Added Defense: 3 Simple Steps To Better Secure Your Construction Site

Packed with equipment and materials, and constantly evolving through various stages of development, construction sites present a perfect storm for crime.
steps to secure construction sites

Thieves target everything from expensive machinery such as bobcats and bulldozers, to pricey power tools, to valuable metals and wires (which are more expensive than ever) to sell at scrap yards. The reality is, construction sites involuntarily become a target of crime as soon as ground is broken.

Power Tools

Large Machinery


Wires and Metals

Even a seemingly small theft can leave a lasting impact. For example:

  • In Massachusetts, thieves broke into a storage container on a solar farm under construction, stealing $150,000 of copper wire. In addition to the theft, the site was severely damaged. 
  • Police in Arkansas reported more than $1,000 in lumber stolen from a construction site, delaying a roofing project. 
  • And, in West Virginia, a man was charged with driving an excavator off of a construction staging area. The piece of equipment was valued at $40,000.

Securing Your Site – Made Simple

While an intelligent video monitoring system powered by artificial intelligence and virtual security guards actively monitoring your property is the best option for securing construction sites, there are simple steps you can take to strengthen defenses – and keep materials and equipment safe.

Pro-Vigil Founder Jeremy White shares three impactful security tips that you might not have thought of:

#1. Implement Fencing with a Purpose

types of security

Fencing around construction sites serves a dual purpose. It’s a safety feature keeping the general public out of a potentially dangerous area, and it’s also the first line of defense against theft.

Some construction managers place storage containers up against fencing, which seems to make sense from a space perspective – but it also introduces security risk. Since thieves often try to cut their way through fencing to gain access to construction sites, if storage containers are touching the fence, thieves can cut through those too, doing double the damage. 

And, because the containers block your view of the fence behind it,  you many never realize an entry point has been created – leaving the door open for more crime incidents. 

  • HOT TIP:

    Make sure to leave space between containers and fencing. Not only will it prevent criminals from cutting through storage containers so easily, but it will serve as a “detection zone” for surveillance cameras or security guards to spot trouble or weak spots.

#2. Unplug Batteries

Construction Site Security Checklist

Most heavy construction equipment – loaders, excavators, bobcats, etc. – are operated using a master key. So, if thieves get their hands on the master key, they have access to just about every piece of machinery on your property. While you can’t change the key that runs your equipment, you can put measures in place to slow down criminals, even if they do have the master key in-hand.

  • HOT TIP:

    Unplug the batteries inside machinery. When it comes to crime, every second counts, and slowing criminals down can serve as a deterrent. If they try to start a piece of equipment and can’t get it running immediately, they’ll likely move on – they don’t have the time to look under the hood to figure out what’s wrong.

#3. Light up the Site

It’s no secret that thieves love darkness – they do their best work under the cover of night! Lighting is a great natural deterrent that can make criminals uncomfortable. While you may already know this, it’s important to consider the fact that security lighting isn’t limited to floodlights.

  • HOT TIP:

    Simple motion activated lights – similar to those you might place on your garage at home – can be just as effective as floodlights (and they can be picked up at the local hardware store at an affordable price point!)


For more information on building a strong physical security strategy, check out our “Construction Site Security Checklist.”  To learn how Pro-Vigil can help you achieve proactive deterrence at your construction sites, please contact us today.

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