Construction Season: How to Avoid Theft and Damage
With construction season underway, it’s not uncommon to see heavy machinery, trailers, and sundry other tools left unattended on construction sites. And while signs like “No Trespassing” and the like may deter mischievous teenagers, it’s not going to do anything to stop thieves who want to cash in on the opportunity you left them.
According to research, a knowledgeable thief can enter a site, load the equipment, and be off within ten minutes. However, anything more than that and most thieves will move on to the next score. Additionally, many construction companies don’t have a simple loss prevention plan, so it may be days before they notice that tools are missing. This can result in a lot of wasted time and effort trying to recover and replenish tools, not to mention the time taken away from work.
Here are a few tips that can help construction companies, along with any company that deals in expensive inventory, keep track of their goods, save time and money, and keep on schedule with their projects.
Plan, Prevent, and Save
Simple software solutions can help your employees keep track and manage equipment easily and even automatically — without much effort. The solutions that we provide include GPS-enabled software that allows you to track and trace equipment in near real-time. So if your backhoe is moved from a site, you will be alerted via text and receive up-to-date positioning so you can see exactly where your equipment is.
Keeping track of your equipment through routine inventory checks can also be helpful for knowing where your tools and assets are and what’s missing. You can scan right from your phone and import that information via solutions like Wireless Forms.
Maine.gov also offers these helpful tips in preventing crime and securing your property.
- Implement a documented check-out and -in system for all tools and equipment.
- Establish an “end of shift” security inspection protocol.
- Make unscheduled visits to work sites, including at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
- Lock and immobilize equipment during non-work hours.
- Utilize basic key control and specialized locks. Locks should be placed on all vehicles, portable equipment, storage sheds, trailers, and utility bodies when not in use. Use only high-security locks: pick-resistant, case-hardened, or laminated steel. If a chain is required, it should be case-hardened and thick enough to prevent easy cutting.
- Attach anti-theft devices, such as steering wheel locks, kill switches, tire and wheel/axle locks, locked hood side plates, and locking fuel caps.
- Whenever it is practical, all operating levers, handles, etc. should be stored under securely locked covers or lids.
- Lock and protect equipment with an alarm system.
- Avoid storing equipment overnight at the work site whenever possible.
- In high crime areas and where values warrant it, consider hiring a security guard or using a surveillance system.
- Fences are a good form of perimeter protection. Exits and entrances should be kept to a minimum. If it is not possible to fence an entire site, consider partially fencing it, including trailer, equipment, and storage areas.
- Good lighting is extremely effective in deterring criminal activities. Keep storage areas well lit and free of hiding places, such as shrubbery and trees. Consider using motion-detecting floodlights.
- Contact the local police before starting a job. Ask them to include the job site in their patrols. Ask neighbors to report suspicious activities.
To Aid in Recovery
- Double-stamp all tools, equipment, and attachments with an identification number, one conspicuous and one hidden.
- Display warning signs that indicate identification and serial numbers are recorded.
- Paint your equipment with bright, easily recognizable colors to identify them from a distance.
- Use aerosol-applied Microtaggants, thermostat plastic coatings that contain coded pigments or metal particles.
- Stencil the state’s logo or other identifying marks on equipment.
- Take photographs of your high-value pieces; catalog these photos and update them as equipment is purchased and sold.
- Consider equipping each piece of high-value equipment with tracking devices.
After a Loss
- Secure the scene.
- Make a prompt and thorough report to a police agency and to the Risk Management Division.
- Send theft alerts to equipment distributors.
- Check eBay and used-equipment sales for your equipment.
Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?