Security firms discuss the latest tech helping to protect GCC project sites

Theft of construction equipment and materials, among other threats to project sites, can be mitigated through the use of technologies like video surveillance, alarms, and access control

Video surveillance can help mitigate the threat of theft.
Video surveillance can help mitigate the threat of theft.

In February of this year, it was reported that two men had been convicted by Dubai Courts for attacking security personnel guarding a construction site in Al Qusais and stealing electric cables worth $3,812 (AED14,000).

A similar case was reported in October last year, with three men found guilty of assaulting a security guard on the site of a mosque under construction in Al Warqa, before making off with 60 electric cables valued at $1,634 (AED6,000).

These are just two examples of cases that highlight the need to have sufficient security measures in place on job sites – measures that, according to Pro-Vigil, include the use of alarm and video surveillance systems.

In an article it published on construction site security solutions, the Texas-headquartered supplier of video-based products identifies those two as technologies that site managers ought to consider employing to protect their project areas from threats like theft of construction equipment and materials.

Expounding on the benefits of installing alarm systems, the company states: “Audible sirens, flashing lights, and the very real threat of exposure, generally compel intruders to drop what they’re doing and flee as quickly as possible.

“Of course, if you’d rather not give the intruders a chance to get away, you could always invest in a silent alarm. This is designed to contact authorities directly, without giving the intruder any indication that an alarm has been triggered. Either alarm can be used with motion sensors, effectively automating the process.”

On the use of video surveillance, meanwhile, the company notes that few options are as dependable when it comes to making sure that the property is monitored. The company, however, claims that remote surveillance is more effective than a conventional or basic camera system.

Pro-Vigil explains: “[Basic] cameras can be disabled from their power source, on-site recordings can be stolen or damaged, and criminals who know how to hide their faces can often get away, despite being captured on video.”

Also offering security products that can be installed and employed on construction sites, Johnson Controls tells Construction Week that in addition to its video management system – the P2000 – its access control system is used widely across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

David Budzinski, Johnson Controls’ vice president of indirect channels for MEA, adds that the company’s merger with fire and security systems provider, Tyco, in 2016, has boosted Johnson Controls’ line-up of security products.

He elaborates: “Tyco’s brands, such as Software House, Kantech, and CEM Systems, are leaders in their space, and with Johnson Controls’ existing channel network and strength, these brands will become more readily available to those who are interested in leveraging the technologies they provide.”

Budzinski reveals that the remainder of 2017 should see Johnson Controls building on the opportunities the merger has opened up and focussing on meeting customer security requirements.

“We will be analysing our existing offering and working closely with our global development teams in order to address the needs required to keep sites safe and secure – all while adding functionality,” he says, adding: “Our goal would be to integrate different functionalities into our security platforms to make them simpler and more cost-effective for the users.”

Johnson Controls, according to Budzinski, has been seeing demand for its security systems growing across construction sites in the MEA region. He explains: “It is one of the largest-growing industries that we serve from our portfolio.

“GCC countries, specifically the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, remain the strongest in terms of demand for high security and the adoption of new technologies.”

Captain Dave McDaniel, CEO, president, and founder of ACorps Security Services, a New York-based firm, gives a comparable assessment of the Gulf, noting: “The GCC is a region we believe holds tremendous opportunities for an integrated security services company like ACorps in the construction security realm.”

Explaining his company’s approach to security, he says that while ACorps does offer electronic security systems, which it sources from various suppliers, the firm prefers putting together integrated security plans for its clients, taking into account their respective budgets and requirements.

McDaniel concludes: “At ACorps Security Services, we take a comprehensive and integrated approach to properly protecting a construction site, of which electronic security is only one element.”

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