How Cameras and DVRs Minimize Construction Site Theft

Construction companies are forced to contend with a wide range of security issues, including accidents, vandalism and theft. And while we tend to think of mishaps that involve injuries as the greatest risks, simple theft costs builders a lot more than you might think.

Every year, thieves walk off with an estimated $1 billion in tools, equipment and materials from construction sites, according to the National Crime Bureau. Copper, lumber, tools, fuel, trucks, heavy equipment and computers stored in trailers are the favored targets.

The true costs go far beyond the value of the stolen goods. Factor in work delays, the time it takes to rent or replace equipment and tools and the increased insurance premiums you may have to pay going forward and you see that any way you look at it, theft is a big expensive deal.

Keeping an eye out, 24-7, with security cameras and video

Highly visible security cameras at your job site can act as a strong deterrent to theft, both during the day and after hours. All TrueLook cameras capture high-resolution pictures on a specified schedule, usually every 15 minutes, which is great for creating time-lapse views of what’s happening on your site. Their presence clearly warns criminals that they’re under surveillance.

Real-time monitoring can be achieved with our live streaming feature, giving you and your security staff the ability to check in on your crews, subcontractors, deliveries, weather conditions and more. Live streaming is available on-demand anytime, anywhere you have internet access.

Our PTZ and 5MP fixed cameras now come standard with cloud DVR, which automatically record video 24 hours a day for up to 7 days. Recording video allows you to watch any activity as it happened at real-time speed, complementing our streaming video capability and time-lapse schedule. So, for example, if a thief enters the property and steals tools, you don’t have to rely on time-lapse images to reveal what happened. The DVR will fill in the picture with greater details. Security recordings can be watched via the cloud anytime, from our web interface.


Beyond crime: the overall benefits of job site monitoring

TrueLook construction cameras provide a number of security benefits while they act as valuable support for best practices on the job.

Prevention. The simple presence of construction cameras, with signs pointing to their presence, helps deter intruders and potential theft. Criminals will choose sites where they know they can work unobserved.

Visual Evidence. When something does go wrong, recorded video helps settle time-consuming disputes with customers, vendors, inspectors and regulators. If theft or vandalism occurs, the video can be used as evidence of criminal activity and help with the investigation.

Efficiency. Our construction cameras also promote productivity during the workday. You can use the remote access and instant live streaming video features to monitor subcontractors and your own employees to make sure work is being done properly and efficiently. And the DVR capability allows you to see activity as it occurs without having to tie up someone to monitor it real time. Knowing that you have the ability to check live at any time, and have a recording on hand, will motivate your crews to stay on task and be accountable for their work.

Employee and subcontractor safety. If there is an injury or accident on the site, TrueLook DVR video allows you to see what really happened, giving you an accurate record that backs up team members’ reports. The video can help you identify root causes and spur your safety team to develop policies or procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Peace of mind. Owners and general contractors feel more at ease knowing they can review footage when something goes seriously wrong. The transparency of the process can lead to increased trust for all partners involved.

How TrueLook DVR works

Our PTZ and 5 MP fixed cameras come with an onboard DVR, which records HD 720P video 24 hours per day with a 7-day capacity. Using the TrueLook web site, you request the specific clips you need by date and time. Video is uploaded from your cameras to our cloud-based servers, where you can then watch the video or download it without the hassle of having to search through all the footage. To speed up the delivery process, we break the day down into manageable chunks of 10 minutes each.

Part of a complete security system

A recordable construction camera is just one element in an overall security plan, which should include multiple layers of theft and vandalism deterrents, including:

  • Keeping the site well-lighted and enclosed by security fencing. The harder it is to access your site, the less likely it is thieves will target it.
  • Posting highly visible warning signs to discourage thieves and trespassers.
  • Locking up all tools, equipment and supplies inside buildings or trailers whenever possible.
  • Using wheel locks and other immobilization devices like hidden fuel shut-off systems for heavy equipment to prevent them from being driven off the site. After hours and on weekends, remove the fuses and circuit breakers and make sure mobile equipment is placed where it is difficult to move. Surround smaller pieces of equipment with larger ones.
  • Requesting extra patrols from local authorities or considering hiring security guards to monitor the site on weekends or holidays when it’s unattended for long periods.

No security system is perfect. But wise security measures, teamed with optimal use of your TrueLook cameras and DVR capability, will help you avoid falling victim to costly losses that affect your bottom line. Learn more about construction DVR capabilities or reach out to a TrueLook representative via our website.