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Published on 09.13.2017
If you are a contractor, chances are you’ve dealt with theft at one of your jobsites. This growing problem costs the construction industry billions of dollars each year in replacement costs and project delays.
Power tools and materials are easy to steal and easy to sell, and thieves know that individual contractors don’t always have the same resources as large construction companies. Contractors are less likely to invest in major security systems, making them easy targets for construction site theft. To protect against jobsite theft, contractors are increasingly turning to the next generation of wireless alarm systems. These smart alarms bypass WiFi entirely, connecting instead to a secure cloud network. Because of this, they are low-cost and easy to install, allowing contractors to protect even the smallest jobsites.
Here is a situation that happens all-too often: A contractor who specializes in building new townhomes just experienced a theft at one of his jobsites. Thieves made away with several thousand dollars in materials. Not only will reordering these materials be a major blow to an already tight budget, but the time it will take to replace them means a delay to this job’s timeline and, most likely, a delayed start on the next project.
This is a small company, so a theft like this hits them hard. The contractor knows he should do a better job of securing his jobsites, but security systems are costly to install. Most of his projects last only a few months, so spending the money to equip each job site with a security system doesn’t seem cost effective.
Not sure what to do, the contractor turns to a few colleagues for advice and learns about the next generation of wireless alarm systems. He decides to learn more.
The contractor makes a call to a local security company. He learns that he can rent one of their next-generation wireless alarms for only 15 USD per month. For a four-month project, that will cost him only 60 dollars total. That’s less than the price to replace a single skill saw.
The contractor doesn’t need to sign a long-term contract to rent the alarm, so he can try it without a major commitment. And best of all, cloud-connected alarms like this don’t need configuring. It will take him less than five minutes to set it up, so when he moves on to the next jobsite, he can just take the alarm with him like any other tool.
A week go by, and the contractor largely forgets about the new alarm he installed at his jobsite. He’s glad to know it’s there, but other pressing matters keep him busy until one day, when the security system proves its worth.
While he is out of town for a few days, the contractor gets an alert on his security system’s mobile app in the middle of the night. The alarm has detected suspicious activity at the jobsite. Because the alarm is connected to Sigfox’s global cloud network, he knows that no matter where he is, he’ll be alerted about any security threats at the site. He also knows that the intelligent system can tell the difference between human and animal activity, so any notifications he does get should be taken seriously.
The contractor knows none of his employees planned to work late that night, so he calls the police. They head out to the jobsite and catch two thieves making off with a spool of copper wire and a few drills.
The police also find a GSM jammer in the thieves’ van, but in this case, it didn’t do the thieves any good. Next-generation wireless alarms aren’t connected to wifi like most other wireless security systems, so they aren’t susceptible to GSM jammers.
Without the benefit of his next-generation wireless alarm system, the contractor wouldn’t have discovered the theft until his employees arrived on site the next morning. By that time, the thieves would be long gone, cashing out on the copper wiring and pawning the drills. Thanks to the wireless alarm, the thieves were caught in the act. For less than 0.50 USD per day, the contractor saved his company the time and cost of replacing more stolen goods, and sent a message to other thieves in the area that they should stay away.
To learn more about how Sigfox’s global IoT network is helping contractors combat rising jobsite theft, read our full Wireless Alarm case study.
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