5 Practices To Secure Your Empty Construction Sites

Construction sites typically house highly valuable tools and equipment required to finish construction projects. These items can be taken advantage of at night after workers have left at the end of a workday or when construction has been suspended or postponed in order to obtain more resources or financing.

This makes them a target for vandalism, theft, and unauthorised access when left unattended. Each year the construction industry in the UK loses approximately GBP£2.8 billion to theft and build-site destruction. 

Thus, it’s vital for construction companies to invest in comprehensive security to protect their assets and avoid financial losses associated with criminal activities. Doing this can also install confidence and trust in your clients and establish your company’s reputation.

Here are five practices to secure your empty construction sites and impress your clients with methodical safety measures:

1. Utilize Surveillance Systems

Video surveillance is one of the most assured methods of protecting your empty construction site. This is because they allow you to monitor the entire site at once, which is necessary for an area too big for manual inspections. The cameras should be placed at key entry points and ideally, have a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the interior and exterior space as possible.

Furthermore, these cameras should be remotely connected to alarm systems such as ARC and monitored with real-time footage during vacant times by a professional security team. Doing this allows for a quicker response if the alarm is triggered and a trespasser is detected. Using drones for night-time surveillance is also a useful option because they’re equipped with thermal sensors and night vision cameras.

2. Hire A Security Team

In addition to video surveillance, you can hire a team of SIA-accredited security specialists for on-site monitoring. These teams can provide extra coverage and patrol your construction site perimeter and interior when the property is vacant. They can also be placed at access points to prevent anyone from gaining entry and question suspicious persons roaming around or loitering.

A strong and visible security presence from Clearway Guarding can discourage criminal activity from occurring in the first place. Nevertheless, should any intrusion attempts happen, the highly trained guards can take action and later liaise with law enforcement to provide supporting evidence against an offender.

3. Keep Your Site Well Lit

A well-lit construction site has proven effective in averting criminal activity at night. This is because lighting increases the chances of being spotted while reducing the amount of inconspicuous hiding space available. As such, the lights should also reach the interior corners of the building in construction.

Most trespassers would also assume that lights at the construction site indicate the presence and activity of people there. Another helpful layer of security is installing motion-sensing lights that can illuminate a particular area if any movement is detected.  In this case, the lights should be connected to other security systems previously mentioned to activate the security team.

4. Keep Equipment Secure

At the end of every working day, construction site supervisors should ensure that all equipment and machines have a suitable place where they can be packed away and locked out of sight. Any loose materials, such as sand and brick piles, concrete mixes, scaffolding and work platforms, should be covered up by plastic sheeting.

Keeping your valuable assets undiscoverable and ‘invisible’ can help deter criminals from planning thefts. Moreover, they keys to locked-up equipment should remain either with the supervisor or head of security.  At the start of construction, the project manager should keep a record to track where all the inventory is located at all times. If you need an extra layer of protection, anti-theft ‘kill switches’ can be installed into the ignition of your machines to prevent vehicle theft.

5. Install Perimeter Fencing With Signage

You can keep your construction site secure by installing a perimeter fence to enclose the area. The fencing should ideally cover the storage units and warehouses while being obscure to block out the area from passers-by. One of the most effective construction site fencings is corrugated hoarding panels because they’re painted in dark colours to conceal your site. They’re also made flat and smooth to prevent thieves from climbing, cutting and scaling it.

However, if you do opt for a chain-link fence, there are screens and slates you can install with it to improve privacy and security. This limits the criminals’ ability to remove equipment from the site too. On top of this, you should add clear and visible signage at access points and around the perimeter fence to warn criminals of the security features set in place and the hazards of trespassing on your construction site.


Implementing effective security practices on your construction sites can protect your company from incurring major financial losses due to theft. Therefore, you can invest in surveillance, lighting and security guard operations that dissuade intruders from attempting a break-in.

You can install perimeter fencing and keep your expensive equipment locked and hidden away to reduce the chances of criminals gaining entry and getting away with stolen items. Applying these security systems can help ensure your construction site is safe and protected when it’s empty.

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