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It is vital to keep your construction site safe and secure after hours if you want to avoid costly disruption. Those who are unauthorised can potentially gain access to your site with the sole intention of trespassing for malicious purposes. The site owner has a duty to make reasonable efforts to stop unauthorised members of the public from accessing the site.
We suggest a few measures you can take to keep your construction site safe and secure at night or when it is not operational.
ID Badges and Company Hard Hats
Adopting a policy that ensures everyone displays identification at all times makes it clear as to who has permission to be on site. Similarly, wearing a hard hat is not only necessary for safety reasons but when branded with the construction company’s logo it makes it easier to identify your workers. It is a good idea to ensure that anyone who needs to gain access to the site must wear a branded hard hat and are able to show the correct ID badge.
Erect Warning Signs
Adding signage across the entire construction site and warning people of the dangers of trespassing is a particularly useful deterrent out of hours. Warnings should also advertise that security is present, i.e. CCTV and/or patrols are in operation, as the appearance of high security is almost as important as the security itself.
Signs must be made visible at all times and especially at night time: using reflective materials or security lighting can facilitate this. If they cannot be seen, there is little point having them.
Secure the Exterior Grounds
It is a good idea to install a two-meter high fence to surround the entire site. This acts as a clear indicator to people as to where the property line is, and preventing them from entering the site from anywhere else except the main entrance when checking-in.
Bear in mind that the fencing should be high enough to stop people from climbing over. Verify that there are no gaps where it might be possible to slide beneath the fencing or weak points that can be broken. The entire fencing should be checked daily to look for any holes cut into it using wire cutters, for example.
Use Security Guards
An expansive construction site that is unattended is almost inviting trouble. Whether that is from criminals, people trying to slide under the fencing to save time or those attempting to steal building supplies and equipment - without a security guard, the site is highly vulnerable with what can often be quite costly assets at risk of vandalism or theft.
There should be a guard at the front access gate, as well as one that runs random patrols around the perimeter too. It is a good idea to patrol the area at unpredictable times and change the routes to avoid trespassers learning their timings or routines. Having a guard also means there is someone regularly checking the fence and any suspicious activity which could develop into a threat.
Use of CCTV and Monitors
Cameras should be set up at various vulnerable points that have been identified during a professional security check. Wherever possible, add floodlights or lights with sensors that will switch on when a person moves through that area. These should be made visible and signage added to promote their use. The more security is advertised, the more effective it becomes.
All cameras should be monitored from the main entrance to check for any suspicious activity; in this way many threats can be diffused before they become a problem. If any silent alarms sound, security should move to investigate and respond accordingly.
When taking sensible measures, protecting a construction site out of hours is perfectly possible. Night security can be more challenging than it is during the day, if only because there are less people to witness a potential crime. By employing the right personnel, using effective equipment and procedures and with the addition of good planning, your construction area can thrive without disruption.
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