The Home Office reports that in 2015 over one fifth (21%) of all business in the Construction Sector experienced crime; mostly vehicular theft (7%), burglaries (6%) and thefts (6%). In total there were 141,000 crimes against construction premises over the 12-month period of which 81,000, almost 60% were made up of burglaries, vandalism, robbery and theft, a shocking statistic. With over 64% of these crimes taking place between 6pm and 6am, the question that is most commonly asked is “Does your security measures protect your site?”
The impact from burglaries on the construction industry saw £70,000,000 worth of plant equipment stolen during 2015, this knock on affect had a tangible cost of over £800million in the form of plant replacement costs, hire of replacement equipment, loss of business and increased insurance premiums. In at least 14% of all cases these criminal acts were carried out by someone working on their own who had entered the site without permission.
This raises the question of how can an industry prevent an impact of £112,000,000 to their project costs as a whole by stopping the advantageous trespasser. The first area to look at is the perimeter security, a weak perimeter offers the opportunity for someone to enter the site without any specialist tools and commit an act of burglary. As reported with over 64% of these acts happening during the evening a dedicated fence line is the first line of defence against these impromptu attacks.
The issue that has been constant for Construction Fencing over the years is most forms of temporary construction fencing are installed and removed with a standard set of tools, this means with only a standard spanner a temporary site fence can in most cases be breached without any difficulty.
£112,000,000 total project costs over 12 months impacted by potentially the cost of a spanner? This was an area that seemed to generate the most surprise, how could a system that is meant to offer security be overcome through lack of any real security fixings. During the design process of FenceSafe™; the new temporary construction fencing from CLD Fencing Systems one of the key factors in the security aspect of the product was how do we bring security to all areas of the product. The use of our 7 sided security bolts; means that the advantageous thief can no longer arrive with a spanner and open the fence line to gain access.
The next step was to analyse the wire thickness currently on the market for Temporary Construction Fencing. BS 1722 Part 18:2011 states that the current temporary mesh fencing solutions must have a wire diameter of at least 2.3mm, the disadvantage of this; as proven by BRE in LPS 1775 test on such product, is that a standard knife placed on the wire and hit with a blunt object will split all the wires and allow access in a matter of seconds. Even with a 3mm wire diameter it takes just 15.24 seconds to create an aperture large enough to enter the site and 15.32 seconds with a pair of normal pliers.
Security fixings alone aren’t enough to offer a true security construction fence and so CLD Fencing Systems designed the FenceSafe™ rigid mesh panels to feature 5mm welded wires on each vertical and horizontal as standard. So with the panel now secured and requiring more specialised tools to either remove or cut through it, their eyes turned to the ability to climb over the fence line.
Most hoardings and construction site fences have flat tops, not only does this mean it offers a place to gain a firm hand hold but also offers zero anti-climb protections for people moving over the top of it. The FenceSafe™ system employs 30mm extending wire spikes at 50mm centres that make it difficult to take a firm handhold position and offer the risk of injury when moving over the top of them. Matched with a profiled panel the ability to climb over the fence line is greatly reduced when compared to the standard temporary fencing options. So if it is tough to climb over, cut through or open the fence line does that stop the opportunist thief?
In the majority of cases, using a firm fence line and matching it with additional measures such as CCTV, Manned Patrols and other security toolsets, the site becomes too strong a target for the opportunist. They would rather select a weak site where they know they can break in, take the assets they want; whether tools, building materials or plant and leave as quickly as they can. Time spent trying to breach a strong fence line can be the difference between getting away with a burglary or getting caught.
Link to download PDF