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The security sector has evolved as a result of new technologies and client demands from many industries. Security operations are being transformed by new technology and digital solutions, but the role of security is changing as well. A study revealed how leaders think about security and what solutions they require today and in the future. There are six major shifts among these tendencies that, taken together, point to a new security picture.

From entry to occupancy

Today’s security procedures, albeit with limitations, tend to focus on access control. Many organizations, for example, know how many people have arrived but not how many have departed a secure site. Imagine the power of a 360-degree view of a facility that reveals who is inside, where they are, and what they are doing. Real-time headcounts with specific locations can save time and make a vital difference in an emergency case, such as a fire, earthquake, or active shooter situation.

From structures to people

Only securing physical places is no longer sufficient. Managers saw the need to secure the organization and its employees wherever they were as more individuals worked remotely. Because security teams are becoming more mobile and may not work in the locations they protect, having seamless mobile access is critical. Businesses are considering solutions such as biometrics and facial recognition that grant access based on who someone is rather than the fobs, cards, and badges they’re carrying.

From forensics to prevention

Rather than proactively lowering risk, many firms still devote significant security resources to responding to incidents. While many businesses are collecting more data, they are having difficulty interpreting it quickly enough to avoid incidents. Organizations are looking for simple-to-use solutions that direct security staff to specific actions before an incident occurs.

From cutting-edge to acceptable

Cutting-edge technology is appealing, but it is impractical. Some residents are hesitant to utilize biometric readers that require touching because of the ongoing pandemic, while firms are hesitant to debut new technologies in lightly inhabited premises. Other solutions are overly sensitive, triggering alerts so frequently that they become background noise. Businesses are seeking for what is viable, practical, and straightforward to implement rather than what is cutting-edge. Leaders seek scalable solutions that work with their existing infrastructure. They want actionable warnings and analytics that automatically extract usable information from large amounts of data.

From stuff to service

New security choices may allow budgets to move from product purchases to problem-solving services. Infrastructure as a service is gaining popularity in various industries since it often lowers costs and allows businesses to focus on their goal. Some businesses, however, prefer to own their equipment because of potential tax benefits, customization opportunities, and privacy concerns. The ideal answer might be a hybrid of security as a service and DIY security, with companies being able to pick and choose what is owned and what is a service, moving smoothly between the two as circumstances dictate.

From independent to fully integrated

It’s time to move on from discrete solutions’ compatibility issues. Leaders are looking for components that not only work well togetherbut also share information. Security components should be easy to integrate and function with non-security systems, regardless of brand. Security cameras in a retail establishment, for example, could be used as learning tools on the shop floor. They can also provide operational views that help optimize processes, such as notifying when consumers are waiting too long at the checkout. Organizational efficiencies and savings could be improved by sharing information across divisions.

 

Depending on the nature of the project, a typical construction site can have anywhere from ten to a hundred people. There are simply too many moving parts for anyone to keep track of them all. It is for this reason that construction sites are particularly vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

Unfortunately, the majority of construction thefts are done by employees and subcontractors. You believe the perimeter is secure, oblivious to the danger lurking within. Employees may steal for a variety of reasons, including money. The basic defense of those who were apprehended is that “the opportunity is there.”

For this reason, the construction site access control system is quite beneficial.

Job sites in the construction industry provide both value and opportunity

 

The following are some of the reasons why theft is so widespread on construction sites:

 

  1. Construction site staff could not cover all of the ground on large job sites 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Multiple entries and exit points make it simple to get in and out.
  3. After a while, the workforce grows complacent.
  4. The weather has an impact on how security responds. They are less inclined to inspect the location while it is raining.
  5. Some opportunistic people take advantage of the connection because of the overly welcoming security.
  6. With each step of the job site’s development, there is a high turnover rate of security employees.

Taking Advantage of Industry Innovations

The construction sector has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly in terms of enterprises’ use of new technology to reduce spillovers, enhance timeliness and productivity, and reduce losses.

Construction Site Access Control

It’s easy to keep track of tiny job sites with only five employees. If there is theft, it would be easy to identify the criminal following a quick inquiry. One security officer for three to four CCTV cameras should be sufficient to cover all bases. However, at certain large locations, it would not be the same because hundreds of workers would be working in numerous shifts 24 hour a day, seven days a week.

This is where access control for building sites comes into play. It will provide eyes everywhere on the project site that no human construction security guard could.

The tool can accomplish this in several ways:

  1. Layers of security. With the help of the tool, you may assign allowed access to different individuals based on the job locations you want to access. You can rest assured that masons and bricklayers will remain in their designated locations. Delivery vehicles will also park in designated areas while unloading products. You can better monitor everyone by layering security access.
  2. Biometrics access. This biometric access allows an authorized person to enter sensitive locations on the job site. It can also be used to log in and out workers to keep track of their daily hours.
  3. RFID. You may now track everyone on the job site using radio frequency identification (RFID). If a worker tries to enter a restricted location, it’s much easier to catch them. You can also keep track of visitors by giving them RFID-enabled plastic cards.

With the help of your access control system and several CCTV cameras, theft and vandalism events will be decreased and eradicated. However, the primary goal is to be cautious. Workers will be less likely to steal if they are aware that their every step is being tracked and monitored.

Everyone desires a society in which peace reigns, everyone lives in harmony and togetherness, and the country is prosperous. However, as humans, we cannot live together without having arguments or quarrels from time to time. Civil unrest is one of them. It is not uncommon for people to go against an unjust social system or deed. Civil unrest is triggered by a variety of factors, including government failure and undesirable forces in society wanting to usurp the government, among others. Regardless of whatever it is, security guards play a critical role in times of civil disturbance.

As the use of civil disobedience grows, law enforcement organizations will prepare for protests across the country. Because political turmoil is likely to continue, private security professionals must be ready with a tactically sound plan that protects people and property.

We look at how they can help amid civil upheaval in this article.

They provide people with a sense of security.

During times of civil upheaval, there is a widespread worry that someone will be hurt. Aside from its work as a private security contractor for huge retail chains and small local businesses. If you’re a store owner or CEO, for example, your customers or workers may fear for their safety if they visit your business or come to work during social upheaval. This is where security guards come in to ensure that consumers and employees feel protected, regardless of continuing civil disturbance.

They aid in the maintenance of public order.

Although the police are tasked with preserving order amid civil unrest, security guards also have a part in keeping things in order. They could, for example, help to ensure that your store is not looted by vandals who seek to take advantage of civil turmoil to commit crimes. Planning and coordination with all parties involved, including the security agency, the business owner, and local law enforcement, is required to protect businesses during riots. The security guard serves as the company’s eyes, ears, and muscles. Using the right defensive tactics, security can better manage hostile behavior and keep people and property safe.

They stop security threats in their tracks.

Security guards typically receive specialized training to prepare them to deal with security threats during civil unrest. Rather than instilling fear in people anytime, there is a security danger or threat during civil unrest, security personnel will be on hand to help and competently handle the situation. Members of quick-response teams are taught how to use force in a way that is objectively acceptable, required, and proportional.

Do not hesitate to enlist their assistance if there is any civil unrest in the area. As events show police power abuse, it’s more necessary than ever to teach private guards the proper use of force. The security officer is simply a trained citizen who has been given an additional duty to protect property, people, and objects, but still be aware of their limitations as “trained citizens.” Outside of the Use of Force rules, guards must not use force or use lethal force. When force is employed, it is standard procedure to call the cops.

 

 

Multi-layered security is a network security method that employs numerous components to safeguard your construction site’s activities with multiple levels of security. The security of your building site is critical to guarantee a smooth production process at all stages of the project. Implementing a multi-layered security plan can create the groundwork for a successful security strategy at a reasonable cost. 

It is typical practice in several industries, such as industrial facilities, logistics, warehousing, and construction, to have multiple sites spread across several geographical regions, some of which will be unmanned and some of which will be isolated. In some circumstances, a building site may span a broad geographical area, necessitating a larger centralized security network.

In these situations, a multi-layered security approach is critical. Security networks may now be developed and changed to fit each construction site thanks to recent technological breakthroughs. A multi-layered method can include deploying an advanced system from one area to another, with everything reporting to a central station as needed.

 Perimeter protection via Intruder Detection

Intruder detection at the perimeter is the first ‘layer’ of good security. The goal is to spot invaders and deal with them before they obtain access. Every site’s unique qualities should be addressed with custom solutions. Having an access control system as well as manned security guards, for example, can help detect intruders and stop prospective criminals from entering your building site.

Protection against false alarms

When a bespoke assembly of multiple solutions is brought together to sense, assess, and respond appropriately to security threats in the most effective way possible, with the fewest possible false alarms, construction site security is usually very effective.

A sophisticated intruder detection system, such as a highly controlled passive infrared detector, combined with CCTV cameras can substantially aid in areas where environmental elements such as straying wild animals or harsh weather conditions may be problematic in sending off false alerts. In this method, if the infrared detector detects unlawful entry, the CCTV can act as a secondary layer to determine whether the intruder is truly an intruder or just a false alarm. This results in less squandered time and money, making it a far more effective strategy.

Combinations with finesse

Intruder detection systems are integrated with recorders and audio and video transmitters so that when an intruder is detected, high-quality audio, picture, or video data are instantaneously broadcast to a smartphone or a distant monitoring center, allowing operators to rapidly determine how to respond. For added security, police response alarms can be combined with intrusion detectors and real-time video links. Because of the degree and flexibility of these systems, there are a lot of possibilities and room for developing a solution that can provide the ultimate level of security.

Some operators of many remote sites may want to be able to interact efficiently with onsite staff in addition to monitoring. Operators can use a central management system to efficiently control many levels of communication and protection, including intrusion detection, in such instances. It’s critical to have multiple layers of protection on your construction site to reduce the risk of theft, trespassing, and putting the public at risk.

 

Construction site theft is one of the leading problems for contractors. This is why security should be part of the project planning to prevent losses and associated risks. But aside from locks, CCTV cameras, and ground personnel, contractors can also utilize the latest security technologies.

These latest innovations improve your site’s security while helping you reduce costs in the long run. It will also yield substantial returns as part of the company’s overall investment.

Here are some of the latest security technologies that suit construction projects:

Drone technology

CCTV coverage can be quite challenging for vast construction sites. Also, not all parts of the construction area can be reached with stationary cameras. This is where drone technology comes in.

Drones have been in use for many years. This technology played a significant role in military missions and the film-making industry. And as technology keeps innovating, drones can now be utilized for security purposes.

Contractors can operate CCTV drones in a pre-programmed path. The drone camera can also access specific areas that are not covered with traditional security technologies.

For example, if your security system detects a trespasser, a drone can be sent to inspect the area. This allows security personnel to respond fast and assess the intruder risk. It can also help identify or gather information about the intruder’s appearance.

Building Information Modeling

Also known as BIM, Building Information Modeling allows site planners to evaluate the project in every phase. This will let them plan CCTV installation and deployment of security personnel as the project progresses.

This digital model serves as site planners’ security map. It will save them from excessive maintenance and dead spots that intruders may use for theft.

Moreover, BIM can be scaled up or down based on the size of the project. It can also be used throughout the building process.

Cloud integration

Cloud technology isn’t new, but it’s been left untapped by many site planners. By integrating security systems into the cloud, everyone involved in the project can access CCTV footage, security database, and breach reports remotely.

In addition, cloud technology allows information sharing to assess security issues easily. It suits all construction projects across industries.

Moreover, cloud integration also allows project managers to limit who has access to the security features of the site. This is to prevent the ‘inside jobs’ of unscrupulous employees.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI is a powerful way to bring burglars to justice. It can be integrated into drone CCTVs to identify the facial features of intruders. This reduces the need for human intervention while providing faster and accurate results.

Moreover, artificial intelligence will adapt to changing lighting, environment, and weather conditions. It’s a scalable security solution that could be the ultimate solution to construction site theft.

Conclusion

Construction site security boosts occupational safety while cutting back losses due to theft. As burglars become advanced with their tactics, site planners shouldn’t be left behind. The latest innovations in security technology provide them with additional tools to combat safety issues. Harnessing these new technologies can revolutionize construction site security in the future.

Operating a construction site necessitates the coordination of numerous logistical methods and factors. To secure your site and assets from thieves and trespassers, construction site security is critical. Tools, surveying equipment, breakers, generators, diggers, and rollers are the most common items taken from construction sites. Thefts can cause project delays, increased insurance premiums, and additional replacement costs. The easiest way to protect your investments is to register and track your construction equipment. The capacity to track down stolen construction site equipment and machinery is crucial in the recovery process.

Here are some pointers on how to track down assets taken from a construction site.

Creating a Stock List

You can keep track of each thing by creating an inventory and maintaining up to date on your assets. Regular inventory inspections can aid in the tracing and recovery of your assets by quickly identifying if a piece of equipment has been stolen. Making a note of any distinguishable marks on your equipment, or whether you’ve chosen to purposefully engrave or stamp equipment with a recognizable name, number, or symbol, allows you to quickly identify the item as yours and part of your inventory.

Having identifiable marks can also function as a deterrent for thieves because tagged equipment is more difficult to sell and they are less likely to steal equipment that could expose them to detection. Should other safeguards fail, taking images of your assets to add to your inventory database can be a helpful backup to aid police in identifying your stolen goods.

Registration system for CESAR and TER

The Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) program was created to combat the resale of stolen construction site machinery. It also intends to look into and track down the stolen tools and other construction equipment.

It was put in place due to collaboration between the police and the Plant Theft Action Group (PTAG), and was pushed by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). They agreed that to help prevent theft in this area, a national registry and labeling program should be developed. The method employs several technologies such as Datadots, Glass tags, unique plant identification plates, and high-tech scanners to determine whether a given piece of equipment has been flagged as stolen. Registering your valuables with this system aids in the identification of the stolen goods’ owner.

The Equipment Register (TER) is similar to the CESAR scheme in that it requires registration and then offers important information that assists the appropriate individuals in identifying your stolen equipment. If your valuables are registered under this system, they will be reported by an auction company or the police, who will check the ownership and stolen status with TER and return it to the proper owner.

Forensic Identification

Using simple techniques and equipment, forensic marking can be a cost-efficient and effective way of protecting and tracing items against theft. A warning label stating that the products use advanced ID technology will deter would-be thieves. The forensic approach of marking goes hand in hand with registering to a central database such as CESAR, because registering makes it easier to recover stolen goods in the event of theft.

When compared to labeling or engraving on your tools, forensic marking kits are more effective. It’s impossible to resell forensically tagged tools since the marking is nearly impossible to remove and is undetectable to the human eye.

Security risk assessments are a crucial aspect of ensuring the safety of your construction site. They allow you to identify weak points, especially for crime-prone construction projects. However, it’s important to perform and implement such assessments properly to prevent theft and crimes.

Most of all, security risk assessment should be done periodically. This will allow site planners to stay abreast of new security challenges in their projects.

Below, we discuss the basic steps of conducting a security risk assessment that you can use on your construction site:

List down potential security risks

The first step in security assessment is to identify the risks. Any construction site, regardless of size, will have numerous security issues. This may include trespassing, equipment theft, lumber theft, and so on. By identifying these risks, you’re setting a solid foundation for your security plan later on.

Most of the time, the number of security risks is directly proportional to the size of the project. The number of employees, cost of equipment on site, and location will also impact your list.

Aside from the obvious, you should also check for the following weak points:

  • Lack of equipment identification
  • Poor site lighting
  • Poor site fencing
  • Insufficient security personnel
  • Lack of CCTV cameras
  • The crime rate in the area
  • History of unauthorized site access
  • Prioritize the risks

Once you have a complete list of security threats to your site, the next step is to prioritize them in order. It’s best to consult the local police and fire department to assess the risk level of your site. This will give you a better idea of what to prioritize.

Moreover, you can partner with a security expert for a professional assessment of your construction site. This will take the guesswork out while ensuring that your project will receive a topnotch security plan.

Devise a security mitigation plan

With the security threats all laid out, the next thing you need to do is come up with a solid mitigation plan. This plan should include practical steps the security team needs to follow in case of a breach or threat.

Moreover, the plan should include a comprehensive integration of security technologies like CCTV cameras, drones, and access control systems.

In addition, most site planners will invest in more security personnel, securing site equipment, and intensive employee background checks. All of these are intended to make the construction site a safer place while preventing losses on the company’s part.

Conduct periodic security reviews

You can never put your guard down when it comes to construction site security. It’s essential to review and update your mitigation plan to keep up with the project’s changing demands. As your site scales up, so should your security.

If you’re partnering with a security service provider, you should ask for monthly or quarterly assessments. This will keep you updated on any changes to your construction site security.

Conclusion

Security risk assessment is an indispensable aspect of construction planning. It will help prevent substantial losses due to theft and security breaches. Like any other part of the project, site planners should put a lot of weight on security.

Engineers, builders, contractors, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen often oversee their skilled construction site crews. They help ensure that the construction process happens smoothly without any liability issues or costly delays.

Usually, construction companies make security upgrades only after they’ve received several complaints or experienced recurring jobsite security issues, such as trespassing, vandalism, theft or unreliable onsite access control. When these security problems start to outweigh the cost of replacing security equipment, a building company often only has two choices: 

Update what you can while trying to make it compatible with your older equipment or start fresh with a comprehensive security plan. 

Improving your jobsite’s security can be challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. However, you can get great results and a measurable return on your investment if you plan your construction security correctly. Below are a few key strategies that will help you modernize your building’s security.

CCTV cameras integrate well with a security guard patrol

Investing in CCTV installation offers construction site managers an effective way to keep an eye on their crew, subcontractors and the overall jobsite. Security camera footage can be used as effective evidence in an accident, hazard, theft, arson, or vandalism cases.

The features you should look for in your monitoring surveillance include:

  • Infrared lights that enable night vision to pick up important details like a license plate, hoody logo or facial features.

  • The capability to monitor a large jobsite area 24/7 remotely from a PC or Smartphone

  • The flexibility to allow site managers to pan, zoom, and tilt remotely to see what’s going on in real-time and take the appropriate action. 

  • Motion sensor cameras with floodlights, alarms and live intruder warnings to support onsite security patrols. 

  • All outdoor cameras should be able to withstand harsh environments and not be easily tampered with.

Access control systems streamline and document your jobsite

With the right systems in place, you can eliminate time-consuming visual card checks and clipboard paper-based systems, for better streamlining and documentation in the long run.

A modern access control system can identify what tasks each individual or group is working on and who they are affiliated with, enabling you to centralize logistical information, prevent unauthorized access, and ensure all necessary security and safety measures are in place.

Leading-edge organizations have adopted the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card service. A valid ID certifies workers’ identities and qualifications as well as confirms they have the right to work on-site to prevent fraud. Biometric access control is preferable over other types of access control for construction sites. It uses biometrics to verify workers’ identities making it is exceedingly difficult to gain access without the right data.

Companies are embracing virtual reality safety training

With virtual reality, construction companies can offer a better safety and technology training program for their employees. Virtual reality training can put construction crews into a variety of critical situations with complete safety. This allows them to test and master safety and hazard protocols as well as practice their skill and aptitude to make the right decisions under stressful conditions.

New hires are able to experience real-world situations through simulations, while more experienced workers are able to hone their skills in a cost-effective way.

Wearable technology is next level safety 

Current advances in wearable technology serve as a viable complement to traditional hard-hat and personal protective equipment (PPE) systems used for site safety. Wearable technology is being increasingly incorporated into worker’s safety gear on construction sites to provide better information access about health and safety risks to reduce worker exposure. 

These devices supply a variety of important information, such as temperatures above a safe level, noise that could cause damage to their hearing, poor air quality that could affect their health, and other hazards and environmental dangers.

These are several development methods that you can employ to modernize your system for more efficiency on your construction sites.

Construction sites tend to contain a large number of tools, materials, and machinery of a high monetary value. These assets unwittingly attract unwanted attention from outsiders, including children playing, young vandals, community trespassers and thieves looking for anything of value.

To provide protection on construction sites, owners and managers must put into place a series of security measures aimed at preventing theft of equipment, damage of equipment, vandalism of property, and costly building disruptions.

While many businesses will already have security policies, there are still essential procedures to ensure their physical assets remain safe.

Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is the assessment of potential threats, risks and adverse factors in all stages of planning and implementation of construction projects, including the early stages of the decision-making process.

A comprehensive risk analysis should be carried out for every jobsite to identify potential security challenges. If ongoing issues are identified, they should be documented and communicated up the management chain to key members of the team.

This should include physical security risks, operational risks, and changes in operating conditions over time. Risk assessments should be carried out on a semi-regular basis to help stay out in front of risks that may change due to seasonal, social, environmental or other factors.

Physical Security

Physical security involves the material measures which are designed to maintain the integrity of a construction jobsite and support the infrastructure. Physical security includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • CCTV and Highly Visible Signage.

CCTV offers remote monitoring and recording as a deterrent to intruders as well as quickly alerting the authorities should anything go wrong. Likewise, posting signs in highly visible locations across the construction site that advertising security on duty and contact information is important.

  • Access Control

Access control systems can integrate with any other card-based or biometric devices to deter trespassing and ensure safe access to your premises. They help you manage the arrival and departure of personnel and vehicles, which makes it easier to track those present on the site at any given time. A low-tech version of access control is a security guard on post with a smartphone, approved admittance list, and sign-in sheet.

  • Fencing and Barriers

As per RISC guidelines, construction sites must meet established security requirements for construction site fencing and barriers of at least 2.4 meters high.

In addition, anti-climb, palisade, welded mesh fencing can be utilized as an effective deterrent against trespassers and intruders. Security guards should be aware of and report any fence gaps or damage.

  • Lock Systems

Experienced construction sites provide lockable storage areas for tools, equipment, and materials to ensure that they can be secured when not in use. These costly items should be locked using tamper-resistant lock mechanisms to deter criminals.

Operational Security

Operational security is a vital aspect of any construction site and refers to the human involvement in the security of the jobsite. If no actual humans are employed to oversee the other aspects of your security, then overall operational security may suffer. For instance, hiring licensed security guards to patrol the site after working hours. In fact, most states mandate by law a security guard presence at certain stages of construction, such as a fire watch during the alarm and sprinkler system installs.

These individuals are properly trained and fully authorized, which enables them to provide crucial support for high-security locations or large building projects.

A vital part of operational security is to ensure all on-site staff are trained in basic safety and security protocols. It’s a great way to raise awareness and helps guarantee employees handle security measures correctly during the day-to-day running of a site to avoid liability.

All of these essential security procedures work together to keep the construction site as safe and secure as possible, which helps guarantee that you stay on schedule to safeguard your industry reputation.

The pandemic comes with all sorts of risks. A greater dependence on the Internet has exacerbated an already-existing threat in the form of identity theft. The crime continues to frighten and jeopardize the public on a vast scale.

In fact, the US Federal Trade Commission recorded 2.1 million reports of fraud in 2020 alone, most of which were imposter scams. Despite the efforts being made to protect systems, properties, and assets, it is anticipated that breaches will only increase in frequency and severity in the coming years. In such cases, hiring private investigators could be an option to solve identity theft if you’re targeted.

What Identity Theft Looks Like Today

No matter the type of identity theft committed, it is counted as a severe crime. According to the Department of Justice, identity theft is when unauthorized persons wrongfully obtain and use another individual’s data to commit fraud and deception for economic gain. These crimes are often carried out to access and steal money, called financial identity theft. It can also be a way to evade charges, which is called criminal identity theft. There’s also something called identity cloning which conceals their identity using yours, while medical identity theft involves using someone else’s insurance benefits to access healthcare for themselves. There is also child identity theft, which occurs when a minor’s identity is used for various forms of personal gain.

The impact of identity theft cannot be taken lightly. Financial losses can be significant, especially if criminals succeed in targeting individuals of influence, such as company leaders and government officials. It can cost businesses millions of dollars in the worst-case scenarios. Individuals also suffer the consequences, such as damaged credit scores and stolen personal finances. In addition, some criminals may work for large organizations that go on the offensive via terrorist acts or financial heists. Identity theft can occur practically anywhere, including in your very own property or network, so being prepared is of the utmost importance.

Private Investigations and Solving Identity Theft

Identity theft is a difficult situation to remedy, which is why professionals like private investigators are integral to your recovery and protection. This is particularly important when security is breached on your property. Private investigators can work to track down the criminal and advise you on ways to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Involving the authorities is essential because identity theft is considered a serious crime, especially when the thief has caused damage to you and your property. You can file a report with your local law enforcement so they can connect you to a professional with experience working in criminal justice. Aside from being trained in investigation processes and law enforcement, they will also have first-hand experience working with similar criminals in court cases. This knowledge gives them an edge in understanding the motives behind the crimes.

While identity theft can have a significant impact, taking steps to improve your on-site security can prevent it from happening again. Whether you are securing a construction site, your consulting firm, or even a school, taking measures such as installing security systems, performing background checks, hiring a watch guard, and registering any valuable equipment can all help to reduce the likelihood of identity theft. If your property deals with lots of supplies, then monitoring your inventory and standard lock-up procedures more closely is also something you should implement immediately. We at Echelon Protection & Surveillance can help you put a solid security infrastructure in place. As a privately-owned business, we can guarantee we will provide personal attention to every single one of our clients, so you know you’re safe with us.

Identity theft can be a harrowing experience, and feeling safe again may take some time. However, knowing that the right professionals will do what they can to recover what is lost can help you keep yourself and your property safer. 

 

A guest blog article by Ada Travis

Everyone sees and feels prices rising. In the past year alone, prices increased 4.3%. The cost of food, gas, clothing, cars and trucks all have gone up because of many factors, including the pandemic. In a broad stroke, the halt of life activities in the U.S. and around the world due to public health crisis restrictions caused business to slow down or stop for most industries and individuals. Everyone struggled with the stress, but was also forced to react and reflect during the long period of uncertainty.

Businesses took stock, audited every expense, and made the necessary deep cuts. Individuals decided what was best for them and their families from a health and financial perspective. Many decided to stay at home and collect unemployment, parents faced childcare challenges, others had health concerns, and the majority were mandated to work from home. One thing is certain — everything changed. So many people left the workforce that employers had no choice but to offer higher wages, better benefits and even signing bonuses. All the uncertainty put hourly workers in the driver’s seat for the first time in decades.

Raising hourly pay to a living wage was long overdue. On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage increased to $13.00 to $14.00 per hour, depending on the number of employees a business had. Before that, the last time Congress raised the minimum wage was from $6.55 to $7.25 in the summer of 2009. And before that, the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour for a decade. Once hourly wages began to rise at the big box stores, businesses were forced to follow suit to be competitive – and the security industry is no exception.

In our case, we were already paying a few dollars more than industry standard. So, when half our security guard pool disappeared due to the pandemic, we again had to offer higher wages in order to maintain a large enough guard pool to service our clients. The median pay of our security guards has driven our labor costs up about 50% in 2021 and we have no choice but to pass that cost along to our clients. In general, our clients are not surprised at the rate increases because they’re in the same boat. Their business is returning, but they’re short-staffed and cannot recruit fast enough because the job market has drastically changed. When they can hire, they must pay more.

Solving our workforce shortages made us become more innovative. We decided to focus on leveraging our vast relationships in law enforcement and pay a premium for better security guards. We reached out to retired State Troopers, County Sheriffs and others. Although they command significantly more per hour than guards with less experience, the benefits are clear.

  • Security Guards with a law enforcement background have a more professional skill set that clients appreciate.
  • Security Officers with a law enforcement background have key certifications and vetting
  • Private Investigators with a law enforcement background can more easily coordinate with local authorities and represent our brand better.
  • Security Agents with a law enforcement background know how to take the initiative and lead.
  • Bodyguards with a law enforcement background are trained to work as a team, take pride in their security assignments.

Our new inventory of higher-end security guards means our building construction, retail, hospitality, property management, event and school clients now all pay more for a security guard than they did atthe beginning of the year. It has always been true that people will pay more for a better or luxury product. In our industry, top guards equal higher-level security services — and peace of mind. The result has been that our clients are impressed with the new level of guards and have been contacting us more often with praise and high marks for our security guards.

Fire can ravage your expensive construction equipment within minutes. With all the chemicals and materials used in construction, fires can become uncontrollable. It will cause serious damage to property and may even result in casualties. You have to know what to do in case of fire accidents to avoid these kinds of disasters.

Construction sites have their share of hazards, from falling objects, electrical problems and injuries. However, fire prevention is often put on the sidelines. If you’re caught in the middle of a construction site fire without a plan, here’s what you need to do:

Set off the fire alarm

The moment you discover a fire, you should set off the nearest fire alarm right away. This is to alert the entire site to the hazard.

All workers and employees in the construction site should be aware of the sound of a fire alarm. You should also discuss evacuation procedures for the next step.

Evacuate as fast as possible

Once the fire alarm is sounding off, you should vacate the area right away. Keep doorways and corridors clear so others can pass through easily.

Moreover, you should touch doorknobs gently to check if it’s hot. If so, it’s a sign that the other side is already engulfed in flames. Take this as a sign of fire danger, and you must seek another way out.

Call the fire department

Once you’re in a safe spot, you should call the local fire department immediately. You need to get the fire contained as soon as possible. Make sure that you provide the construction site address properly.

Use the nearby fire extinguishers

All construction site workers should also know how to use a fire extinguisher. This can help contain a small fire before it spreads into a larger area. All construction sites need to have fire extinguishers as part of fire code compliance.

To use a fire extinguisher, you need to pull the pin to break the seal. Next, you should point the nozzle in the direction of the fire. Lastly, squeeze the lever at the top of the tank to release the extinguisher. You should target the base of the fire in a sweeping motion.

Stay close to the ground

If smoke has already occupied an enclosed location, you must stay low to the floor. Hot air and smoke rise, so standing will just increase your risk of breathing smoke and losing consciousness.

You can crawl your way out of the building to reach safety. Most importantly, you should know the exit points of the construction site.

Stay in a safe area

While waiting for the firefighters, you must stay in a safe place away from the fire. You should also wait for further instructions to avoid injuries on the site.

The company should also take the fire incident as a wake-up call for training. The contractor should also observe fire safety measures to avoid the same thing from happening again.

Conclusion

Knowing what to do during a construction site fire can save lives. You should never assume a ringing fire alarm as a mere test unless you’re informed ahead.  With enough precautions and knowledge, everyone will come out of a fire unscathed. This is something that contractors should also include in their project plan.

 

Construction site theft causes massive losses to companies. Worse, it often gets unnoticed until the losses have accumulated. This could be prevented if you can mitigate common vulnerabilities already present in your construction site.

Site managers and contractors alike must take note of the following flaws that compromise their assets.

Unregistered equipment

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make is not registering your construction equipment. Although registration won’t make your equipment theft-proof, it will make it easier to retrieve.

Each equipment manufacturer has its own UCC or Uniform Commercial Code for the equipment they produce. Engraving this on a hidden spot of the equipment will give your equipment an identity. When someone steals it from the lot, you can clear disputes in case other companies also file their claim.

Absence of security cameras

Security cameras are basic components of on-site security. It won’t stop thieves from entering, but it will give you solid proof of the theft. It will also help identify the perpetrators.

While video security may seem expensive, it will pay off in terms of theft prevention. You can also assign someone to monitor the video feed to spot theft attempts.

Lack of security personnel

Aside from security cameras, it’s crucial to invest in security personnel as well. Physical security has been proven to deter theft. You can also coordinate with the local police, though they can only provide occasional checks. Remember that on-site security must be scaled based on its size and the asset value at stake.

Security inconsistency

Thieves can easily pick up patterns if you are inconsistent with your security. Therefore, you should never stop and start based on the patterns of theft. Otherwise, you’ll be giving in to the whims of burglars, which should never happen.

Poor on-site surveillance positioning

It’s not enough that you have on-site surveillance; you should also position it strategically. Your cameras should be easily seen so as to deter thieves planning to steal equipment. The right positioning will also help capture clear footage.

The same goes for your security agents. They should watch over your equipment so they can spot theft attempts as it happens.

Absence of theft prevention measures

Without theft prevention measures, your construction site is a sitting duck to thieves. It’s only a matter of time before burglars know of your lax security. You have to implement a theft prevention plan, which includes your on-site equipment, documents, and manpower. This will reduce the risk of theft while letting you address the problem quickly if it occurs.

Putting all your faith in insurance

Lastly, you should never put all your faith in insurance. Insurance providers hate gross security negligence. Even though they cover theft, they will soon deny claims once the insurer proves that your negligence played a part in the incident. Your premium costs will also skyrocket.

Conclusion

Construction site theft should be a contractor’s priority aside from the completion of the project. Avoiding the common pitfalls of security will drastically reduce theft incidents. Proportionally, it will also cut the losses of the company.

When you require security to protect and secure your building and construction job site — it all starts with an onsite security assessment. Once the security contract has been signed, it’s essential that your site manager meets with your security provider onsite to see the physical property and review specific duties and expectations. 

The right security partner will want to take the extra time to meet with you face-to-face to be sure the job is kicked off right. The majority of building and contracting stakeholders worry about securing their site from theft, fire, hazard, trespassing and vandalism. A little due diligence, communication, and preplanning saves time, effort and aggravation when your project is in full swing. Below are a few key security assessment strategies to consider in your initial walkthrough.

Share and Utilize Your Site Map

Start your assessment by sharing the site map and using it to mark areas of special interest and concern. Your security company can then digitally enhance the site map to use in the security directives they prepare for the actual guards who will be assigned to secure your site. A well-labeled, color-coded, site map should include as much detailed information as possible, such as lock codes, location of guard parking, entrances and exits, porta-potties, fire extinguishers, etc. Nothing replaces the clarity of a complete site map to familiarize guards with the site in the initial stages of the job.

Examine Perimeter Fencing for Gaps

Most job sites utilize chain-link panel perimeter fencing, rented from large national companies as an effective secure barrier around your construction site. Depending on the project location, stage of construction and site layout, managers can add barbed wire or a privacy/dust screens. As you walk through the job site, take note of fencing gaps, damage, or entire missing sections. If the fencing is not reliable, adjust your security plan to protect vulnerable areas with more patrols, deterrent signage, surveillance cameras and lighting. Understanding your site and environment, including the regional crime rate, seasonal climate, etc. should inform your security decisions.

Develop a Detailed Patrol Plan

Your site assessment is the perfect time to define security protocols. Protocols should including where your guards will patrol, and the locations of the scan tags which electronically verify their rounds and duties. Posting scan tags in areas of high-value assets or potential risk help guards stay on-point while on patrol by verifying the time and frequency. There are many excellent security officer reporting software applications that keep clients informed while also safeguarding against liability. Once your security protocols have been agreed upon, we suggest varying the guard patrol times and regularity so they’re less predictable to anyone watching. Random patrol times keep bad actors guessing and help prevent guards from becoming complacent.

Your security patrol should include easy access to areas where high-value assets are stored. A comprehensive security patrol provides real value by taking note of any current and prospective problems on-site, such as damaged gates, shattered windows, broken lights and unlocked trailers. Security guards on patrol document everything in a daily digital report that is available to all stakeholders. Your final security protocols should incorporate a call-down list of property owners, site managers, local law enforcement, and fire hazard authorities.

Adapt Security for Each Phase of Construction 

From the first delivery of materials to project closeout and turnover, your security needs to adapt. The site assessment is the time to determine the areas to secure all tools, materials and heavy equipment. The signing in and out of tools takes a little longer, but is well worth the extra effort because it keeps gear from “walking away” and adds to the overall organization and safety of your job site. The access control of deliveries should also include a sign-in and sign-out process, as well as a designated secure spot for materials. In addition, heavy equipment should be corralled in a well-lit area and arranged in a way that limits damage by inhibiting movement. Capturing all these areas on the site map with your security provider helps them visualize the project and understand your expectations. Be sure to discuss insurance, use of force, guard supervision and daily reporting.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their job site safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security guard services.

 

Raw lumber, buckets of paint, electrical equipment and scattered debris. These are some of the things you’ll find at a construction site. It’s not unusual for basic materials to be out in the open when structures are being built. But, their presence significantly increases the chances of fires breaking out.

Fires are devastating to any business – but perhaps even worse for building and construction companies. Besides causing damage, they impact your budget and delay the completion of the project, damaging your reputation.

Site managers must keep construction sites safe by eliminating fire hazards and other potential threats. By law, they must take measures such as a fire watch to prevent fire-related damage and related injuries by workers, visitors and the public. They also protect structures and building materials from catching fire. Remember, a structure fire is also dangerous to nearby public and private buildings. Should a fire occur, diligent site managers have already limited the risk of fire spreading and causing more damage by taking every precaution.

Fire Risks and How to Protect Against Them

A fire can start from many things at a construction site. Flammable materials, cordless tools, battery-operated equipment, and heaters are just some of the most common sources of fire.

Workers who smoke or engage in work such as soldering and welding may also cause a fire. In recent years, arson or intentional fire has become increasingly common. Depending on your location, social environment, and climate, your probability of fire varies.

Here are 8 things you can do to reduce the risk of fire:

  1. Flammable materials must be stored and disposed of properly. The amount of materials stored at a time should be kept to a minimum so large fires can be avoided.
  2. Electrical equipment and battery-operated tools should undergo regular maintenance and be kept in safe, proper storage. Tools must be charged in stations located outside the building.
  3. Site managers must inspect portable heaters and fans that are brought onto the construction site. They should be approved for use and not be left unsupervised when switched on.
  4. Workers shouldn’t bring cooking equipment at the site, and they shouldn’t be allowed to cook either. Examples include grills, hot plates, and microwaves.
  5. Site managers must impose a strict no smoking policy on site. A smoking and cigarette disposal area can be allowed but it must be in a safe location away from the site.
  6. Secure the site by setting up fences, lighting on motion detectors, and perimeter controls. You should also hire licensed, bonded and insured security personnel who can monitor the site for access control and after-hours.
  7. While the building is being constructed, make sure that there is access to fire extinguishers on site and that you know where the closest fire hydrants are.
  8. Educate workers about the steps you’ve taken to avoid fire, and what they can do should a fire break out.

More Ways To Prevent Fire At Construction Sites

Structures that are under construction usually lack fire protection. This is normal since there are no sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire walls installed. For the meantime, you can set up wireless fire alarms. It is a simple and cost-effective solution to protecting your construction site against fires. Wireless fire alarms detect heat and smoke. They are linked to one another via radio. You can monitor them at all hours, even when the construction site is closed. Note that by law, most cities and counties require fire watches performed by trained security and safety officers while alarms and sprinkler systems are not operational.

 

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their jobsite safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services. 

 

No matter the location, construction sites are vulnerable to various risks and threats. When everyone is done working for the day, expensive equipment, tools, and materials are often left unsecured. Bad actors may steal, vandalize, or intentionally destroy your valuable assets for no reason at all.

We’ve seen everything from neighbors sabotaging million-dollar gear just because they didn’t like the noise, to vandals pouring sugar in heavy equipment tanks, to “inside job” theft of valuable materials and tools.

Here, we described some of the scenarios that might take place at a construction site. Studies show that while passive security measures such as fencing, lighting, cameras, and deterrent signage help — on site security guards provide better security protection. Guards often act as a real-time deterrent, stopping unwanted activity before it starts. Passive security measures are often helpful, only after the damage has already been done.

Below are 5 tips on hiring security for your construction site.

Tip #1: Look for a construction site security expert

Most security companies offer their services for different kinds of properties. Even though there are general practices that can be applied, each industry has its own security needs.

In this respect, it’s better to contract with a company that specializes in construction site security, rather than a company that provides general security to the public and private sector. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to protect your property and assets, while understanding the special needs and flexibility that the building and construction industry expect.

Being familiar with your industry also allows for easy transition from one stage to another. They can easily adjust to your city or rural jobsite environment and are less likely to have missteps that create liability.

Tip #2: See which services they offer

Construction site security is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Your jobsite may have areas that cannot be actively patrolled or monitored and require wireless security. Sites with a lot of traffic may need on-site access control security during work hours. Most sites need to be patrolled overnight for theft, vandalism, fire and other unwanted activity. An experienced security company will be able to meet all of your building and construction security needs.

Tip #3: Read reviews from former clients

An impressive client list doesn’t always mean they do well on their job. If you want to get an actual picture of their performance, you have to do your due diligence by researching what customers have to say about their capabilities and management. Did their clients leave positive reviews? Are there any active lawsuits or complaints? Are they properly licensed and insured? These are just some of the questions to consider to determine whether your security company is an asset or liability.

Tip #4: Talk to your insurance provider

Hiring construction site security will drastically reduce the liability and threats to your business, including: trespassing, theft, arson, hazard and destruction of property. By reducing these risks, your insurance company will have greater confidence in your project. In turn, you will pay less for your coverage and avoid costly delays that hurt your reputation and profit margin.

Tip #5: Sign a detailed, but flexible contract agreement

As soon as you’ve decided on a security company that’s a good fit, the last step is to sign an agreement. But before you do, there are still a few things that need to be considered.

First, you need to agree on the shifts and number of security personnel that will be assigned to your project. Second, list estimated start and end dates. Third, discuss your security expectations and work toward a flexible contract that allows for security changes throughout the stages of construction work.

Of course, most jobs take longer than expected. Plus, you may end up needing more or fewer guards or shift coverage than estimated. Anticipating common sense adjustments based on industry experience is the best way to manage unexpected costs.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services.

Homebuilders are facing a big threat: construction site theft. Cases continue to soar, which is highly attributed to the skyrocketing prices of construction materials. If you have an ongoing construction project, it’s important to take safety precautions to keep the thieves at bay.

The problem with most construction sites is their poor security. Since construction isn’t finished yet, project managers often overlook the security aspect. But in the eyes of thieves, construction equipment is gold.

This makes construction site theft a low-risk but high-reward pursuit for burglars. Once the workers are out, it’s a piece of cake to funnel out expensive construction equipment and materials.

For big projects, the losses can rise to millions. As much as the numbers are daunting, you can do something to stop the burglary. Here are a few quick steps you can take:

Keep your construction site secured.

Construction site safety should be more than just putting up a ‘No Trespassing’ sign. You have to lock up your tools, secure heavy equipment, and don’t leave construction materials lying around.

Many construction sites take weeks to realize that something has been stolen because of poor supplies inventory. Therefore, it’s essential to keep tabs on your supplies. This will let you report theft once something has been stolen.

Also, manufacturers have since adapted a standard, a 17-digit identification number for the equipment they produce. Ensure that this PIN is embedded on two parts of the equipment, with one hidden to prevent tampering.

Register your equipment

The National Equipment Register allows contractors to register their heavy equipment so law enforcers can easily recover the item once stolen. It’s also solid proof that you own the equipment should other contractors raise their own claim.

Hire a watch guard

Keeping the construction manned will deter burglars. This isn’t the sole solution, but it will make a big difference in preventing construction site theft. You can also work with local authorities in securing your construction site.

Moreover, it’s important to impose a zero-tolerance policy for employees and contractors who will play a part in the theft.

Install a security system

Aside from hiring security personnel, you should also invest in top-of-the-line security cameras. This will be your additional eyes on the construction site. And should anyone steals, you can easily present video evidence to the authorities.

The good thing about having security cameras is you can easily check the construction site anywhere. In addition, it will let you spot burglary attempts, vandalism, and accidents.

Perform an employee background check

You should be careful who you trust on the construction site. Take the time to perform a rigorous background check on each employee to ensure they have a clean record.

Past theft records should raise a red flag. This will allow you to hire smarter, especially for expensive construction jobs where prized equipment will be used.

Conclusion

Construction site theft should never be put on the sidelines. Property managers and construction companies should invest in construction site security as much as they do on the actual project. This will help them save large sums from stolen equipment and the hassle of litigation.

No one would want to wake up to the news that their construction site has turned to ashes. Whatever you’re building, a 24-hour fire watch guard should be your first line of defense against fire hazards. These professionals will patrol and secure your property before a fire breaks out.

The truth is that only a few business owners and construction managers hire fire watch guards. While their role isn’t widely known, these watch guards can save property, money and lives.

Here are the top reasons why you should consider hiring a fire watch guard for your property:

Saving lives and preventing injuries

The ultimate role of fire watch guards is to prevent fires that would compromise the safety of the people and property. A potential fire hazard will be mitigated through their proactive services before it turns into a deadly catastrophe.

These watch guards will also prevent the occurrence of fire-related injuries across industries. This protection applies to the occupants, workers, and visitors of the property.

Preventing expensive property damage

A fire can ravage millions’ worth of assets within hours. Flames don’t spare anything, no matter how costly the damage will be.

This major financial loss can be prevented with the help of fire watch guards. They are on duty 24/7 to ensure that your property, equipment, and facilities are free from major fire hazards.

The difference between the cost of hiring fire watch guards and recovering from a fire is astronomical.

Abiding by the OSHA Fire Prevention Guidelines

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) imposes strict guidelines to minimize fire hazards. Business owners and property managers are obliged to abide by these rules. Otherwise, you’ll be slapped with a massive penalty and potential jail time.

Instead of defying the law, you should consider hiring a fire watch guard. They are trained to comply with the OSHA guidelines to ensure that the law won’t come after you.

Complying with insurance company requirements

Insurance companies often require property owners to provide a regular maintenance log. This is to prove that the insured has preventive measures in place to avoid fire accidents.

Fire watch guards can produce such maintenance logs to keep you compliant with your insurer’s terms.  You can sleep soundly at night knowing that your property’s fire safety is at par with the industry standards.

Receiving professional fire management

Above all, fire watch guards provide professional fire management services. They are trained to respond to fire accidents and mitigate hazards. The watch guards also adhere to strict protocol to prevent lapses that could result in a fire.

Aside from meeting regulations, fire watch guards can help save you hard-earned investments. It’s something you can’t put a price on, especially for multi-million dollar properties.

Conclusion

A fire can happen anytime and anywhere. Instead of exposing your construction site to such risk, it’s best to hire fire watch guards. These professionals are an investment to secure your property, employees, tenants, and visitors.

The benefit will also trickle down to your insurance premiums and reputation as a business owner. In the long run, fire watch guard services will pay for themselves.

phila fire department

The threat of fire on building and construction sites presents a huge risk to people and property, including the surrounding community. To that end, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections issued new code requirements in September of 2020 for fire watches regarding construction and demolition sites. The new code states that all active building and construction sites in the city of Philadelphia must comply with the outlined requirements by November 1, 2020. Below are the new policy requirements directly from the City’s website.

POLICY

A Fire Watch shall be required under the following circumstances:

  • A building’s fire alarm, fire sprinkler, or fire suppression system is impaired, including planned impairments as required by Code Bulletin F-1601;
  • Hot work activity occurs within the building;
  • Combustible, new construction exceeds 40’ in height or includes an aggregate area exceeding 50,000 square feet;
  • Other hazardous activity occurs, as determined by the Site Safety Manager, Fire Code Official, or the courts.

At a minimum, a Fire Watch shall be maintained at the following times:

  • During an emergency or planned impairment of a fire protection system;
  • During and at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of hot work activity;
  • During non-working hours from the time that combustible construction reaches a height above 40’ or an area of 50,000 square feet until the fire alarm or fire suppression system has been certified.

A Fire Watch shall meet the following criteria:

  • The primary duty of fire watch personnel shall be to perform constant patrols and watch for the occurrence of fire. The combination of fire watch duties and security duties is acceptable.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be trained in all duties and responsibilities outlined in the Site Safety Plan.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be provided with at least one approved means for notification to the Fire Department, including but not limited to a cellular phone.
  • An adequate number of fire watch personnel shall be on duty to ensure that all areas of a property are inspected every 30 minutes. In multi-story buildings there shall be at least one fire watch for every five floors.
  • In the event that the fire watch observes smoke or fire, the Fire Department shall be notified immediately.
  • Maintain a record of all time periods of duty, including the log entry each time the site was patrolled, and each time a structure was entered and inspected. Records shall be made available for review by the Fire Code Official upon request.

The Site Safety Plan shall be reviewed during the initial meeting with the building inspector. Any changes to the plan shall be documented and made available for review by the building inspector or fire code official upon request.

Add value to your fire watch by taking a more comprehensive approach to the overall site security and safety of your property and people. Security guards on patrol should have clear general protocols in addition to the specific and mandated fire watch directives. Your guards should act as a strong, highly visible deterrent against illegal or unwanted activity. This includes awareness of any unsafe or unusual activity at adjacent structures or lots that could affect your property.

With over 45 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, I personally developed Echelon’s fire watch protocols and processes. Since 2001, we’ve kept fire watches of every size and duration – from 1-day special projects to years-long remediations. Our fire watch services are responsive, well organized, and carefully managed in tandem with the local Fire Marshal and authorities.

Echelon uses decades of high-level fire watch experience combined with the latest technology in order to guarantee a safe and effective fire watch. Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance for your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today to learn more.

Echelon blog art July

Building & construction firms have a long list of responsibilities, worries and challenges. Many times, security planning falls low on the priority list. However, a simple calculation of prospective losses, liability and reputation-crushing costly delays shows that partnering with the right security company is a wise return on investment. Indeed, in many states, a security presence is now mandatory during certain phases of construction. In this blog installment, we’ve collected a few of our most relevant tips for performing a “smarter” construction site patrol.

1) “S” stands for… Stay aware of onsite assets

Security guards are often patrolling job sites that contain millions of dollars worth of construction vehicles, machinery, tools and building materials. During these phases, it’s vital that security officers stay fully informed of all subcontractors, visitors, deliveries and where the more costly assets are stored. This is best achieved through a consistent access control plan featuring daily logs, reporting and signage. High-value assets of interest to prospective vandals and thieves should be kept in a well-lit, fully fenced area and patrolled more often.

2) “M” stands for… Maintain a safe distance

Security guards must exercise extreme caution when addressing unknown visitors and trespassers. Any verbal engagement with unauthorized visitors should be done in a confident, authoritative tone at a safe distance. We train Echelon guards to provide a stern verbal warning, informing the offender(s) that they’re unlawfully trespassing and must leave the property immediately. Additionally, a guard may choose to let the perpetrator know that they’re under camera surveillance and the local police have already been notified. To avoid liability, a security guard should never put hands-on a trespasser unless it is in self-defense. The best overall security strategy is to deter — warn — call the police — and keep eyes on the offender until authorities arrive.

3) “A” stands for… Arrive prepared for anything

To protect your job site against common and unexpected challenges — your onsite security guards must come prepared with the proper equipment. If the job site is not in a high crime area, there is no need for construction site guards to carry a weapon while on patrol. However, whether your guards are armed or unarmed, be sure they have the tools they need to contend with unwanted or illegal activity such as trespass, vandalism, union issues, fire or hazard. Basic equipment should include a smartphone, flashlight, emergency call-down list, site map, and a working knowledge of any emergency shut-off switches, sprinkler or alarm systems. Knowing what to do in an emergency will improve response time in case of injury. There are many other defensive items that may be an option as allowable within your state jurisdiction.

4) “R” stands for… Random patrol schedules are a great strategy

Security guards are typically asked to inspect various checkpoints while on patrol to ensure key points are being watched. We use technology in which the guards scan the checkpoint with a smartphone application to verify their rounds. However, if patrol duties are not done properly, they can create unintended opportunities for criminal activity. If guards become complacent by taking the same route to their checkpoints, their movements become easy to track. Altering your patrols also can create the appearance of more robust security coverage. Being predictable makes your job site vulnerable, so smart security companies direct their guards to vary their patrol schedule by day, route and time, including backtracking their route at random.

5) “T” stands for…Tactical uniforms improve performance

Make certain that your guards are outfitted for peak performance. A highly visible security presence is the best deterrent, so it’s important that your guards are outfitted with a tactical, seasonally appropriate, branded, professional and comfortable uniform that includes; ID badge, safety vest and hard hat. Security guards are among the top occupations where long periods of standing, walking and running are required. All guards should have footwear that is comfortable during a long shift, protects their feet from harmful debris and keeps them from slipping. A poorly considered choice of uniform may restrict movement and put guards at a disadvantage during unexpected or critical situations.

6) “E” stands for… Expect the unexpected

Something unexpected can happen any moment a guard is on security patrol duty. The best security firms train their guard’s to be vigilant. Professional security guards are always mindful while performing their patrols. They make it a point to periodically stop, look around, and carefully listen to their surroundings. Although it sounds obvious, these planned engaged pauses are part of the situational awareness needed for optimum security performance.

7) “R” stands for… Remember lawful limits

Know which situations require specialized support or assistance. Remember, your guards are trained to observe, report, deescalate, and call the proper authorities. Although many security guards have state-certified training such as ACT 235, SORA or NASRO, do not expect them to be trained to handle civil unrest, public safety hazards, bomb scares, engineering issues or personal injuries. Be certain you know what your guards can and cannot do under the law, and determine the proper protocol to deal with extraordinary circumstances — always have emergency numbers ready and contact the trained professionals best suited to handle a situation.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that can cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today!

Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security Guards

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance

Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security GuardsIn the wake of the tragic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in October of this year, there has been an increased debate on the merit of installing armed security guards at Synagogues and other places of worship.

It is an unfortunate fact that acts of violence and hate crimes in places of worship are on the rise in this country, regardless of whether that place of worship is a church, a synagogue or a mosque. Yet unlike schools and other public institutions, religious organizations have been the slowest to adopt increased security measures.

For many, installing armed or unarmed security officers at religious institutions has become a serious consideration. Many worshippers would rather be slightly slowed down by increased security checks than have no professional security measures in place whatsoever. Others, however, feel that the presence of security guards may feel intimidating and threatening.

That being said, professionally trained security guards are one of the most effective ways that religious organizations can protect their congregation and minimize or prevent future attacks on their place of worship. Not only will highly trained professionals be able to respond to an attacker quickly and safely, the visual presence of security guards — even if they aren’t armed — is often enough to deter would-be attackers because you are no longer viewed as an easy target.

These professional security guards don’t have to be intimidating to worshippers, either. There are several steps that both professional security companies and religious leaders can take to make worshippers feel safe and secure during services. This can include dressing officers down so that they don’t look intimidating. Religious leaders can also introduce officers to their congregation so that they know the people protecting them and stand with security officers at the entrance to the place of worship so that worshippers see a friendly face at the door.

Even if you aren’t ready to commit to armed security officers, there are steps that every religious institution should take to maximize their security. For instance, installing a modern, comprehensive security camera and access control system can help to prevent vandalism, robbery and active shooters. Locking the doors while service is in progress may slow down or ward off would-be attackers. Having an evacuation plan, whether in the event of a fire or an active shooter, is also a must-have.

It is clear that however they feel about armed guards, every religious organization should educate themselves by having a discussion and security threat assessment with industry experts about how they can increase the level of security at their place of worship. The cost of security will understandably be a big factor for religious organizations, but this figure will depend on several factors such as the type and number of structures as well as the size of your congregation and the level of protection that you desire. What’s more, a professional security company can help you build a custom security plan for your budget.

If you’d like to speak to a leading security provider in your area, call Echelon Protection & Surveillance at 610 831 0277 for your free consultation today.

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