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Jobsite theft can cost institutional and commercial facilities vasts amounts of money. According to the National Equipment Register, theft of tools and other equipment costs the industry up to $1 billion a year.
Great American Insurance Group estimates that 90 percent of equipment thefts take place between 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. Monday, when many facilities and jobsites are understaffed or not staffed at all.
“Simple security measures and practices can help keep jobsites protected,” says Mike Bykowski, senior product manager with Knaack, which specializes in jobsite storage equipment, including storage chests, field stations, work benches and hand tool boxes. “After hours, construction sites can become an easy target for theft and vandalism, but there are measures that professionals can take to ensure expensive tools and equipment are kept safe.”
In addition to keeping tools in safer and secure locations, here are additional tips for maintenance and engineering managers to keep tools safe from thieves.
• Signage: One of the number one and lowest-cost deterrents is adding a simple sign. Consider adding a sign that reads, “24 Hour Video Surveillance.” Another sign offering rewards to those who turn in thieves or provide valuable information on crimes is also a helpful deterrent.
• Security Lighting: Motion-sensored lights or extra lighting can deter crime. Darkness often invites crime so the more light, the better the protection.
• Barrier protection: Adding some type of barrier protection, like a fence or guardrail, makes it tougher for thieves to get in and take supplies out. Look for ways to keep the important items properly secured and protected with barriers.
• Controlled access to the jobsite: Having just one entry point in and out of the jobsite will cut down on crime. Geo-Fencing, a virtual barrier using GPS to track behaviors using mobile phones, has proved helpful for both crime prevention and inventory.
• Documentation: Always photograph, document and record the serial numbers for equipment, tools and material goods for insurance purposes in the event that something is stolen. This will be extremely handy if a company or individual wants to claim any stolen items with an insurance company.
• Jobsite Box Protection: Tools and equipment should be kept in a safe and secure location. With the extra security of a jobsite box, criminals do not stand a chance of getting to the most valuable tools on a construction site.
Click on this link to learn how one school district keeps track of its power tools.
This quick read was submitted by Dave Lubach, associate editor for Facility Maintenance Decisions. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.