Building a Cost-Effective Video Solution

Keith Jentoft by Keith Jentoft | 06.20.2016

Large sites, stolen copper, angry subcontractors and limited budgets are common concerns at construction sites. In the fall of 2015, the Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. faced these issues and had a series of thefts ranging from small items to incidents involving $5,000 to $7,000 of stolen copper. Beyond the direct losses of the raw materials, the labor to replace the copper and schedule delays magnified the impact on the entire multi-million-dollar project.

Turner Construction’s Peter Brown, the project manager at the hospital, had a problem that threatened his budget and schedule. The subcontractors demanded a full security detail to stop the thefts, but guards are expensive and simply were not in the budget. Traditional surveillance was also too expensive and inflexible to meet the requirements of the job. Peter worked with Urban Alarm who suggested Videofied, a video intrusion alarm system that was fully wireless with no power or Ethernet cables. Wireless portability meant that the sensor/cameras could be reconfigured easily to adapt to the changing construction site. Since it could also work outdoors, it seemed like an ideal solution. Watch the video above to learn more.

Positive Changes from Innovative Technology
The wireless camera/sensors were placed in “choke points” of the site where intruders were likely to pass through.  Although Sibley Hospital is a large site, placing cameras at the “choke points” and protecting specific storage areas and assets meant the initial install used only a half-dozen camera/sensors called MotionViewers. Once the system was installed, things began to change.  There were several incidents where the MotionViewers alerted Urban Alarm to intruders on the job site. The videos were sent to the Central Station, police were dispatched and arrests were made. In one incident, the police caught two thieves red-handed, still holding the bags of copper.

The hospital added cameras to increase protection and gave the mechanical contractor two cameras dedicated to protecting their assets as they moved around the site.  With the VideoApp4All, Peter Brown and his team were able to arm/disarm and check on system status remotely from their smartphones.

After a series of arrests, the incidents stopped.  And it was all accomplished with a wireless system at a fraction of the cost of a security detail and guarding services.  This is what a “win” looks like.