Construction Site Security: Preventing Equipment Theft

Construction Site Security: Preventing Equipment Theft

Planning your construction site security is essential for preventive measures against theft and robbery. It is common for thieves to set their eyes on whatever is expensive on a construction site such as power tools, copper wires, and machinery. If your construction site has poor security the culprits can make these expensive items disappear overnight.

Construction theft has been reported to have strong links to organised crime in Australia. This may be why only 25% of stolen products are ever found. To top it all off, construction sites consist of products that can be sold and transported easily in and out of Australia.

To successfully sell construction equipment to the black market, thieves often give it a new look. They will remove any company logos and identifications on the equipment and paint it with a new colour.

The construction industry loses more than $50 million to theft per year. Many think that this is still relatively low in comparison to other crimes like vehicle theft. However, year after year of construction theft would still amass hundreds of millions (or even billions) if not taken seriously.

This is especially true for small and family-owned construction sites who get the bulk of construction theft cost and delays in operation. It’s time to take these construction site security measures into consideration.

Types of Construction Site Thieves in Australia

Knowing how thieves operate will give you an idea of how you can protect your construction site better from their attacks. Reports from the Construction & Mining Equipment Industry Group (CMEIG) show that there are two types of construction theft that are commonly reported in Australia.

One is where common felons like vandals and joy riders take the equipment but abandon it at a location near the scene of the crime. So, although it has suffered from misuse and damage, it is of equal concern due to the potential injury of trespassers. When entering the building site and climbing on the equipment they themselves in danger. This can result in them experiencing serious injuries, which can leave your business vulnerable.

Two is more organised and done professionally. It is where organised crime groups work with some people within the industry, and hence they know every nook and cranny of the target construction site. This also explains why there’s little to no chance of recovering a stolen equipment.

Install High Fences

It is easy to take basic things like this for granted so what happens is that owners and project managers don’t put a well-thought-out site security measure in place.

Potential thieves can observe your construction site easily if your fences and barricades are not high enough to obstruct their view. It is also important to invest in locks with advanced mechanisms to prevent a break-in at your site offices.

Manage Your Equipment and Supplies

Looking after your tools is a priority for most tradesmen and construction companies. Just by managing tools and equipment properly you reduce the risk of construction site theft.

  • Keep an inventory of your tools, documenting the serial numbers of equipment for insurance purposes.
  • All tools and equipment should be accounted for and locked up in a secure location at the end of each shift.
  • When it comes to materials, don’t over order to minimise supplies left on site.

Lighting & Alarm Systems

Thieves do not want to get caught so they tend to stay away from places that are well-lit and have security systems in place. But many construction sites lack even basic sensor lighting making them an easy target to plunder unseen.

We also recommend that you connect your lighting system to your motion sensors, CCTV cameras, and alarm devices. This will expose and deter any criminal activity on site as soon as possible.

Your security needs shouldn’t compromise because of geographically challenging environments like construction sites. There are many different options to ensure you can monitor your site. This includes Solar cameras which are a great way of keeping an eye on your site. Solar cameras are used where running cables would be impossible or overly expensive.

Construction Site Security Guards

Once any of your alarm goes off, who would come in to respond to an emergency situation? Hire security guards as an added layer of protection.  They can watch over the site or provide regular patrols and security signage to put off would-be thieves.


Construction theft is a multi-million-dollar liability that can cause some serious damage to your business. Small companies typically fall victim to this crime because they invest so little in a sound construction site security plan. So, it costs them more to deal with delayed operations and ordering more supplies.

Therefore, to avoid this problem, schedule an appointment with your local security company today.