Christian Matenaers from tool and personal protective equipment provider Zoro shares his top tips for protecting your construction site.
CONSTRUCTION sites aren't on the list of businesses that need to close during the UK's coronavirus lockdown. And, in a letter thanking construction employees for continuing to work during the outbreak, our Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, said those working onsite are permitted to continue doing so.
However, many site managers are sending their staff home anyway, which is arguably the most responsible thing to do.
But this does mean that many UK construction sites could be sitting unoccupied for months. While everyone should be following the latest guidelines when it comes to social distancing and staying home, people might still use this opportunity to steal from or vandalise construction sites. So, you need to ensure yours is secured.
Organise access to your CCTV from home
While you might not be working on your construction site for the foreseeable future, you'll still want to check in on it from time to time. This will make it much easier for you to contact police as quickly as possible if you think there's a problem and will also help to put your mind at ease.
So, before you completely shut up shop, it's a good idea to look into whether you'll be able to gain access to your CCTV from home. Most leading CCTV providers will allow you to tap into your system through your phone or home computer so you can keep an eye on things.
Make a special effort to secure your perimeter
There's no telling when the UK's lockdown will be over, so you could be away from your site for weeks — or even months — to come. So, you want to be especially confident that nobody will be able to gain access to your premises.
It's important that you assess whether your existing security precautions are fit for purpose. For example, it's usually considered acceptable for the hoarding around a construction site to be 2.4m tall (PressOn), but some sites do opt for boards that are 3m tall for extra protection. If your site is mostly open plan at the moment, it's also worth compartmentalising it in order to put more obstacles between thieves and your most valuable equipment.
Finally, check all your locks, alarms, and other security systems to make sure they work as they should. It's easy to become complacent with this, but you're going to be relying on them now more than ever.
Consider having a security guard
If these measures don't put your mind at ease, consider keeping one or two people onsite to keep an eye on things.
You could ask your existing security team to keep working, although it's important you check whether their situation will allow them to do so. Another option is to hire new security guards from a firm that specialises in looking after construction sites. Many are looking for jobs, so you could be helping someone out. Just make sure whoever agrees knows that they must abide by all of the government's latest advice.
Take these tips on board to help protect your site through the lockdown.