Yes, You Need Armed Guards: Construction Site Security Guide

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two women in a warehouse looking at a construction crane

Why to Hire Armed Security Guards & How to Make the Most of Their Service

Let’s talk about armed guards. Do you really need them? 

If you’re managing a construction site, the answer is, honestly, yes. 

Construction sites are open targets for security problems. With their expensive, unsecured materials and equipment and open surroundings, construction sites are especially vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and other security concerns.

Failing to hire armed security for your construction site can result in pretty damaging negative impacts, including:

  • Property Loss
  • Insurance Claims
  • Lost Time
  • Excess Expenses

Maybe you’ve thought of construction site security before, but thought of it as exclusively perimeter protection. The impact is much bigger than that – hiring professional armed guards to improve construction site security actually serves many purposes.

Why You Need Them: How Professional Armed Security Guards Improve Construction Site Safety and Security

Prevent Construction Site Theft

Construction sites are magnets for opportunistic theft. Without proper security, anyone can walk in off the street to steal things. 

Some crooks are out for the big stuff, like equipment, appliances, etc. Those things, at least, take time and effort to get away with, making them a little harder to steal. But smaller things like tools and copper and aluminum parts are highly valuable and much easier for thieves to walk away with.

“What about the cost?” you might ask. It’s understandable to question the expense of hiring armed security, but think of it this way: it’s cheaper to hire armed security guards than to replace your supplies and equipment. Plus, when you have to replace things, you lose valuable working time, delaying your project timeline. And time is money, you know.

Even if your perimeter security is tight, you could still be at danger from employee theft. 

Businesses in the U.S. that experienced employee theft lost an average of $1.13 million just in 2017 affected by employee theft. With the constant, watchful eye of a security guard on the premises, you won’t be among that number.

Prevent Vandalism of Property

Armed security guards can protect your construction site from vandalism like graffiti tagging. Or your unguarded construction site could be a target for illegal trash dumping and destruction or defacement of property – like smashed lightbulbs and cut wires. Cleanup and repairs can be time-consuming and expensive, so do what you can to prevent it. If vandals can’t access your site, they can’t deface it! 

Prevent Other Trespassing Liabilities

Trespassing comes with the territory of theft and vandalism, but it is also dangerous in and of itself. Curious trespassers might be invading your construction site just to look around, but even so, they still need to be stopped. Construction sites are inherently dangerous, with their heavy equipment, moving parts, and unfinished structures.

If someone  injures themselves or causes others harm on your construction site, it could mean serious delays and result in a court case. It’s unlikely an injured trespasser could successfully sue you, but it is possible – especially if you have been “negligent” about on-site hazard warnings.

Create a Record of Events

If something does go missing, or turn up damaged, a record of suspicious activities can help make sure the perpetrator is identified and charged accordingly. 

Having a written record can also clear your own name in the event of theft or vandalism and help make sure none of your crew is wrongly accused. Additionally, a guard’s testimony will come in handy if you need to file a site-related insurance claim.

Improve Day-to-Day Security Protocol Adherence

Construction sites are full of hazards. Hiring security guards will not only keep out unauthorized personnel and protect against damages but can also help improve daily site safety by:

  • Ensuring crew maintains common safety standards
  • Providing emergency response in case of an accident
  • De-escalating internal conflicts
  • Identifying other safety hazards
  • Serve as an eye witness if an accident does occur

Clearly, construction site security means a lot more than having a perimeter guard. 

How to Treat Them: Optimize Your Construction Safety By Getting to Know Your Guard

Remember, even though your security guards are responsible for improving site safety, if you’re the manager, the true burden for safety comes down on your shoulders. 

Staying involved with your site’s security, including any relationships with armed security guards is the key to making the most of your investment in site security. Here are three things you should be prepared to do when employing on-site security:

1. Be involved with the selection and hiring.

You’ll be able to trust your security guard better if you’re personally involved in vetting and selecting the security services company that will be protecting your site. Leave the decision up to someone else, and you might be dealing with sub-par security that adds more costs in the end.

2. Introduce yourself right away.

Making a good first impression will help establish that you and your site guards are on the same team from the get-go. Keeping your distance might be more your style, but friendliness is a much better plan for reliable security. 

When managers and job site personnel are on good terms with good communication, it makes the environment safer and more enjoyable. And when your construction site security guards report directly to you, you’ll have the satisfaction and peace of mind of knowing every detail of the daily happenings on site.

3. Give your guard the inside scoop.

While guards specializing in construction security will have in-depth knowledge on standard construction site safety protocol, any site-specific or project-related details you can add will go a long way toward safety. 

Each construction project or location has nuances that can impact safety issues. You’ll need to take extra safety measures by giving your armed security officers all the details. This will help your guard strategize worksite safety, protect your construction workers, and keep your project running smoothly.

A final note: Well-equipped, armed security guards will protect equipment and materials, protect workers, protect your site, and even help protect your reputation. That’s an investment you can’t afford not to make.

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