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Between tools, heavy equipment, and raw materials, a poorly secured construction site is every thief’s dream score. Add to that, a tight economy, rising inflation, and soaring material costs, and it’s no wonder job sites all across the country are under attack.

And, it’s no temporary phenomenon.

A 2016 joint study issued by the National Equipment Register (NER) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that somewhere between $300 million and $1 billion in equipment alone is stolen each year. And, to make matters worse, only 21 percent of that is ever recovered.

At SiteBox Storage, we have worked with site managers across the country, and in a wide variety of industries, so we know just how scary those statistics about construction theft can be. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure that your jobsite is not at risk of being the next target.

6 things you can do to prevent jobsite theft, Plus a Bonus

1. Create a theft risk analysis plan

Every solid process starts with a good plan. Determining how to protect your property is no different. Set the foundation for a well-protected jobsite by creating a thorough theft risk analysis plan.

This plan should include a detailed map of your property, indicating “soft spots” that could be used as potential access points for thieves. Also include a list of protocols for all employees and subcontractors to outline procedures for securing equipment, vehicles, materials, and any potential on-site structures.

From there, create a daily checklist of security steps that should be taken and who’s responsible for seeing that they get done.

2. Utilize portable storage containers

Yes, we have some skin in the game when it comes to the portable storage business. However, that also means we have expertise in this area. Portable storage containers provide you with the unique opportunity to take what would otherwise be left out in the open and put it into a safe, enclosed space. With a portable storage unit built of all-steel construction and solid locking doors, even if your site is exposed to potential trespassers, your equipment and supplies are not.

SiteBox Storage even offers a Damage Protection Program. While it may not PREVENT theft, the protection program does assure you that if the unthinkable were to happen, and a break-in of your unit is attempted, you aren't liable for the damage caused to the unit itself, whether that is physical damage or theft of the entire unit. And, it also protects the unit against vandalism, and naturally occurring events like fire, storm, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. (However, the unit itself is not a storm shelter.

The Damage Protection Program gives you peace of mind AND saves you time & money in the long run. 

3. Install perimeter fencing

A chain-link fence isn’t exactly impenetrable (all the more reason to invest in a good portable storage container), but it is a deterrent. Time is of the essence to a thief, and anything that could slow them down and leave them potentially exposed is something they will notice, and it (hopefully) convinces them to move on.

That said, once you have your fencing installed, it’s important that you routinely walk your perimeter to look for potential weak spots that may pop up—or have been created.

4. Register—and keep a running inventory—of all equipment

If you don’t know what you’ve got, you won't know when it’s gone, so keep a master list of everything currently on your jobsite. From there, utilize the NER Heavy Equipment Contributory Database to register your equipment. Doing so will help law enforcement identify your equipment in case of theft and increase your odds of actually retrieving stolen items.

Want a less high-tech solution? Engrave your company’s information on tools and heavy equipment, or give them highly identifiable markings (bright colors, etc.) that can’t be easily modified. Or, just make them “ugly.” One goal of a thief is to take things they think they can sell.

5. Install lighting and security cameras

Most thieves prefer to strike under cover of darkness, so do your best to ensure that your site is brightly lit to make intruders as conspicuous as possible. While you’re at it, install security cameras that will catch the thief in the act or, better yet, deter them from ever stepping foot on your property in the first place.

6. Use GPS to track your equipment in real-time

On the off chance that a thief is able to elude all of the security efforts mentioned above, consider installing GPS systems on all of your high-value equipment, like generators, skid steers, and vehicles. Doing so will allow you to track the exact location of your equipment, and improve your chances of recovering stolen equipment.

Staying Ahead of Theft on the JobSite

To protect your jobsite from potential thieves, you have to stay one step ahead. Start by creating a thorough security plan to identify potential weaknesses on your site. Then, install several lines of defense that include fencing, portable storage units, lighting, cameras, and GPS tracking devices. Once all of those are in place, don’t be complacent. Be constantly alert for how a thief can potentially “beat the system,” and make adjustments as needed.

To learn more about how portable storage units can enhance your security plan, and to see what’s available contact SiteBox Storage today.