INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL

Improving Security

Real estate contractor secures sites after hours to mitigate liability risks

Well Craft Construction Co. is a highly reputable general contractor that builds commercial real estate, multifamily buildings and hotels in and around the Philadelphia, PA area. They are the go-to contractor for Pearl Properties, Philadelphia's premier full-service real estate investment and development firm. Located in Bucks County, PA, Well Craft serves as the general contractor for many large-scale construction projects. Securing their job sites after hours and mitigating liability risks comes with the territory.

Meeting the Challenges

Vandalism, graffiti and theft are always major concerns for project managers at a job site, and security guards sometimes are not enough to deter that. Stolen materials, such as copper wiring, turn into stolen time and productivity for a project in progress. The deadlines get harder to hit, and the need for overtime often figures into the equation, meaning higher costs. In addition, because projects in the construction phase often have equipment and cranes on site after hours, they can be an attractive target for pranksters.

Well Craft has experienced incidents where teenagers have come on to their properties and climbed up the cranes. While the kids may see it as harmless horseplay, the liability issues are huge. Well Craft saw a clear need to put more stringent security measures in place to reduce property damage, theft and overall liability.

Kastle Systems' mobile sentry and remote video guarding solutions were the option of choice for Well Craft Construction. They are smart video surveillance and monitoring solutions that can replace a security guard at a site after hours. Kastle can monitor video alarms generated by the smart camera and respond to any intrusion incidents instantly from its monitoring center.

The camera creates an alert using video analytics that can detect the presence of a person or vehicle. It records a video clip and sends it to the operator at Kastle's central station who can verify the alarm to be real or false. An audio channel is activated allowing the operator to communicate with the intruder to deter them off the site. The operator then follows protocol to call site management and then the police.

Implementation and Results

Kastle positioned six cameras at the construction site, creating a virtual perimeter around it. By having a cloud-based system, video is stored in the cloud allowing the end user to review it at any time up to two years, if needed. The video is downloadable and can be used as evidence in criminal cases.

The guarding solution deploys video analytics-based "smart" HD cameras that deliver high quality video. This integrated video network increases efficiencies, eliminating the need to hire guards. A single monthly service and maintenance fee means there are no material costs.

The solution includes unlimited, scalable cloud-hosted video storage, email notification of video alarm events and access from a smartphone or any web-enabled device.

"Kastle Systems services were the perfect solution for loss prevention and deterring trespassers," said Dan Van Vuskirk, project manager. "Their offerings were also instrumental in monitoring the progress of the job and ensuring on-site safety."

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Steven Smith is the business development manager at Kastle Systems.

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