This type of security measure differs from traditional crime/theft prevention as is it a proactive system. "Our idea is why even let them on the jobsite?" asks Carroll. "We want to stop them before they get on jobsite. Instead of protecting a specific piece of equipment or material, protect the whole jobsite."
But what does it Cost?
A common practice of contractors is to factor in a contingency in the budget that accounts for vandalism, breaking of windows or other parts and other expenses related to unauthorized access to equipment. "I say all the time there is a cost for doing something and there is a cost for not doing something," says Carroll. "The system is going to cost you money, but you get a variety of benefits from it and you're protecting the jobsite. If you don't do anything then you're taking money that you would have spent to protect the jobsite and you're throwing it out in the wind for the thieves." And that's what they're banking on.
More Motion Sensor Security
Another solution activated by motion that is intended to act as a crime-deterrent camera system is the FlashCam. "The FlashCam is a self-contained, solar powered, high-resolution still camera," says Steve Hillsman, President of Q-Star Technologies. "The camera is triggered by a long-ranged motion sensor. When it is set off, it triggers an event that causes the flash to go off and image to be taken."
An audio voice/warning, recordable by the user, is also announced prior to the image being taken. "Typically what happens is that if someone is up to no good, the loud voice paired with a bright flash turns them around and they move on," says Hillsman.
The solar-powered FlashCam is mounted on a pole or other tall object and pointed in the area of desired monitoring. Once an image has been taken it is stored on a standard SD card in the camera or users have the option of using 802.11 wireless access to view and download the images. With its strengths and limitations, the FlashCam is primarily a deterrent tool but can also be used effectively for site perimeter monitoring. An ideal application of this product would be to help alleviate the problems of equipment theft, vandalism and graffiti. The system can also be effective in reducing liabilities associated with unauthorized site access containing dangerous equipment.
FlashCam has been used in applications where it has proven successful and could be implemented on construction sites. "One of the things we found is that the camera can be very effective at deterring copper theft," explains Hillsman. "I think a lot of field-intensive industries have a great deal of this theft and this camera is well suited for that application."
Portability of the camera may also be a draw to the construction industry. "Because of the quick attachment and transporting capabilities, it is easy to move to another site," explains Hillsman. "The nice thing is that it can go along with equipment."
Whether your goal is to restrict access to the jobsite or deter troublemakers from vandalizing your equipment, solutions exist that will boost you confidence that your equipment will be where and in the same condition you left it.