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According the National Equipment Registry, billions of dollars worth of construction equipment and supplies are stolen annually which is not accounting additionally for the value of supplies such as copper. Copper theft alone causes nearly $1 billion in losses to businesses annually and according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), builders lose over $4 billion annually, when tracking total losses of all equipment and supplies.
According to LoJack, New Jersey is 5th in the nation when it comes to equipment theft, creating costly concerns for contractors and home builders. This results in higher expenses for builders who must then pass that cost on to buyers. The NAHB estimates that home builders should add about 1.5% to the total price of the average new home to offset costs related to theft and vandalism.
Here are some ways to help prevent theft on your job sites:
- Have a lock down area for tools and supplies and make sure to lock up equipment and the perimeter before your crew leaves for the night.
- Remove all keys from the site at night and do not share information on where spare keys are kept.
- Run background checks on employees and other contractors on site, many thefts are inside jobs.
- Use temporary fencing to close up your job site, making it harder to remove equipment and supplies. Many temporary fencing options exist and can be tailored to your site’s needs.
- Install lighting. Jobsite theft generally occurs at night and keeping the area well lit can act as a deterrent.
- Employ security guards to protect larger sites overnight.
- Create a file of all serial numbers on your equipment and tools and keep accurate inventory of your job site supplies.
- Prosecute to the fullest extent to send a message to any other potential thieves and vandals.
- Schedule material delivery to arrive “just in time” to minimize the quantity of valuable materials left on site. According to an NAHB survey about jobsite theft, 86% of builders practiced just-in-time delivery.
- Take out additional insurance to cover your equipment, materials and tools in case of theft or vandalism.
It is best to be proactive when it comes to site security and while theft will not be completely eliminated, steps can be taken to protect your job sites and greatly reduce the likelihood of costly thefts.