High material prices, poor security: thefts on construction sites on the rise
If you are wondering why that new extension or new house is costing so much more…just think material costs.
A sign that it is forbidden to enter the construction site is often the only security for smaller construction sites! But this does not stop thieves from grabbing material that is in high demand.
The construction sector was actually one that was favoured at the beginning of the pandemic – it was allowed to send its crews back to the construction site relatively quickly during the first lockdown. But the sector is now in crisis. Delivery problems and an explosion in the cost of various materials are weighing on the industry.
Some of the price increases are through the roof. A tonne of construction steel, for example, currently costs wholesale buyers around 2,100 euros net. One and a half years ago, it cost about 700 euros. Wood was in such demand last summer that builders were worried whether they would get enough laths for roof trusses. In the course of the past two years, the price of a cubic metre of wood rose from 250 euros to a peak of up to 800 euros.
Long delivery times, high costs
Insulation materials, windows, electrical equipment, aluminium, parquet flooring – even small goods like special nails were and are sometimes in short supply. The cost of materials has risen massively, delivery times have lengthened. This environment also attracts those on construction sites who are not wanted there: Thieves.!!
A survey conducted by the Austrian Road Safety Board (KFV) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in June 2021 shows that 88 percent of the companies were affected by thefts with a high amount of damage. 101 construction companies and 49 construction machinery rental companies were surveyed. At one in five construction sites, the damage was greater than 100,000 euros.
“Do not enter construction site”
A sign stating that it is forbidden to enter the construction site “is often the only security measure at medium-sized and smaller construction sites”, says Ujbien Shehu, director of security consulting at the security company G4S.
82 of the 117 construction sites observed for the survey were “secured” only by such a sign. 75 construction sites were enclosed by a construction fence. But these fences, which are often stuck in concrete piles, could easily be moved or levered out.
“Many builders come to the security company only after something has already happened,” says Shehu. Many lack knowledge about various protective measures or are afraid that they will drive up construction costs even further!.
But that is not the case, says Shehu. Mobile live surveillance via CCTV cameras (which were only in use at eight construction sites in the survey) would often deter perpetrators in advance, could be installed within a few hours via a mobile tower, and the costs were kept within limits at 750 euros per month. The cameras can also be equipped with photovoltaic panels (for an extra charge) to provide protection even during power outages. If there is a live response to burglaries, i.e. if the perpetrators are directly addressed via loudspeakers, the damage rate is reduced by up to 98 percent.
Source: Der Standard