A 2019 study found that construction site thefts cost contractors an average of $6,000 per incident. If that sounds like a big unexpected loss, keep in mind that this number was calculated before the pandemic, meaning the actual cost is much higher today.
Inflation paired with the supply chain slowdown has caused an increase in construction materials prices, making the cost of theft higher than ever for contractors. Construction site security is now critical in order for construction companies to deter trespassers and alert authorities.
Good security isn’t necessarily about finding the biggest and best security system on the market. It’s important to evaluate the project, security goals and other factors before settling on the right solution. This article will walk you through the process and the options to help you decide on the best security solution for your project.
Things to consider before picking a jobsite security system
Before you choose a site security solution, take inventory of your project and security needs.
Consider the budget, size and layout of the construction site, cost of materials, and any owner requirements. A bigger project with higher overall value may require more security resources, like multiple cameras for full coverage and physical on-site security guards. Smaller projects can achieve affordable yet comprehensive theft protection with security cameras and visual monitoring.
Grab a pen and paper and jot down your answers to these important questions so you’ll be ready when it comes time to pick the security system that’s right for your project.
- What is your security budget?Knowing ahead of time what your company can spend on security will narrow down or expand your options.
- What is the size of the construction site?The size of your construction site will determine how many cameras, guards or other personnel you’ll need to fully secure it.
- What is the value of the project?High-value projects will have more to lose, which means skimping on security is likely to cost more in the long run.
- What personnel resources do you have?Some security systems will depend more heavily on company personnel, so this is something to consider before choosing a security solution.
- What security measures are already in place?Knowing which security options are already available will help guide the security selection process and reduce costs. Consider fencing, lighting, motion-triggered flood lights, jobsite cameras, etc.
- What are your Builder’s Risk Insurance requirements?Most insurance companies provide reduced premiums for builders who deploy security on their jobsites. It’s important to understand the requirements upfront.
Comparing construction site security options
Now that you know what you’re working with, it’s time to compare security options for your project.
The security measures you need can vary by location, project size and company preference, but most contractors agree that some type of security is critical.
Jobsite security cameras alone may be perfect for some sites, while others may require a more robust solution. By comparing the most popular site security options, you can be sure you’re getting the best security for your project at a price that works for you.
Option 1: Construction site security guards
According to ZipRecruiter, construction site security guards earn an average of $42,612 per year in the United States, or about $20 per hour. That’s a lot for a small construction company to spend on non-productive labor, and even larger companies might find themselves crunching the numbers to make it work for their budget.
While hiring guards may not be an affordable solution for some construction companies, there’s no denying that having an actual person to guard a site is an effective way to deter theft and trespassing. If trespassers proceed onto the site, the guards can alert authorities immediately, which may reduce losses from theft or vandalism.
Because security guards can’t be everywhere at once, security cameras are often used alongside guards to help them identify and respond to threats across the site. Cameras also provide visual documentation of events for legal evidence, prosecution and insurance claim purposes.
Employing security guards reduces the time contractors have to spend on security, making it a mostly hands-off option. The trade-off is the expense and the potential need for personnel to oversee the hired guards.
Security guard overview
- Most expensive option
- Best alongside security cameras
- Day and night security
- Fast response time
- More hands-off for contractors
For the other two top security solutions, read the full article.