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How to Mark and Register Your Construction Equipment

03/09/2019 in Security

Theft from construction sites is a continuing problem, with around £100 million worth of plant, construction machinery and equipment being stolen every year. On top of the financial burden incurred while having to replace stolen goods, other typical problems include project delays and downtime, rising insurance premiums, and the expenses and time spent renting alternative equipment.

To help combat the problem and ensure you are not a victim of this type of crime, there are several steps you can take to mark, register or protect goods on your construction site.

Distinguishing marks

Though slightly outdated, stamping or engraving equipment with an easily recognisable number, symbol or name can still act as a basic deterrent in many circumstances. When there are no distinguishing marks on a piece of equipment, it is extremely difficult for the police to recover it if it has been stolen. This, along with an up-to-date inventory, can help in recovering such goods. If possible, marking each separate piece which could potentially be taken apart and peddled on the black market is wise.

Thieves are less likely to take goods that they think would either have no resale value or which could easily identify them as the culprit.

Forensic marking

For small power tools, forensic marking can be a cost-effective and very useful way to protect goods. Simply purchase a DNA marking kit from one of the approved suppliers in the UK, follow the instructions to mark your valuable equipment using it, and display a warning label on the marked items to deter theft. Once done, you can also register that equipment on a central database which is recognised by the police, thus making it easier to recover and return to you in the event of a crime.

Forensic marking kits are more effective than simply engraving or adding labels to your tools, since the formula is invisible to the naked eye and almost impossible to remove, which will consequently mean that the tool no longer has any resale value.

CESAR scheme

The CESAR scheme was introduced as a reaction to the struggles in investigating and identifying stolen plant and other construction equipment. As a result, the police made a recommendation to the Plant Theft Action Group (PTAG) that there should be a national registration and marking system set up to help reduce theft in this area. The registration scheme is now recognised by both the police and the Home Office, helping to more easily identify and recover equipment that has been stolen, via a central database.

Not only does the database help police in theft investigations once a crime has taken place, but it has also been proven that having CESAR markings fitted to plant and machinery helps to reduce the chance of them being stolen in the first place. In fact, official statistics show that machines that are not registered with CESAR are four times more likely to be stolen than those that are.

Photographic evidence

Take photographs of all of your tools and machinery, including their serial numbers and any distinguishing marks. In the absence of other methods, having photographic evidence can, at the very least, help the police identify the goods more easily if they are stolen.

Construction security

Aside from marking and registering equipment properly, investing in construction site security is the best course of action to protect your property. Wireless CCTV systems ensure the site is monitored 24/7, offering HD-quality imagery and a useful app to view footage at any time, from anywhere.

For larger construction sites or those where there are numerous people coming and going at any given time, biometric access control can help in keeping trespassers out, by only allowing entry to people who are permitted to be on the construction site.

It might also be a good idea to have light towers installed across the premises, especially on larger sites. Light towers can reach up to 30 feet and will illuminate a large proportion of the worksite, which can be off-putting for would-be trespassers, as it can draw attention to a crime taking place.

Other measures to consider include hiring SIA manned guards and using motion sensors for after-hours trespassing surveillance, and utilising secure fencing and storage facilities to lock away valuable equipment overnight.

To discuss construction site security measures for your site, contact us today.