Next Generation of Wireless Alarms Combats Rising Theft at Commercial Construction Sites

The construction industry turns to smart alarms, powered by Sigfox’s IoT network, for flexible protection that is changing the face of jobsite security.

If you work in commercial construction, 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.  

To protect their assets, commercial construction companies often install CCTV systems on larger projects. While CCTV will monitor and record any illicit activity that happens at a jobsite, it has its limitations.  Companies worldwide are pairing next-generation wireless alarms with their existing CCTV systems to increase protection at commercial jobsites. 

Smart Alarm Systems Allow Jobsites to Remotely Monitor Activity

Consider this scenario: Construction has begun on a 37,000 square-meter manufacturing plant in the warehouse district of a booming town. The plant is owned by a major brand, and this is an important project for the construction company in charge of completing the site. 

The potential for delays and cost overages is top of mind for the site’s project manager. He will do anything he can to stay on time and on budget. But there has been a recent string of commercial construction thefts in town, especially in the isolated warehouse district. The project manager knows that theft of materials and equipment has the potential to cause costly delays.  

To protect against theft, the commercial construction company plans to install a CCTV system, as they do at all of their large jobsites. But the project manager is concerned that a CCTV system won’t be enough to deter thieves. After all, it is too expensive to hire round-the-clock security staff, and because the existing CCTV system isn’t equipped with intelligent monitoring, there will be large gaps of time when no one is onsite to catch thieves in real time. As an added problem, thieves in the area are known to cut wires on CCTV systems, rendering them useless.  

To solve his security problem, the project manager decides to test out a next-generation wireless alarm. He heard about the technology at a recent conference, and he’s excited about it’s possibilities. 

Wireless Security Systems Pair Easily with Existing CCTV Cameras

Because they bypass WiFi entirely and connect instead to a secure cloud network, the low-cost alarms operate on long-lasting batteries and are simple to install. They are an ideal way to enhance the capabilities of existing CCTV cameras. These inexpensive units cost around 15 USD per month to rent and take less than five minutes to install, with no configuration necessary. With a wireless alarm costing only 15 dollars per month to rent, the warehouse project manager decides to try out six units for thirty days. This investment of less than a hundred dollars seems like a small price to pay. After all, it would cost him more than that to replace just one stolen circular saw.The project manager places his six new wireless alarms strategically throughout the warehouse, in the job trailer, and outside near the heavy machinery. It takes him less than half an hour to install and configure all six units. Next, he quickly downloads a mobile app and configures it so that both he and his site supervisor will be notified if any suspicious activity happens after hours at the site. He knows that the alarms are able to differentiate between human and animal movement, which is good because much of the site is still open to the outside.

Intelligent Monitoring Catches Thieves in Real Time

A few weeks go by, and the project manager largely forgets about his new wireless alarms. He’s glad to know they are there, but other pressing matters keep him busy until one day, when the new security system proves its worth.  

In the middle of the night, the project manager gets an alert on his security system’s mobile app. The system has detected human activity at the jobsite. He knows none of his employees planned to work late, so he calls the police and heads out to meet them at the site. By the time he arrives, the police have apprehended two thieves trying to make off with several spools of copper wiring and a few drills that were left laying out.    

Without the benefit of an intelligent monitoring system, the project manager wouldn’t have discovered the theft until he 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 next-generation wireless alarms, used in tandem with a CCTV system, the thieves were caught in the act and on tape. For less than a hundred dollars, the commercial construction project enhanced their existing security system and saved themselves the time and cost of replacing stolen goods.

Learn More About Next-Gen Wireless Alarms for Commercial Construction

To learn more about how Sigfox’s global IoT network is changing the face of jobsite security, read our full Wireless Alarm case study.