Securing your Construction Site over the Christmas Period
As the holiday season approaches, it is important for construction contractors to ensure the security of their job sites. As the festive break tends to bring increased risks to construction sites left unattended. According to insurer Allianz Cornhill, theft alone costs the industry £800M a year. This is especially prevalent when sites are left unattended over Christmas with many sites closing for up to 2-weeks. The last thing anyone in the industry wants to hear during their time off is that their site has been broken into, vandalised, and had valuable tools and equipment stolen from it. However, on-site theft is not the only concern, with unauthorised site access presenting several other dangers, such as injury or potential risk of life for those involved.
Unfortunately, on-site theft within the industry is rising, with opportunistic thieves and organised groups targeting construction sites. It is up to Site Managers to ensure their site is both safe and secure. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep up to date with the latest useful guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and National Business Crime Center on construction site security.
So, what steps can be taken to secure your site over the Christmas break? In this article we explore strategies and tips to help contractors secure their sites and mitigate rising theft.
1. Inventory check
Before breaking for the holidays, conducting a thorough inventory check of all tools and equipment you have on-site is a good way to ensure all items accounted for and securely stored. It may sound obvious, but planning for all eventualities and knowing your equipment will save time, reduce stresses. and give you the chance to relax over the Christmas break. If you partner with a tool and access equipment company such as THX – you should be able to find all your current hired in tools and equipment online. If you plan to be keeping these items on-site over the break, consider using designated storage areas with robust locks. THX also offer a range of On-site Storage Solutions to protect your valuable equipment – whether hired in or your own.
2. Create a checklist and plan ahead
Once you have checked your inventory of tools and equipment, think about what steps you will need to undertake to prevent any theft or unwelcome access to your site. Creating a simple checklist to keep on top of these steps is a great way to start; we have listed some examples of things to consider.
- What equipment are you planning to keep on or remove from your site?
- How are you intending to store the materials and equipment you are leaving on-site?
- Are you expecting any deliveries that could potentially be delayed until January when your site re-opens?
- If you hire equipment, will you be off-hiring any tools and when is the deadline for guaranteed collection before the Christmas break?
- Do you have any hazardous or waste material that needs to be removed or safely stored before your site closes?
- Have you checked your external perimeter boundaries, and are they in suitable working order?
- Do you need to order or hire more fencing or barriers to make your site secure?
- Do you have adequate on-site safety signage should someone gain access to your site – are they well maintained, up to date, and visible to mitigate injury?
- Are your workers aware of the security protocols over this period and have they been documented and is everyone on-site informed?
- Do you have CCTV implemented and if not, do you need to implement security patrols, drones, or cameras?
- Who will be the site contact in any case of emergencies over the period? Are they aware of what is expected of them?
Getting prepared early and considering what needs to be put in place before the break is a great first step in securing your site.
3. implement and action site security practices
Now that you have asked yourself these questions, it is now time to implement strategies and action a plan to secure your site. Be sure to set time aside to put these practices into place. As a Site Manager or Contractor, it is your responsibility to make sure you are doing everything possible to prevent unwanted access to your site. We have listed below some things to consider:
- If you are going to be off-hiring equipment make sure you get in contact with your partner hire company to arrange for collection before the break. View Our Key Christmas Operating Dates.
- Take a walk around the perimeter of your site and check for any potential damage or weaknesses. Assess whether they are up to the required regulations or if any sections need replacing.
- Assess the access gates around your site – are they being kept to a minimum and all have adequate locking systems. Robust padlocks are preferred to chain locks as these are easily cut.
- Check your security cameras and alarm systems are in working order and that they are highly visible to deter potential intruders.
- Whilst walking your site, check to see if your on-site security signage is up to date, visible and well maintained should any access to the site occur over the break. Be sure to replace any that are not up to safety standards.
- Check that all your equipment has been stored properly. For example, have ladders or other access equipment been put away to stop any potential intruders getting to raised levels.
- Make sure that your site is well-lit whilst it is closed. On-site lighting is one of the best ways to deter theft over the holiday period as thieves are more likely to avoid areas they can be seen or identified on CCTV.
- Make sure that any tools, equipment, or materials are not visible from the perimeter of your site. If they are, moving and storing these items out of view and securely is a great way to deter theft. Ensuring you have taken the time to plan and action a plan to secure your site over Christmas is crucial in mitigating the risks of unauthorised access and potential theft.
Ensuring you have taken the time to plan and action a plan to secure your site over Christmas is crucial in mitigating the risks of unauthorised access and potential theft.
As the holiday season approaches, taking the time now to prioritise safety and security will help you to relax over the break. By implementing strategies and reviewing current protocols you can safeguard your valuable tools, equipment, and assets – ensuring a successful project.