Reducing Theft on the Jobsite from Day 1


Once considered an amenity upgrade, integrated security systems have increasingly become an industry standard for new homes. Not only are they a key feature for the home owners once they move in, but also for the home builders to help secure the jobsite during construction.

Michael Cogbill of the Florida-based tech company ETC Simplify has been installing surveillance and security systems in homes for decades. More often in recent years, he’s one of the first trades on-site, especially when the work involved is a large, custom build.

“We’ll frequently go on a brand-new jobsite and set up a couple of temporary cameras on poles,” Cogbill said. “Beyond the security aspect, they can be a perk for home owners who like having the option to watch construction as it’s happening. And contractors have told us they love it because when they can’t be on-site, they can still check to see which of their guys is on the job at any given time.”

But arguably the biggest value in the temporary system Cogbill describes — which may or may not use the same hardware in the final application for home security — is as a theft deterrent, helping establish a more secure jobsite from the very start of a project.

“Years ago, we started getting a lot of requests from insurance companies that would tell us theft on these jobs was rising and they were having to pay for it,” Cogbill said. “So they asked for various ways they could get notifications and video analytics through our systems.’”

Those video analytics refer to technology algorithms that can differentiate between a person moving through the jobsite during downtime as opposed to wildlife, blowing debris or other inanimate items. Once human-like motions are detected, the surveillance footage is reviewed at a monitoring station, and if validated, the suspicious activity is reported immediately to the builder or designated point of contact.

“We’ve gotten really good at answering the question ‘What was that?’ without having to manually monitor the feeds 24/7,” Cogbill said. NAHB members interested in learning more about technology solutions within the home building industry can log in on to access the BizTools resource library.

This guest post was provided by Ed Wenck, content director for CEDIA, the industry association representing those professionals who manufacture, design and integrate goods and services for the connected home.

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