A step-by-step guide to finding the perfect site security solution for your project.
An East Tennessee State University study on construction site theft found that thefts cost contractors an average of about $6,000 per incident. If that sounds like a big unplanned expense, keep in mind that this number was calculated before the pandemic, which means the actual cost is much higher in 2023.
Inflation paired with the supply chain slowdown has caused an increase in construction materials prices, which means the cost of theft is higher than ever for contractors. Construction site security is now essential to help construction companies deter trespassers and alert authorities.
Today, great security isn’t about finding the biggest and best surveillance system on the market. Choosing the perfect security option means evaluating the project, security goals, and other factors before settling on the right product or service. This article will walk you through the process and the options to help you decide on a security solution for your project.
Construction site security is now essential to help construction companies deter trespassers and alert authorities.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING A JOBSITE SECURITY SYSTEM
Before choosing 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 or insurance 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 considerations so you’ll be ready when it comes time to choose your security system.
Take a moment to figure out what your company can spend on security before you start looking at security solutions. This is going to help guide your search and will naturally narrow down or expand your options.
SIZE OF THE CONSTRUCTION SITE
The size of your construction site will have some effect on the overall cost of security. Going into the search, make sure you know the size of the construction site and which areas need the most protection. This will help you and your solution provider determine how many cameras, guards, or other resources you’ll need to fully secure your site. Knowing this upfront can help you avoid overbuying and will save time when you’re ready to make a choice.
VALUE OF THE PROJECT
A large, high-value project is a big target for thieves who see expensive construction materials on a construction site as free cash. Bigger projects will naturally have more to lose, which means skimping on security is likely to cost more in the long run. Owners of large projects with high dollar amounts may prefer or even require higher levels of security, like 24/7 monitoring, to help reduce their risk and keep insurance costs low. This is a win for everyone since it will also help reduce your risk.
Some security systems will depend more heavily on company personnel, so this is something to consider before making a big change in security. For example, you may need to determine who will be on call for security breaches or who will be in charge of looking through camera footage. If security guards are required, you’ll need the personnel and bandwidth to train and manage them.
EXISTING SECURITY MEASURES
Your company may already own or rent site security cameras or employ security guards. Exploring your existing security options first can save time and money, but it can also help you determine easy ways to boost security.
In some cases, an additional camera on-site or a reconfiguration of settings can help optimize security. If your existing security measures aren’t cutting it, it may make sense to explore additional services like professional security monitoring with live visual verification.
BUILDERS RISK INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
Most insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for deploying construction security cameras on a jobsite. Insurance companies love protection, prevention, and documentation, so being able to provide video evidence of an incident can help reduce investigative time and costs when a claim is unavoidable.
Understanding the project constraints and demands and knowing which security resources are available will help guide the security selection process and reduce costs.
COMPARING CONSTRUCTION SITE SECURITY OPTIONS
Now that you know what you’re working with, you’re ready to dive into comparing the security options for your project.
Ideal security measures can vary by location, project size, and company preference, but most contractors agree that some type of security is essential.
Jobsite security cameras may be just what your site needs, while others may be looking for more extensive security. It isn’t one-size-fits-all, but by comparing the most popular site security options, companies can be sure they’re getting the best solution for their project at a price that works for them.
Construction Site Security Guards
A construction site security guard earns an average of $42,612 per year in the United States, or $20.49 per hour. That’s a lot for a small construction company to shell out on non-productive labor, and even larger contractors 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 doubt that having a real person guarding a site is an effective way to deter theft and trespassing. If trespassers proceed onto the site, the guards will alert authorities immediately, which may reduce losses.
Since 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 a record of events for insurance or legal purposes. That’s something to keep in mind, as the cameras themselves may be an additional expense.
The good news is that security guards reduce the time contractors have to spend on security, making it a mostly hands-off option. The trade-off is the price and the potential need for personnel to oversee the guards.
SECURITY GUARD OVERVIEW
- Most expensive option
- Best alongside security cameras
- Day and night security
- Fast response time
- More hands-off for contractors
Jobsite Security Cameras
Jobsite security cameras may be the least expensive site security solution, and they’re a great primary or supplemental security option for contractors of all sizes. These cameras feature day and night image and video capabilities with thermal detection for motion-triggered alerts and IR illumination.
Some jobsite security cameras can send real-time notifications to contractors to alert them to incidents on site, which can help contractors respond quickly to incidents. This is great for contractors who want to be the first to know when something isn’t right.
However, not all motion-triggered events are going to require action, which means contractors will have to evaluate each event to determine whether it indicates a threat. This is where monitored security services can help increase efficiency and reduce the amount of time contractors spend on security.
JOBSITE SECURITY CAMERAS OVERVIEW
- Least expensive option
- Day and night security
- Motion notifications assist with quick response
- Pairs well with monitored security
- On its own, more hands-on than other security options
Construction Site Security Monitoring
When it comes to security and value, construction site security monitoring offers the best of both worlds. It’s a mid-range option that uses site security cameras and actual humans to provide 24/7 monitoring with live video surveillance. The experts monitoring your cameras will screen every motion event to determine whether a genuine threat is present and react accordingly. Depending on your preferences, they can alert the police or notify the company contact, all without your intervention.
Professional security monitoring is a service that can be enabled on some site security cameras and provides an additional layer of security without breaking the bank.
Security monitoring can reduce theft and vandalism while freeing up time for contractors who would otherwise need to personally review security footage.
Today, more contractors are turning to monitored services or live surveillance to boost the effectiveness of their security cameras and protect their job sites. It’s a great option for projects of all sizes as it increases security without the overhead and cost of hiring guards.
PROFESSIONAL SECURITY MONITORING OVERVIEW
- Mid-range option
- Can be enabled on new or existing site security cameras
- 24/7 monitoring
- Fast response time
- Can be more hands-off for contractors
- Added security measure
Now that you know your project’s needs and you’ve determined which solution is right for you, you’re one step closer to deploying an ironclad security solution that’s bound to save you time and money.