While it may not be pleasant to think about, understanding the very real possibility of experiencing and handling an intrusion at your construction site can be crucial. While certain factors such as lighting and geographic location can impact the likelihood of a site being burgled, generally preparing for the worst can help mentally prepare you for the all-too-important steps that need to be taken after discovering that your site has been broken into.
In the event that you discover that your site’s security has been breached, follow these simple steps in order to keep yourself and your staff safe until the coast is clear:
Call the cops
Your first instinct upon discovering an intrusion should be to call the police – and this instinct should be listened to. In the event that the intruders are lying in wait on-site, you don’t want to be dealing with that yourself – especially if it turns out that these folks are armed and/or dangerous. Remove yourself from the area and report the incident to the police from a safe location. As a bonus, reporting the incident to the police will help open an investigation into any lost/stolen goods which could lead to both their recovery and the prevention of similar crimes happening at other sites in the area.
Keep your hands to yourself
While you are waiting for the police to arrive at the site, remember that right now, your site is an active crime scene. That means you shouldn’t touch anything! While it may be tempting to search through every nook and cranny of your job site to find out what has been stolen, it’s important to remember that important evidence such as fingerprints/trace DNA may be destroyed in this process. Until you receive the go-ahead from the police, it’s best at this point to observe from a distance and refrain from touching anything.
Keep a record of all stolen items
Once the coast is clear and you are able to safely return to your site, it’s a good idea to take stock of what is and isn’t still there. What valuable items have been damaged during this invasion? What equipment has been looted? These are good questions to keep in mind and take note of as soon as it is safe to do so, since these facts can be recorded for future reference by you, law enforcement, or insurance claims reps when needed.
Re-evaluate site security
Once it is safe to do so, it’s recommended that you take stock of what security measures have been breached by this invasion: if locks were cut, they should be replaced, and all other locks on the premises should be replaced for good measure; and if fences were damaged/destroyed, they should be repaired or replaced as needed and if possible. Additionally, it might be a good idea to investigate additional security measures that can be taken to improve your site’s security. While hiring security guards to patrol the area is a good idea, guards can’t do as much of the thief-deterring heavy-lifting as high-quality surveillance cameras can.
With the ability to visually deter thieves from targeting a secured site and the capabilities of recording clear, irrefutable proof of trespassers who choose to target your site again, surveillance cameras are some of the best ways to crime-proof your site’s security.