Construction Theft Fact Sheet
Construction theft has become a noticeable threat in the country. In a joint report by the National Equipment Register (NER) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), California ranks fourth on the list of equipment thefts throughout America with 694 incidents recorded in the year 2016. The top 5 states cover 45% of all thefts.
Source: Equipment Theft Report 2016, NICB (2016)
As the construction industry grows so does crime related to construction. Site owners have no choice but to become more vigilant and deploy more resources to ensure that their material and equipment remains safe from theft and vandalism. However, deploying more people to the work site can be risky in terms of their safety and hence become more of a liability for the business owners.
Cost of Equipment Theft
Annual losses to construction companies amount to $1 billion today, but this is not a new issue as reports suggest a 10% annual increase in losses since 19961. From smaller equipment like tools to small-sized machinery that can easily be loaded into trucks are all easy targets for thieve if a work site is left unattended. Another easy target is your building material supplies among which pieces of copper and similar metals are most popular.
Copper is a widely popular target for thieves and construction sites offer the most supply if left unsupervised. Copper theft in America made news when reports of metal thefts highlighted that 96% of all metal theft claims were of copper theft. According to the NICB among the top 5 states where these thefts were most conducted are Ohio, Texas, Georgia, California and Illinois2.
Such thefts can cost construction companies major budget increases and hence lower profits. Theft of equipment can delay work progress which not only affects the deadlines but also increases cost due to those deadlines being extended. This is because hired labor will require payment for the extra time worked and more importantly because breached deadlines can cause penalties to be placed on the contractors.
Ashal Security Management provides market competitive rates for security solutions that are tailored to the needs of each specific worksite. Some worksites are better managed with the physical presence of a security guard while others can be managed with remote security management using CCTV cameras. Ashal Security Management provides various different services that can meet any worksites’ security needs.
1 Rachel Burger for the Balance Small Business (2018): https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-prevent-theft-onyour-construction-site-845325
2 Mark Koba for CNBC (2013): https://www.cnbc.com/id/100917758
Theft Prone Locations
According to a study by the NICB, work sites were prone to theft incidents almost twice as much as were insured premises from 2001 to 2015. This means construction sites have generally lacked security measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur.
Source: Equipment Theft Report 2016, NICB (2016)
Worksites can store a lot of equipment mainly because transporting equipment every day to a warehouse or storing facility is not a feasible option in terms of time as well as transportation costs. Any equipment that is required on a daily basis cannot be brought in daily to operate, instead they are kept at the worksite till its purpose is completed. This makes worksites a prominent location for thieves and vandals to target. Protecting the worksite is imperative in today’s world where copper theft has made news headlines due to the sheer amount of copper stolen in the past decade.
Unfortunately, the recovery rate of stolen construction equipment isn’t very high. Of all 11,574 stolen machine cases compiled by the NICB in 2016 only 21% of the stolen machines were recovered3.
This means that the cost of the 79% of all stolen materials is borne by the business owners. With such a low recovery rate the liability of the business owners increases regardless of other work-related problems.
3 Joint Report by NICB and NER: http://www.ner.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Annual-Theft-Report-2016.pdf
Protecting your Work Site
The statistics mentioned above are too substantial to be ignored. With rising construction costs business owner’s as well as contractors can no longer consider construction theft a minor issue. Protecting your worksite is a cheaper alternative to replacing costly machinery and materials that can go missing from the worksite.
Ashal Security Management provides various solutions to prevent potential theft as well as vandalism. Based on the type of security the site owners prefer Ashal Security Management can provide visual deterrents in the form of security guards who can work around the clock to ensure that your work site is not targeted by thieves and vandals. Another option is to have CCTV camera’s on site that are strategically placed to ensure the entire site is covered especially the gate and the boundaries that can be used by thieves and vandals to access the building. A special team monitors the camera’s live coverage to ensure any suspicious activity is immediately reported to the authorities.