Construction site security guide

The need for construction site security has never been more important. Construction sites are all too often the target for criminals. Furthermore, firms are constantly looking at ways to prevent break-ins, reduce vandalism, and theft with an effective construction site security system.

Whether you’re looking for a CCTV, access control or security alarm system for your construction site, this guide will help you to make the right choices, based on your needs.

In this guide, we will be looking at:

  • The impact and cost of construction site crime
  • Tips to help reduce crime
  • The various types of construction site security

At Safeguard Systems, we are experts in helping businesses secure their sites, premises and properties against the impact of crime.

Construction site security - CCTV


The impact and cost of construction site crime

According to a report by Building and Facilities Management Magazine, construction site crime costs £800,000,000 per year.

Those are the headline industry figures.

But how about the impact theft, damage and vandalism has on a company, construction project or development?

And, how about the impact on productivity, profits as well as rises in insurance costs?

Here’s an overview of the key areas:

Theft of materials – plant machinery, tools, wiring and more

High-value items such as plant machinery are often the target for criminals. 

They hold a high resale value and therefore criminals looking to cash-in consider them as rich pickings. 

In addition to plant machinery, wiring, tools, and materials are often the target of criminals. 

Unfortunately, these items often aren’t stored away, making it easier for crooks to go about their business.

Construction site security


The cost of damage

For sure, replacing expensive machinery and tools is a complete headache for the victims of such crime. 

In addition to theft, the cost of damage and vandalism is equally as problematic.

During the process of stealing machinery and tools, criminals often cause damage to property, other vehicles, fencing and more. All of this needs fixing before the construction project can be back on track.

Construction project delays

Construction projects often operate on tight profit margins. Any downtime not only causes disruption to project timeframes but can also reduce profit.

Where sites are impacted by crime, machinery, and tools need replacing. Additionally, any damage to property needs addressing and this doesn’t always happen overnight. 

Lost days on-site, mean longer project timeframes, with an impact on sales and profit. 

Security on a construction site


The rising cost of construction site insurance

An appropriate construction site security system could be the difference between being a victim of crime and protection against crime.

When a crime is committed, particularly theft, insurance claims often need to be made. When claims are made, premiums can rise, impacting the project and the companies involved financially.

In addition to the financial costs associated with rising insurance costs, the time lost in making claims, dealing with the Police and other authorities impacts project delivery time and more.

On the subject of insurance, may providers stipulate the requirement to work with fully accredited security system installers. As SafeContractor and SSAIB accredited security system installer, we are well versed in the stipulations insurers require businesses to adhere to.

security system installer accreditations


Construction site security – tips to reduce crime.

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than the cure.

Here are some tips to help improve your construction site security:

  • Where possible, register all plant vehicles with the DVLA and if possible implement GPS tracking. When looking to deter thieves,  make these security measures highly visible on the vehicles
  • Monitor and vet staff. Savvy criminals often seek to have a ‘man on the inside’. By performing background checks on your contractors, you may spot something of concern.  Investing in an appropriate access control system, will help monitor the movements of staff around your site but will also help to track when they are there.


  • Use an effective immobiliser system on all onsite plant machinery. It’s true, seasoned criminals have a workaround for many security measures, but this may buy your security team much needed time to notify the authorities if they spot an offence taking place


  • Install a robust construction site security system. Here at Safeguard Systems, we recommend investing in an integrated CCTV and security alarm system. We also suggest a perimeter security alarm that triggers when potential intruders near access points of your site. CCTV monitoring services can also help reduce the impact of crime. Rather than relying on onsite security guards, an external team manages the monitored CCTV 24/7 helping to reduce instances of missed crimes. CCTV monitoring can reduce the costs of security by up to 80% against employing physical guards on site


  • Park all plant machinery together and chain it up where possible – simply make it difficult for criminals to have their way. You can’t always stop criminals getting into your site, but once in there are many measures  you can do to prevent any further crime taking place


  • Ensure all keys are safely stored and locked away in an office. Don’t make your lives harder. At the end of a busy shift, it’s easy to cut corners when looking to wrap up and head home. Furthermore, ensure this measure is part of your daily security checks, ahead of closing the site for the day and handing over to your security team 


  • Check that all plant machinery is fitted with lockable windows. This simple security measure can be the difference between a thief gaining access to a vehicle and not. The end result can be a crime prevented 


Construction site security – what are the options?

When it comes to construction site security, there are a  number of systems that can meet a range of requirements.

The following part of the guide provides information on the various security systems available to the construction industry.

They are:

  • CCTV – crystal clear HD images, IP based systems, and remote CCTV monitoring
  • Access Control – door entry systems, video intercom, keyless site entry, turnstiles and more
  • Security Alarms – wired, wireless and fully monitored options
  • Perimeter protection and detection systems  – integrated CCTV and alarm systems
  • Temperature screening systems – protection against the spread of viruses on site

If you at the stage where you’re researching your options you can visit our dedicated page for construction site CCTV, access control, and security alarms.

Construction site CCTV – spot threats and prevent crime

When it comes to construction site CCTV, there are a few options. 

HD and IP CCTV systems

For sites that have on-site security teams an HD CCTV system is the perfect option. Construction site CCTV systems can be tower mounted and can be moved from site to site as one project ends and another starts. These video surveillance systems are able to run via their own power source and are transmitted via 4G to a control centre. 

There is a range of reasons construction firms invest in CCTV systems for their building sites. If CCTV is front of mind for you right now, we’d recommend reading our blog on the benefits of construction site CCTV.


Construction site CCTV system


Monitored CCTV systems

For construction firms focused on cost, we recommend understanding the benefits of a monitored CCTV service.

An external team of security professionals views external CCTV monitoring systems. When comparing CCTV monitoring against a standard onsite CCTV installation, from a cost point of view, you can reduce the cost of security by up to 80%.

If this is of interest, you can find out more on our dedicated CCTV monitoring systems page.

Construction site CCTV monitoring


Construction site access control – manage the flow of contractors, suppliers, and staff around your site

Construction site access control systems prevent unauthorised access to your site. Access control is a core component to deterring crime and ensures safety standards are met throughout a construction project. 

There are various access control systems you can deploy on a construction site, including:

  • Card and fob entry systems – in addition to providing secure access to a site, these systems help to track time, attendance and enable you to monitor who is on-site and who isn’t
  • Video intercom and video door entry systems – these access control systems provide a safe way to grant access to delivery drivers and site visitors
  • Audio intercom – an alternative to video intercom. Audio intercom systems are another means to provide safe access to a site

Temperature screening and thermal imaging cameras 

These new advanced security systems enable site operators to screen employees, contractors, and site visitors to see if they are running a high temperature. 

Temperature screening and thermal imaging solutions are perfect for the construction industry. Construction sites often have a high footfall of staff, visitors, contractors, and suppliers. 

Temperature screening cameras and systems can be part of your unified effort to reduce the impact of viruses on site.

Security Alarms for construction sites

Security alarms, also referred to as intruder alarms, are the backbone of your construction site security.

They are a visual deterrent to crime and help stop thieves in their tracks.

There is a range of security alarms for building sites. Dependent on budget, type of project, as well as size of site we would recommend a choice of:

  • Wired alarms
  • Wireless alarms
  • Monitored alarm systems

Perimeter protection and detection systems

Finally, for larger sites with multiple potential break-in points, we’d recommend investing in a perimeter protection and detection system.

Infra-red beams add an additional,  invisible layer of security around your construction site and when someone sets off a trigger, it sends an alert to your security teams.

When integrated with an effective CCTV system, Perimeter protection, and detection systems are an effective means to catch and deter thieves and vandals.

Looking for a new construction site security system?

Safeguard Systems can design and install security systems for a number of construction sites across Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire & Oxfordshire.

With offices in Newbury, Southampton, Reading, Oxford and Swindon we are well placed to cater for your needs.

For a free, no-obligation quote and site survey get in touch via our contact page or call us today on 0800 689 1835