Construction equipment and material theft is big business, and it's growing. Estimates say that theft and vandalism account for $1 billion a year in losses and other costs to builders, a number that steadily rose 10 percent since 1996 and is expected to continue growing.
Construction jobsite theft losses are more than just the costs of losing expensive equipment and materials. Contracts have to pay to replace or rent equipment to finish the job. There's also the costs of downtime and project overruns if the missing equipment and materials delay a project. Plus, insurance premiums may increase.
According to LoJack's 12th annual Construction Equipment Theft Study, construction sites can be easy targets because:
- Most job sites have poor security
- Open cabs are easy to access
- One key can fit all pieces of equipment
- Jobsites are often left unsecured at night or over the weekend
- There is a general lack of product identification numbers/records in the industry
Thieves target more than just construction equipment. Materials, especially copper and other metals, are targets of construction jobsite thefts. The construction industry is not only a main target for theft, but specifically theft of copper and other metals. According to an Unclassified Intelligence Assessment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was modified in 2010, "Copper thieves are threatening US critical infrastructure […] targets have increased since 2006 […] and present a risk to both public safety and national security."
Here are some tips for securing your jobsite and prevent equipment and material theft.
- Increase lighting during off hours
- Let employees know the boss is paying attention
- Schedule supplies as needed
- Keep good records
- Practice effective inventory management
- Secure your perimeter
- Review your current security plan
- Use theft deterrents and proven recovery systems
For even more information on preventing theft, check out tips from LoJack and "Six Tips for Preventing Construction Site Copper Theft."
Find theft prevention products on the ForConstructionPros.com Buyers Guide.