If construction is underway on your new home, the last thing you want is for trespassers to interfere with the site before it’s completed.
This isn’t just an issue because of the potential for theft and criminal damage, but also from a safety perspective. Construction sites are dangerous places, so it’s your responsibility to limit the likelihood of interlopers wandering in after hours and unknowingly putting themselves in harm’s way.
There is a range of ways to drive down the chances of trespass occurring in this context, so here is an overview of tactics to try throughout your own project.
- 1 Deploy signage
- 2 Add security cameras
- 3 Install lighting
- 4 Add a perimeter fence
- 5 Embrace defensive landscaping
- 6 Understand how criminal trespass is defined
- 7 Have a permanent on-site presence
- 8 Implement an alarm system
- 9 Keep precious materials and equipment out of sight
- 10 Get to know the neighbors
- 11 Wrapping up
Whether you design your own signage or use off-the-shelf equivalents, you have an obligation to highlight the boundaries of your unfinished property clearly and unambiguously.
Clearly communicating that the premises are privately owned and trespassing is not allowed is essential to help prevent potential misunderstandings.
Add security cameras
With modern surveillance tech, it’s affordable and easy to set up cameras to cover various parts of your property.
These can be used as deterrents to trespassers in much the same way as signage, so don’t try to hide them but instead install them in plain view.
Outdoor lighting is an essential security measure in any home or business environment. In addition to deterring criminals and other threats, proper illumination can help to ensure that property boundaries and signage remain visible at all times.
Unfortunately, darkness can hide these important details, making it difficult to keep an area secure. Installing motion-triggered lights is an effective and cost-efficient way to address this problem.
Not only do these lights provide a practical solution for illuminating outdoor areas, but they can also act as a deterrent to potential intruders
Add a perimeter fence
If there’s a physical barrier around your unfinished property, outsiders are warned that they are not allowed to enter the premises.
This doesn’t need to be a permanent structure, and could even be made of recycled materials if you want it to be sustainable. This could be a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. Additionally, recycled materials are often much more cost-effective than brand-new materials, making your structure more affordable and accessible.
Furthermore, using reused materials can also give your perimeter fence a unique, one-of-a-kind look. Also, there’s no need for your fence to be excessively high; it simply has to be enough of an obstacle to remove the question of where your property begins.
Embrace defensive landscaping
If a fence isn’t right for you, you could dive right in with some landscaping inspiration to make the outdoor areas look great and also act as a means of deflecting would-be trespassers.
Defensive landscaping is an effective way to deter unwanted visitors from entering your property. By incorporating shrubs and bushes with spiky leaves, such as holly, into your landscape you can use the natural world’s defense mechanisms to your advantage.
The prickly leaves of these plants act as a physical barrier, preventing intruders from gaining access to your property. Additionally, the hedge can be trimmed to be of varying heights, so it can provide both privacy and security.
By implementing defensive landscaping, you can create an aesthetically pleasing landscape while also ensuring the safety of your property.
Understand how criminal trespass is defined
To appreciate the risk of criminal trespass, you have to be up to speed with what this actually means in a legal sense.
It basically covers deliberate acts of entering private property without the permission of the owner. And if your land isn’t adequately protected with some or all of the aforementioned options, with signage and fencing being at the top of the tree in terms of effectiveness, then it could be tricky to prosecute anyone who violates this law.
To be a trespasser, a person has to know that they’re doing something wrong. If they are on the property by accident, then they won’t suffer any serious consequences.
Have a permanent on-site presence
Most unfinished properties are entirely deserted after the working day is done and the construction team has left. This raises the risk of trespass because people know that they won’t be observed or challenged by anyone who has a legitimate reason to be there.
You can choose to establish an on-site presence around the clock to combat this. The cheapest option is to live on-site yourself, perhaps in a temporary structure that will tie you over until the property itself is livable.
The costlier option is to pay for after-hours security personnel to patrol during the downtime. This is more viable in the case of large-scale domestic construction projects, or commercial developments.
Implement an alarm system
Today there’s less need of paying for a physical on-site presence because alarm technology has evolved to the point that it is capable of being far more effective at a fraction of the price.
Having sensors that can trigger when unauthorized entry to the premises occurs, firing off alerts to the local police department or a private security response unit, will save you from needing someone there day and night. It will also give you peace of mind even if you are living on-site while construction is completed.
Keep precious materials and equipment out of sight
Leaving materials and equipment on display at your unfinished property can present an elevated risk of trespass as it can be quite tempting for unauthorized individuals to enter the premises. The lack of population at the site can make it more vulnerable to trespassing and other illicit activities.
It is important to protect your property by taking necessary precautions to safeguard it from any potential breaches. This includes ensuring that all materials and equipment are properly secured when the property is not in use, as this can help to reduce the risk of trespass.
Aim to cover up any goods and gear that would otherwise be visible to casual observers beyond the boundaries of the premises. That way the temptation is taken away, and opportunistic crooks won’t be as willing to take a chance that there’s something worth purloining.
Get to know the neighbors
It’s wise to win over the rest of the local community if your house-building project is in a residential area, and this isn’t just about smoothing over any issues which might arise in the course of construction.
From a security perspective, it makes sense to have touched base with those in the immediate vicinity. That way if they spot something suspicious when you’re not around, they’ll be more likely to let you know about it.
This also works in the other direction; you don’t want your new neighbors to report that they’ve seen strangers wandering around when in reality it’s you and your team that they’ve spotted. Being a friendly face and ingratiating yourself with others will solve all kinds of conundrums.
You can’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best when it comes to protecting your unfinished property from trespassers.
It’s your duty to ensure no unauthorized individuals end up on-site, both for the avoidance of theft and for their safety.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that this doesn’t mean you need to turn the perimeter into a fortress. Rather it’s a good move to take as many precautions as you can, without going too far, in order to get the results you want while building continues.
So if all this sounds like it’s within your wheelhouse, what are you waiting for? Start implementing some of these changes to keep would-be trespassers at bay. If you’re still in any doubt, consult a security expert for site-specific advice.