sites must also have an official security plan and additional measures. Outlined below is a look at some of the specific requirements.
Construction Site Signage
All vehicle entrances into the site must have address signs with the street name and number clearly labeled in lettering measuring at least six inches. In addition, all perimeter access points must display “No Trespassing” signs with California Penal Code Section 602 listed on them. All signs must be posted at least five feet from ground level.
The main entrance gate and the outside of the office trailer must have signs displaying 24-hour emergency contact numbers for someone who will respond to the site.
Perimeter Fencing and Gates
Fencing must be installed around the perimeter of the construction site adjacent to streets. It should be at least six feet high and have 94 percent minimum blackout plastic screening. Gates for vehicles and pedestrians should not be covered, and the fencing must remain uncovered for 20 feet on either side of the gates.
The number of access points on the site should be kept to a minimum. Wherever possible, these points should be located in areas that can be seen clearly from an adjacent street. All gates and openings must be secured outside of operating hours using padlocks designed to prohibit shackle cutting.
The perimeter fencing can be removed when materials are no longer being stored outside or there are no further exterior construction activities planned that will require non-construction personnel and the public to be kept separated from exterior construction activity.
Lighting is an important deterrent for thefts and vandals. Vehicle gate areas, open centralized storage areas for materials and fixtures, temporary buildings, trailers and containers must all be illuminated at night.
The minimum light level at these required locations is one foot-candle at the ground across a radius of 15 feet. All light fixtures must be placed at least 18 feet high and must be equipped with a polycarbonate or tempered lens approved for use in wet locations.
In the cases where the required lighting could impact nearby residents, motion sensors can be installed to control the lights.
Temporary Buildings And Office Trailers
All doors on office trailers and temporary buildings must have a deadbolt lock and auxiliary locking device with a slide bolt or hasp installed. Protective devices must be used to prevent padlocks from being cut.
Windows must be secured using steel bars positioned five inches apart or less. These bars should be secured using bolts that cannot be removed from the outside. In lieu of steel bars, a steel grate mesh of at least an eighth-inch thick can be used as long as it is securely attached in such a way that resists removal from outside.
Motorized Building Equipment
Motorized equipment such as forklifts must be left inoperable outside of working hours. They must be rendered unable to start, move or operate; forks can be removed and secured to meet this requirement.
Each piece of motorized equipment with a wheel diameter measuring 15 inches or greater must be given an onsite record that is updated regularly. It must list the manufacturer and model, vehicle identification number, product identification number and license plate number.
Construction Site Security Plan
In addition to the aforementioned general requirements, a security plan is required for residential projects that contain 25 units or more or non-residential projects occupying 50,000 square feet or more. The security plan must list information such as the site’s location, tract and lot number and contact information for the person responsible for the security plan.
In addition, it specifies that at least one additional measure on top of the general requirements is adopted. The options include cameras, security officers, an approved construction site security program or certain alternative measures.
If cameras are used, their specifications must be listed and a plan must be created for maintaining operation in the event that power is disconnected. In the case of security officers, there must be one officer on the site for each 20 acres. The security company, state license number and days and hours officers will be on site must be listed.
Reach Out To The Construction Security Experts
Security officers with training in the specific concerns of construction sites provide a high degree of protection. Reach out to the experienced construction site security professionals at American Protection Group to learn more about their comprehensive construction security services.