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According to an estimate from the National Equipment Register, construction jobsite theft costs the industry up to $1 billion each year.

Professional contractors rely on their tools to get the job done. Not having the necessary equipment costs companies both money and time. It is important to take safety precautions when leaving tools unattended on the jobsite. After hours, construction sites can become an easy target for theft and vandalism; however, there are measures a company can take to ensure tools are kept safe.

Five Tips to Keep Tools and Equipment Safe

1. Signage and Security Lighting
One of the lowest-cost deterrents is adding a simple sign. Consider adding a sign that says, “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. Setting up extra lighting and/or motion-censored lights around the jobsite helps keep crime away. Darkness tends to bring more crime so the more light there is, the better the protection.

2. 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.

3. Control Access to the Jobsite
Having just one entry point in and out of the jobsite will cut down on crime. A popular trend right now is geofencing, a virtual barrier using GPS to track behaviors using mobile phones. This has been particularly helpful for payroll and inventory.

4. Jobsite Box Protection
Tools and equipment should be kept in a safe and secure location. With the extra security of a jobsite storage box, thieves will not have a chance of getting to the most valuable tools.

5. documentation
Always photograph, document and record the serial numbers of the company’s equipment, tools and material goods for insurance purposes in the event that something is stolen. This will be extremely handy when claiming any stolen items with the insurance company.

While no plan is foolproof, following these five tips can help prevent loss of tools, money and time. Construction site crime can not only cause financial hardship, but also delay production schedules.

If a theft or crime occurs on a jobsite, it is best to have a contingency plan in place. Both the local police numbers and jobsite owner name and number should be on file and accessible to everyone on the jobsite. And as a preventative measure, always ensure equipment and tools have the proper warranties and have been registered with the manufacturer. This will make replacing the stolen tools much easier and in some cases cheaper.

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