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Construction site surveillance: is it worth the investment?

We can quickly answer the question which items would be stolen without permission on construction sites: everything! The smallest screwdriver is just as likely to be targeted by casual thieves and professional gangs as wheel loaders, copper wires and fuels of all kinds. A loss of around €20 million a year speaks for itself. In recent years, the number of thefts on construction sites in the UK has increased by almost 10 per cent. This is also due to the huge exponential development of construction prices.

Effective protection before theft occurs can only be provided by targeted construction site surveillance. Modern camera systems monitor construction sites 24/7, 365 days a year. What requirements are needed? Which system is suitable for which site and what are the costs? Many questions - we at WatchTower have the answers. 

Construction site

Construction site surveillance - prevention, deterrence, apprehension

Why is construction site surveillance necessary at all? Because the incentives for theft on construction sites are more varied than ever before - from daredevil attacks to targeted robberies. Our experience therefore tells us that consistent protection is essential. The use of permanently installed or mobile camera systems enables targeted prevention by monitoring the construction site 24 hours a day. This proactive security measure not only recognizes potential offenders at an early stage, but also deters them in advance. If a theft does occur, video surveillance helps identify and arrest the perpetrators.

Features of effective video surveillance

There are different camera systems with different functions. From simple, classic cameras that serve mainly as deterrents, to innovative technologies linked to burglar alarm systems. If the system detects unauthorized movements, the alarm center is automatically alerted and intervenes.

Our certified alarm center is staffed by experienced personnel who chase away 90% of intruders in the act thanks to a live offender approach. With an average response time of less than a minute, we set the standard in our market and help make construction sites safer overall. The benefits are obvious:

  • Use of advanced video technology for efficient identification of offenders

  • High-cost efficiency thanks to seamless construction site surveillance

  • Prevention also possible on large construction sites

  • Preventing accidents due to unauthorized access

  • Providing evidence in case of incidents

Construction site surveillance: an advantage for contractors

For contractors, not only a smooth construction project is crucial, but also safety and efficiency. Construction site surveillance offers just that - and more. Targeted construction site surveillance not only reduces the risk of theft, vandalism, and sabotage, but also helps minimize construction delays. Real-time monitoring allows customers to track construction progress at any time and, if necessary, quickly understand where possible errors have occurred.

While traditional security measures such as fences, signs and guards with personnel offer only limited protection, construction site surveillance provides reliable, proactive protection against unwanted intruders. Modern camera systems are ready for immediate use and provide seamless surveillance of the entire construction site day and night. With a large surveillance radius and high detection quality, they keep the construction project in view, ensure calculable costs and consistent construction progress.

Construction site surveillance is not only a benefit for the construction site itself, but also for the contractor. It offers safety, efficiency, risk minimization and comprehensive documentation of construction progress - all crucial factors for the success of a construction project.

Watchtower on site security in Hoorn

One solution - many fields of application

Besides monitoring construction sites and vast areas, modern camera security technology is also suitable for many other areas. Watchtower has specialized in customers from the following sectors:

  • Industrial plants

  • Architecture

  • Infrastructure

  • Municipalities

  • Vacant premises

Camera systems increase security on many construction sites. During the day, they are the perfect complement to the watchful eye of construction personnel. At night and outside working hours, they provide continuous protection against unwanted infringements. In the worst-case scenario, effective action can be taken, and the police are quickly on site.

Construction sector under economic pressure

Implementing targeted construction site surveillance is no longer an option, but an essential measure. There are many reasons for theft on construction sites, including the current economic situation. Prices of construction materials have risen exponentially in recent years and there is still a persistent shortage of many goods. Many companies face the challenge of financing and procurement, leading some to switch to cheaper "alternatives". There are also unusually long delivery times for certain construction materials, which slows down the construction schedule and causes resentment among builders.

A secure construction site with modern camera systems cannot reduce material prices or shorten delivery times, but it does protect available materials from unauthorised access and ensures compliance with the construction schedule.

The customized security solution: three steps to construction site surveillance

Choosing suitable security measures for a construction site depends on several factors, such as the size of the site, the number of materials and construction machinery and their storage. To achieve optimal results, at Watchtower we follow a proven approach:

  1. Personal consultation and needs assessment:
    In our initial meetings, we discuss the basic framework together and weigh up the rough requirements and options.

  2. Risk analysis:
    An on-site inspection by our Watchtower staff provides the most effective basis for targeted site security. After all details have been recorded, the subjective risk is assessed.

  3. Tailor-made surveillance concept:
    Based on personal advice and risk analysis, we develop a customised security solution that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the construction site. This solution offers maximum flexibility in contract design and no excess in the event of an insured event. This ensures a cost-effective and risk-free approach with a full focus on site protection.

All-round service: renting surveillance cameras

Effective construction site surveillance requires cooperation with a competent service provider that offers real added value. As a security partner, we take care of everything, from planning, delivery, and installation to ongoing operation, to ensure complete construction site protection - in other words, complete theft protection. If a camera fails, we quickly provide a replacement. All responsibility lies with us, including the connection to the surveillance control center. This secures the construction site and, if necessary, can use loudspeakers to chase away unauthorised intruders.

Directly tackled - immediately deterred

90% of potential intruders are immediately deterred by the instant announcement of our experienced security professionals. We do not use a pre-recorded announcement, but a concise live speech to the offender. If the warnings are ignored, the local police are immediately contacted. The entire process, from initial activation of the alarm to notification to the police, takes less than a minute on average. A response time that has yet to be surpassed.

The decision to actively intervene is made by the motion detectors on the camera masts. If unwanted movements are detected, an alarm is immediately triggered at the control center.

Construction site - header

A strong partnership: control center, building owner & police

Our Watchtower control center is the central element of any surveillance project. With fast response time in emergencies and live communication to deter intruders in a targeted way. The security specialists there have a clear goal: to detect unauthorised persons on site and drive them away immediately. This is done according to a tried and tested procedure:

  1. Entering the guarded area:
    An unauthorised person enters the guarded area of the construction site without permission, possibly for the purpose of theft or sabotage.

  2. Rapid alert:
    The installed camera masts detect unusual movements and immediately trigger an alarm at the control center.

  3. Contacting the control center:
    Staff at the control center are immediately notified and view the camera images live.

  4. Observation, evaluation, intervention:
    Our security professionals carefully observe the suspicious movement that triggered the alarm, assess the situation, and intervene immediately if necessary. This can be done initially by addressing the intruder directly, who is then asked to leave the monitored area immediately. If the intruder does not comply with this request, we immediately inform the police, depending on the agreement with the building owner.

  5. Damage prevention:
    The intruder is apprehended, and possible damage is proactively prevented.

Planning building site security: well thought-out from A to Z

As a security partner for theft protection on construction sites, Watchtower offers the complete package: from initial planning to installation & commissioning and collection of surveillance systems. Security from a sole source.

What does construction site surveillance cost?

The cost of targeted construction site surveillance varies as much as the surveillance concept itself. Several factors come into play, including: 

  • The choice of tower

  • The duration of use required

  • The number of masts required

The price includes continuous surveillance around the clock, 365 days a year. Our Watchtower planning department organizes the delivery and dismantling of the tower equipment. The in-house service team installs the camera masts and makes them ready for use. If the systems need to be relocated during the construction phase, this service is also included in the price. There are no additional costs - 100% protection guaranteed!