By Lisa Koy – Construction site security often gets put on the never-ending “to do” list as people focus on the more immediate aspects of getting a project underway. In fact, too many contractors don’t even hire security companies until after they’ve been stolen from. But, with new technologies, and new ways of securing construction sites, taking care of construction site security is easier than it’s ever been. Here are a few options to secure your job site in the best way possible:
Put Virtual To Work
A new and effective security system is on the rise, and it’s called the virtual guard. Virtual guards can replace physical security guards by doing everything they do, plus more. Because it is a camera system, it is more reliable than an actual security guard, who might have to use the restroom or accidentally fall asleep on the job, leaving the site unprotected and vulnerable. With the virtual system, cameras are set up at different points along the perimeter of the site, making sure that no corner is left unseen. This way, if anyone tries to break in, they will be fully seen on camera.
The virtual guard does a “walk through” of the construction site on a predetermined schedule, just as a physical guard does. It reports any discrepancies to the server, which the team reviews to see if they are threats. There can also be a panic button installed for lone workers in emergency situations. They only press the button if they feel threatened, and when they do, local authorities are contacted. Among other features, the virtual guard can “walk” lone workers to their cars at night, act as a virtual doorman, and assist lone workers with opening and closing shops. It can even be cheaper than using a regular security system, and a lot more effective.
Putting Drones Overhead
Drones are all the rage for photographing events to filming sporting events, and they’re both fun and useful. But, soon they are going to move into a more serious field: construction site security. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are already used in construction zones to survey sites for safety violations, and checking to make sure that all of the blueprints are being followed perfectly. They’ll start to play a bigger role, though, once people start to use them for construction site surveillance.
Drones are useful in this sense because they can have any type of camera installed on them. For example, thermal cameras tend to be the most useful at night, because they can sense body heat and are able to determine if there is a potential trespasser on site, or if the heat is coming from something non-threatening, like a wandering animal. UAVs can launch at a certain time each day, fly around the site all night, and return to the ground the next morning. They can fly around the entire property much faster than a human guard would be able to walk, so they can get to any area where assistance is needed right away.
Construction Site Security with Robots
Another huge development for the security industry, and one that could really help with construction site security, has come about in the past few months: robot security guards. A company called Knightscope has created these 300 pound guards to scare off intruders. Mega company, Uber, has put them to use in their parking garages, and they have proven to be very useful. They can move around surprisingly quickly, chase off any intruders that may threaten the property, and record everything in the process. Even though they have not been put to use on construction sites quite yet, they could be soon.These robots would be an ideal replacement for human guards. They are mobile and can “think” like a human, but are cheaper and more effective due to their video-recording abilities. They can also be monitored by humans around the clock to ensure nothing goes wrong with the technical aspects of the robot. Although it may take a few years to put into practice, these robots really could be the future of construction site security.
The new options of virtual guards, drones, and robots are cutting the costs of construction site security while freeing up humans for other tasks. The future is now, so why not take advantage of it?
Lisa Koy is the marketing director for eCamSecure, and has been involved the security industry for more than 16 years. When not writing about security, she is finding new restaurants to eat at, gardening, and watching funny TV shows with her family.