Construction cranes dotting skylines reflect healthy, growing construction markets. In Toronto, New York, Vancouver, San Francisco and other cities across North America, those same cranes are tempting thrill seekers and their copy cats. Along with thieves and trespassers, crane climbers are forcing construction companies to take another look at security strategies.
1. Know your perps.
Related to roof-topping, crane climbing attracts young risk takers seeking social media bragging rights.
- Teenage boys detained after climbing crane above condo at Yonge and Eg[linton] (CTV News, July 14, 2018)
- It's calming at the top of the "tallest crane in Vancouver," says a guy who climbed it. (Global News, March 15, 2018)
Other climbers appear intoxicated or mentally unstable.
- Video: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford (The Abbotsford News, July 15, 2018)
- Hollywood crane climber undergoes mental evaluation after surrendering to police (ABC News, April 9, 2018); Man in custody after climbing construction crane in Hollywood-video (CBS Los Angeles, April 8, 2018).
Like theft and trespassing, it is often a crime of opportunity. Check out more crane climbing headlines at the end of this blog to see the range of perpetrators and locations.
2. Know your assets.
While cranes are the most visible construction vehicle, many trespassers like to climb excavators and other heavy equipment, as well as scaffolding. Thieves, meanwhile, look for tools and copper wiring. Consider grouping your most valuable assets in a secured location, preferably off the ground and within range of your security cameras. Avoid easy access points—why make it convenient to move your stuff?
3. Secure your perimeter.
Perimeter fencing is your first line of defense against intruders. Chain-link fencing up to 1.8 m high can keep out curious passers by. Inside your site, additional security fences can restrict access to deep excavation pits and expensive tools and equipment. A strong fence also requires a solid locked gate. A surprising number of incidents involve gates left open. Some intruders also come prepared with bolt cutters and crow bars to force their way through fences. Others simply climb over them.
3. Invest in remote video monitoring.
For the open expanses and many hidden areas of a construction site, multiple strategically placed event-triggered security cameras are your best bet for intercepting an intruder quickly. It takes time to cross a construction site and climb a crane. Video alarm verification identifies threats quickly. By the time a trespasser climbs to the top of a crane, the police can be on site. The sooner they get there, the less opportunity the intruder has to do any damage.
4. Invest in lighting.
A construction site covers a large area and extensive lighting can seem an unnecessary expense. However, security experts, especially those focusing on environmental design, stress the importance of bright lighting and clear sight lines in deterring crime. The more visible the intruder, the less opportunity he has for mischief.
5. Put up signs.
Highly visible warning signs are surprisingly effective at deterring intruders. Place “no trespassing” signs around your perimeter and warn would-be trespassers that the site is remotely monitored 24/7.
6. Consider hiring a security guard.
On-site guards can be useful for closing gates, checking fence lines and calling police. They can also confirm whether that intruder is, in fact, a worker.
For more information about your construction site security options, contact us today.
More Crane Climbing Incidents in the News
Woman found sleeping in construction crane arrested, charged. CTV News, August 16, 2018
Toronto crane climber pleads guilty to mischief gets absolute discharge. The Star, January 10, 2018.
Police called to East Village after man spotted climbing crane. CTV News Calgary, October 5, 2017.
Man detained after climbing construction crane in San Francisco. KRON4 News, March 19, 2017.
Ervin, Michelle. Site security comes under renewed scrutiny. Condo Business, August 31, 2018.
Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, We encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns..