Why The Clocks Changing Spells Trouble For Construction Sites
The winter months are not just a time for domestic burglaries. Construction site owners also need to take steps to secure their valuables.
The dark, cold months are prime time for thieves to operate, as is proven by Co Op Insurance. The number of claims filed by policy holders are directly correlated to the shorter days, with a surge following the clocks changing at the end of October. If the last five years are anything to go by, it’s expected there will be a 34% increase in thefts before the clocks move forward again at the end of March. But it’s not just homeowners that need to be on the lookout – building sites are packed full of valuable materials that are a target for thieves!
Why Are The Winter Months Worse For Theft?
With darkness descending by mid-afternoon, thieves have extended hours in which to operate before daylight exposes their activities the following morning. Coupled with this, bad weather means that fewer people are wandering past, as many drivers opt instead to use their vehicles to get from A to B. Excess rain or wind during the winter months, can also cause projects to stall if the conditions are unsafe to work in. This means that building sites can close down for days, with no supervisors around to safeguard expensive equipment or materials such as scaffolding. Thieves see the value laying around in construction sites, and use this time of year to target those that haven’t invested in adequate security systems.
Understanding The Behaviour Of Construction Site Criminals
Site and project managers who wish to protect their valuables, need first to understand the behaviour of thieves that typically target construction sites. It is not unusual for thieves to carry out this type of crime shortly after the light has dipped before the end of the working day. Members of the public who are travelling past would be much less likely to raise an alarm if they saw people packing up scaffolding into a truck at 5pm than they would be at 3am. Thieves also rarely attack a site they come across on the same day – they’ll more than likely scope a site out for a while, checking what time builders are leaving, and to also see any and all security systems that are in place, so they know how to get past them.
If your construction site has valuable materials lying around and you know that there are some holes in your security plan, now is the time to take action before you’re hit by this type of crime.
Securing Your Site
Depending on your budget and the location of your construction site, you may be able to afford to employ a 24/7 patrolling security guard with a dog. Thieves are naturally scared of dogs who are much more adept at identifying them than human eyes and ears. But if your budget doesn’t stretch to employing permanent security staff, then there are other safeguards you can take. Any loose and small equipment should be locked safely away, and preferably removed from the site after each working day. For materials that need to remain in place for the duration of the project, such as scaffolding, site managers can use scaffold alarms which can let you know when an intruder is tampering with the structure. The false alarm rate is exceptionally low with this type of device, as the detection methods only signal that a responder should be despatched in genuine incidents of theft.
If you want to keep your project on track this winter, and save your company a lot of money in terms of equipment and materials, then take immediate steps to secure your site during the darker, colder months.