Combatting Construction Site Thefts

Qube Magazine

Five failsafe tips for improving construction site security

Theft of materials and equipment is a big issue for construction firms, but there are simple steps you can take to improve security on your construction site.

Theft of construction equipment is a big issue in the UK with recent research claiming that 92% of construction sites have been victims of theft. And this has serious consequences for the construction industry with the Chartered Industry of Building estimating losses of around £400 million per year from theft and on-site vandalism.

With so much expensive equipment and valuable material lying around, construction sites are undoubtedly an attractive proposition for potential thieves. Luckily, there are some simple measures you can take to improve your construction site security.

Use tracking devices

Modern technology makes it easier than ever before to secure your construction equipment. Installing GPS tracking devices on expensive equipment and materials should help you to quickly locate and recover these items should they go missing. Today’s cloud-based systems can also be used to monitor usage hours and find misplaced equipment. A slightly less hi-tech, but still effective, security measure is to engrave your property with company identification numbers so that any stolen property that is later recovered can be easily identified as yours.

Light up your site

Thieves prefer to operate under the cover of darkness, so a well-lit site can be a really effective deterrent. For a small construction site, a few good quality lamps from Amazon will probably suffice, but for a larger area you will probably need to invest in something more powerful, such as tripod-mounted dual head LED lights. It may be expensive, but will cost you considerably less than having to replace all of your valuable construction equipment.

Ramp up security measures

A well-secured construction site is less likely to be targeted by thieves than one that has lax or non-existent security measures. Foil thieves at the first hurdle with robust fencing, and consider installing an alarm system that notifies police in the event of a break-in. Surveillance systems such as CCTV help to make your site even less attractive to would-be thieves, and you could even employ security staff for additional peace of mind.

Plan deliveries

Consignments of equipment and materials that are left lying around are at greater risk of being stolen, so it’s important to plan any deliveries carefully, ensuring that there will be someone available to store the materials securely as soon as they arrive on site. This can be difficult on a large or complex construction site, but there is construction management software out there to help, and it’s certainly worth the extra effort.

Be present

One of the easiest and most important security measures you can take is to be present and visible on site as much as possible. Unfortunately, a significant amount of construction site theft is carried out by people within the industry, but by maintaining a regular presence and chatting with your workers you can help to reduce the risk of an insider theft occurring. You don’t have to mention theft; instead, make it part of your usual project management approach and use it as an opportunity to recognise and commend good performance.

With so much at stake, it’s vital that the construction industry take steps to prevent equipment theft. It can seem like a challenging issue to tackle, but by taking a common-sense approach and leaving no room for complacency or negligence, you can create a construction site that is safe and secure.


Combatting Construction Site Thefts