The four steps you should take to prevent scaffolding theft
Construction site thefts cost £400 million each year, but by staying vigilant and employing the right technologies you can help to keep your scaffolding secure.
Construction site theft is a huge problem, costing the building industry around £400 million a year. And while equipment and tools are usually thieves’ primary targets, your site’s scaffolding could also be in the firing line. In the last few years we have seen increasing instances of scaffolding theft with thieves brazenly dismantling and driving off with large hauls of scaffolding.
To help protect your scaffolding (and other equipment) from would-be thieves, follow these simple yet effective security steps.
Using modern technology can be a really effective way of improving the security of your scaffolding. GPS tracking devices can help you to quickly locate and recover items should they go missing, while scaffolding paint and traceable covert liquid technology such as SelectaDNA Trace can help police to identify the registered owner when stolen items are recovered. For a less hi-tech, but still effective, alternative, you can engrave your scaffolding with company identification numbers. Scaffolding and equipment that are marked or have tracking devices are much less attractive to thieves, and so, as well as aiding recovery, they can also help to prevent thefts from occurring in the first place.
An alarm fitted to your scaffolding can provide early warning of intruders on your construction site. Scaffold alarms are made up of infrared burglar devices that are activated by body heat and motion, along with battery operated wireless alarms that are connected to a monitoring and response centre. You can also choose an option that comes with a camera in order to gather evidence and avoid false alarms.
As well as linking through to an alarm receiving centre which can take immediate action, a scaffolding alarm also activates lights and / or sirens upon detecting an intruder, helping to attract public attention and increasing the likelihood that the thief or thieves will leave empty handed. For alarms to have the biggest impact, it’s best to combine them with signage warning thieves that equipment is alarmed.
Thieves usually prefer to carry out their crimes under the cover of darkness, so reduce your risk of being targeted by ensuring your construction site is well-lit during off-hours. For smaller areas a few good quality lamps should be sufficient, but for larger construction sites you might want to invest in more powerful, tripod-mounted LED lights. Keeping your site and scaffolding well-lit can be expensive but, given its theft-deterrent potential, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
Many would-be thieves scope out potential theft sites beforehand to assess what tools and equipment are lying around and what security measures (if any) are in place. So, it pays to be extra vigilant when on site and keep your eye out for any suspicious or unknown characters hanging around, challenging anyone who doesn’t have a valid reason for being there. On a similar theme, you should also take time to vet any contractors that you hire. It’s sad but true that a lot of construction thefts are inside jobs, so it’s important to know who’s working for you.
Theft is the scourge of the construction industry, but with extra vigilance and the right technologies, you can foil any would be thieves and ensure that your scaffolding remains safe and secure.