Constructions sites are a frequent target for criminal activity, including vandalism, theft and the neglect of health and safety. Acetech Security has designed this guide to help construction site managers and their teams secure their construction sites and prevent crime. All solutions should be scaled to meet the requirements of your project and reviewed to improve and develop robust security processes.

Table of Contents:

construction site access

Managing Site Access

HSE requires principal contractors to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent unauthorized access to the construction site.

Entry points are a vulnerable area of construction sites. Therefore, where possible, entrances should be kept to a minimum to reduce the number of access points. A popular way of controlling footfall is to install turnstiles, which provide additional security at entrance points when combined with an access control system.

One of the most effective ways to secure your entrances is utilizing biometric access control systems. These systems require fingerprint authentication to enable access to your site, ensuring only authorized personnel can enter. However, fingerprints can become dirty when working in a trade, making readers less effective. Alternative options include fobs and keycards.

Reception areas a still a compelling resource for construction sites. Third-party visitors such as contractors can be directed to reception to sign in using Visitors Books or an integrated control system. Furthermore, Security guards should be present 24/7 to act as a deterrent to unwanted visitors. Manned security guards are most effective when positioned at fixed control points in vulnerable or high traffic areas.

Gates and automated gates should have minimal clearance between the base and match the height of any hoarding. This will ensure intruders can’t quickly gain access by going under or over your gates. In addition, high-quality gates are a must, as solid construction will help deter and hinder intruders attempting to force entry.

Construction Site Security Cameras

CCTV Security

Professionally installed CCTV on site will act as a deterrent and provide video evidence. When installed, cameras should be positioned to provide maximum coverage across your site. In particular, high traffic and vulnerable areas of entry should be a priority. 

High-performance CCTV systems will provide detection functionality during the day and night and under various weather conditions. Infrared CCTV cameras capture footage in black and white and full colour and can be equipped with motion sensors to detect movement.

CCTV footage can be recorded and monitored on-site or from a remote monitoring centre. Remote monitoring centres are manned by professional technicians who can interact directly with your site. They can trigger an audible alarm from their remote location to deter intruders, contact a keyholder, or contact the authorities. Many CCTV systems offer remote viewing using a handheld device, such as a mobile phone or tablet. 

Gates and barriers can combine with CCTV to provide additional security at entrances. In addition, automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras can help control vehicle movement throughout your site. 

Integrated security systems enable your CCTV solutions to communicate with your access control and lighting solutions, providing a single interface to manage security. As a result, integrated security systems are popular across construction sites.

Site Offices

Site offices should be secured using keys, access cards, biometric fingerprint readers or fobs. Access cards and fobs can be controlled centrally and deactivated if misplaced or stolen. If you opt for keys, use a central key safe and have a system for logging their use.

Offices should utilize CCTV to monitor access and deter intruders, and security personnel can provide additional protection. Security passes are effective when combined with a culture for challenging anyone without a valid ID.

Hoarding

Hoarding should be at least 2.4 meters high, using sturdy material like timber or mesh fencing. Flat-sided hoarding is more challenging to climb than mesh fencing for intruders. Furthermore, angled extensions at the top of hoarding will make climbing more difficult. Additionally, pay careful attention to potential climbing spots, with a plan to remove any potential access opportunities.
 
The gates should be the same height as the hoarding, close to the ground to prevent access underneath. In addition, any locks or bolts should only be accessible from within the site to prevent unwanted tampering. 
 
Hoarding should be regularly maintained for safety as well as cleanliness. Hoarding is a frequent target for graffiti; removing it promptly can help reduce the likelihood of more graffiti being added. Additionally, combining CCTV and signage can help deter vandalism and intruders. 
construction site lighting

Lighting

Effective lighting improves visibility across your construction site. This aids your ability to detect intruders using CCTV and helps your security guards view the site grounds. Furthermore, lighting can act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.
 
Take precautions when installing lighting around CCTV, or vice versa. Lighting inside and on the perimeter of your site should be at a consistent level; check your CCTV cameras to ensure lighting doesn’t cause glare and reduce visibility.
 
All areas of the site that are in use should be under natural light. If inadequate, or there is no natural light, artificial lighting should be used. This includes when working outside of daylight hours. 

This article is designed to give site and project managers an overview of Construction Site Security. For detailed explanations and regulations, visit Health & Safety in the Construction Industry (HSE) and The Construction (Design and Management Regulations 2015. (legislation.gov.uk)

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