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How to Prevent Items From Being Stolen at a Construction Sites

If you are in the construction industry, you know that theft is a very costly problem for the industry. There are many precautions to take to prevent theft, but a customized surveillance plan is your best bet for protecting your site. Construction site theft is a large problem, but it is preventable. These are the four most common items stolen from construction sites and how you can you prevent theft of these items.

Small Tools and Supplies

Merely because of size, tools and small supplies are perhaps the easiest target for thieves on your site. Unfortunately, most of this type of theft comes from within the ranks of those working on your site. A drill or screw driver here or there doesn’t seem like a huge loss. However, if these items are disappearing on a regular basis, the cost really adds up.

Construction site surveillance is not just for after hours. Great video surveillance systems can complement great inventory practices to keep tabs on your small tools and supplies. Since this is the most common type of theft within employees and subcontractors on your site, you can often prevent theft of this kind by building better relationships with these individuals. Get to know your employees and subcontractors. Understanding what is happening in their lives will help you to know if there is a need for any particular employee. Great relationships and a positive security culture will help prevent theft.

prevent theft of heavy machinery

Earth Movers Heavy Equipment Machinery Construction

Heavy Machinery

Though larger equipment is harder to target, mainly due to size, it is still a target. Stealing heavy machinery is common for thieves looking to make more money off the equipment. Sometimes thieves of heavy machinery are employees or subcontractors, and sometimes not. However, either way, even just one heavy piece of equipment stolen creates a problem of high cost for a job.

While excellent video construction site surveillance will help in detecting and apprehending a suspect, there are other ways to make it harder for someone to steal heavy equipment. Keeping valuable tools and equipment securely locked  after hours will help deter thieves. The visible presence of security systems in place will also help. Some other “common sense” tips to prevent theft include these:

  • Don’t keep keys to the equipment in the equipment itself.
  • Store keys in a place that is not immediately visible to intruders.
  • Keep an accurate record of serial numbers and identifying characteristics of each piece of equipment on site.
  • Ensure that your perimeter fence is secure.


Particularly during residential construction booms, appliances are a valuable target for thieves, as well. They are sometimes delivered to sites before they are ready to be installed. In new residential areas, builders are often constructing several homes at the same time. These areas become a prime target for appliance theft.

You can still protect valuable dishwashers, washers and dryers, refrigerators, and water heaters. The right surveillance solution for your site will help deter and prevent theft.

prevent theft of lumberLumber

Lumber is rarely inventoried well, so “spare” lumber is often taken by employees or others on the site who might do construction projects on the side. To prevent theft of lumber, keep close watch on employees who hang around until others have left the site. Review surveillance records to be sure there is nothing leaving the site with employees.

As with small tools and supplies, fostering relationships with your employees can have an impact on lumber theft. Knowing about hardships and behaviors and jobs outside of work hours can help you to work with those who could become thieves to ensure that doesn’t progress.


In conclusion, no matter the target, there are steps to take to prevent theft. Correctly positioned video surveillance cameras and a complete security plan, as well as healthy relationships with employees, fostered daily, will help prevent theft. Your construction site needs protection, and EyeSite Surveillance is always here to help.

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