Construction sites are widely varied in both size and requirements. Vehicles, tools, and machinery are vital, and all expensive. When not in use, usually overnight, they become a prime target for thieves and vandals.

Anything which can be stolen has a resale value. Site theft is thought to cost the construction industry over £800 million per year, according to the BFM.

It isn’t just expensive tools at risk, either. Fuel and metal, which are difficult to trace and quick to use, are commonly stolen. So, securing your entire construction site can make it difficult for everything to be stolen.


What security is needed on a construction site?

When thinking about your site security, there are a few essential products you need to have:

  • Anti-climb fencing
  • Security systems (such as CCTV cameras and alarms)
  • Locks on doors/gates
  • Lighting, particularly for overnight when nobody is on-site
  • fPods, to keep fuel in one place and difficult to steal

You may also need to hire site security guards if you feel you are particularly at risk or manned guarding for entrances and exits. We have a guide on six of the best ways to improve your site security.

As well as putting the actual security measures in place, you also need to make it obvious to anyone from the outside that your site is secure, using signs. This can act as a deterrent.


Why does a construction site need to be secured?

While probably wanting security to be cost-effective, you should consider the value of items you have on-site. Securing a construction site is the first stage in preventing theft—and there is no such thing as too much security.

If thieves cannot get into the actual site, it lowers the chance of them stealing anything.

As well as the obvious loss of the tools and their monetary value, break-ins can cause several other issues:


1. Damage to the site

The damage alone from an attempted break-in or theft, such as the destruction of fencing or outbuildings, can be a pricy unforeseen addition to rectify for a construction company.

Sites can also suffer from threats of anti-social behaviour, where there is no actual aim to steal any goods. Damage means re-securing everything, and potential downtime while this is rectified.


2. Downtime

On the subject of downtime—the loss of specialised or expensive equipment can mean you lose valuable construction time. Delays could mean further interruptions to construction projects down the line, as well as increasing continued costs in the form of wages and other overheads.


3. Injuries

Sites can be dangerous places for anyone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Trespassers could be injured, which applies to potential thieves as well as general intruders. There is also the threat of arson or other forms of damage—40% (approximately 100,000) of construction site fires are deliberate every year.

Despite trespassers being at fault, businesses can be held responsible for any injuries or accidents as the site will be deemed inadequately secured. Ensure your site is safe for both workers and visitors, whether they’re welcome or not.


4. Loss and Liability

Heavy machinery, which can be tricky to sell without a trace, can often be stolen to play a part in damage and theft from other buildings. Ram-raiding businesses and gaining access to elevated platforms are common uses for stolen machinery.

This oversight by you can mean further businesses also suffer.


How to keep site tools secured

Once your site area is secured, you also need to reduce the risk of theft and damage to individual tools and machinery.

So if the first layer of security is broken, they’ll find it difficult to go any further. As well as making a physical note of all serial numbers, product descriptions and inventories on-site, you should do the following:

1. Store them correctly

Keep all tools in a locked area, such as an outbuilding, which is fortified with individual security measures.

Within this outbuilding should be separate lock boxes. Don’t leave loose tools lying around, as they could be used to gain access to other areas of your site.


2. Hire tools

You’ll still need to secure power tools for the period of your hire, but once you’ve used them, there’s no need to think about long-term storage. If hiring from Speedy, just return to a local depot or participating B&Q and hire the next tool you need!

For any tools that you do own, however, you want to ensure they are too hot to handle.

Engrave tools with initials, business names or any other identifiable logos. They will be harder to sell on if it is obvious they’re stolen.

Give them a really ugly makeover if necessary. Bright pink neon paint all over the handle makes them distinctive and a little less attractive to potential buyers…


3. Use a Power Tool Management System

In 2016, DeWalt released the world’s first Bluetooth battery pack and the first power tool management system. Several brands have followed suit.

Through a Tool Management System app, you can see your entire tool inventory and the real-time location of the tools. Disable and enable them at the touch of a button if you know they’re missing.

All companies have their own separate allowances through the app, but the general gist is the same across the board. For instance, Milwaukee’s OneKey system has Geofencing protection, the ability to see utilisation data and will act as an anti-theft tracker.

It is the largest tool tracking system in the industry, so compatible tools (such as the MX Fuel range) are great for use on-site in more ways than one. The digital catalogue means your whole team can access the information required. All participating tools in the range can be hired from Speedy Services.

There are also other tool management systems out there if you want to make a log of existing tools or use various brands.


Power Through Winter With Site Security

Speedy, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of security fences, security lighting and barriers for hire nationwide.

With more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery, site hire is simple.

You can also choose from a range of over 3500 products, so you will have everything you need for your construction work without the headache of long-term storage.

Speedy in your pocket
Get a Speedy Account